As our parents age, we may find ourselves in a new and difficult dynamic, facing complex emotions and past wounds that need healing. Maybe you’ve become responsible for your parent’s financial wellbeing, maybe you’ve become their full-time carer, or you simply have a strained or distant relationship. Suddenly, what could previously be swept under the rug can turn into a quest to find peace.
It must be said that reconciling with aging parents can be a challenging and emotional process, especially as an adult. However, reconciling with your aging parents can also bring about a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other, and can result in a stronger relationship moving forward.
Here are some steps that can help you reconcile with your aging parents:
Identify and acknowledge your feelings: Before you can start the reconciliation process, it’s important to take a step back and examine your emotions. What are your feelings towards your parents, and what may have caused these feelings? Are there past experiences or incidents that still affect you today? By understanding and acknowledging your emotions, you can better prepare yourself for the reconciliation process.
Communicate openly and honestly: Communication is key to any successful relationship, and the same goes for reconciling with aging parents. Be open and honest about your feelings and listen to their side of the story. Avoid blame, and instead focus on finding common ground and understanding.
Set realistic expectations: It’s important to understand that the reconciliation process may not be quick or easy. It may take time for both you and your parents to work through your emotions and reach a place of understanding. Setting realistic expectations for the process can help you avoid disappointment and frustration along the way.
Focus on the present and the future: While it’s important to acknowledge the past, it’s equally important to focus on the present and the future. Ask yourself what you want your relationship with your parents to look like moving forward, and work towards making that a reality.
Seek outside support: If you’re struggling with reconciling with your aging parents, seeking outside support can be incredibly beneficial. Consider reaching out to a therapist or counsellor who can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Practice forgiveness: Forgiveness is a critical component of reconciliation. It’s important to let go of any grudges or resentments, and to focus on finding a way to move forward together. This doesn’t mean forgetting about the past, but rather finding a way to work through it and rebuild the relationship.
Find common interests: Reconciling with your aging parents can be easier if you find common interests and ways to bond. Whether it’s through shared hobbies, travel, or simply spending time together, finding common ground can help bring you closer and create new memories together.
Most people want a meaningful relationship with their parents – however difficult and painful it can be to get to that place. But by seeing it as a chance to heal old wounds and focusing on forgiveness, you can come to a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other. And with patience and persistence, it’s possible to find a way to reconcile and create a strong, loving bond that will endure for the years you have left together.
If you or a loved one are struggling to cope with day-to-day life or you need a break from caring for an aging parent, know that the CareCompany cares. We believe in living life to the fullest – not with regrets. Call on us for support – we are here for you.