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Caregiver Resources | February 4, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

What To Do When Your Parents Refuse To Listen To Your Advice

happy-senior-couple-with-laptopChances are that our parents always hammered home the fact that we had to listen to them – but what happens when the roles are reversed and they refuse to listen to us? Oftentimes adult children have the notion that they know better than their parents do, especially when it comes to medication, health, caregiving, housing, diet, and a wide range of other important considerations. These are just a few steps to take if you notice that your parents are not listening to you.

The following tips that we have included come after discussions with professionals who have dealt with situations like these countless times. Keep in mind this particular advice might not work if you are talking to someone who is currently living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Understand The Motivation

It is normal to feel frustrated if your parents are not listening to you (despite the fact that you mean well) but it is essential that you try to understand why they are acting out in such a way. Are they confused? Are they depressed? Are they trying to assert their independence? Or are they just holding onto old habits? Once you understand why this is happening, you can react accordingly.

How Important Is This Discussion?

Especially knowing that this might happen again in a few weeks, it is essential that you learn to pick your battles. Is this just something that irritates you (but is essentially inconsequential) or is it something that might endanger your parent? You have to know when it time to put your foot down.

Treat Them Like Adults

Remember that older people should have (and deserve) a level of autonomy. Even if you know you are in the right, do not talk to a stubborn parent the way you would a stubborn child. It is essential that you move away from the notion of infantilizing parents. This is something that can happen without us even realizing it.

Accept The Current Situation

We have all heard the old adage “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Considering that our parents are adults, they have the right to make their own decisions. They have the right to do so, even if we know that these are the wrong decisions to make and that they are ultimately going to regret these decisions later.

It is important that you feel comfortable with where your parents are when they are being stubborn or difficult, that is why it might offer peace of mind to know that they are surrounded by qualified professionals who are able to help them make smart choices and who can help avoid major disasters. Visit www.carltonseniorliving.com to find out more information about possible options.