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Setting Boundaries With Difficult Elderly Parents

TOPIC OF THIS ARTICLE: Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents

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Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 1. Do you love your parents?

You may answer without thinking: of course, love, they gave me life, raised me, said not love can not become a white eyed wolf?

How are you and your parents? Would you like to get along with them? Would you like to take care of them when they need you?

You seem to be hesitant to answer these questions.

As we grow up, parents grow older. When the roles of caregiver and caregiver change, the problem also shows.

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Around us, we often see such cases:

Love parents, but can not get along with them;

Love parents, but only by the middle of the word;

Love parents, but only willing to pay money rather than time;

Love parents, but they care for their inquiry to avoid fear;

Love parents, but can not bear their nagging;

Love parents, but they will not face the reality that they need you more and more

Whether you like it or not, parents will eventually get old, and sooner or later the day you need your care will come. Love won’t change, but are you ready?

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 2. is it difficult for your parents to get along?

There is a topic on the Internet called “how desperate you are when you can’t communicate with your parents”. Countless moments of despair are recorded in the following answers:

He can not follow, against him can not, do not speak or not, there is no way to walk the feeling;

Sometimes I feel that I am not facing close relatives, but bastards who don’t make sense

Looking at these answers, you can’t help but have deep questions. Why do you know that the most loved ones have brought so many injuries?

At the beginning of “if parents are old and difficult to get along”, there is a questionnaire on “how difficult parents are to get along”, which lists 41 kinds of difficult behaviors of parents, such as:

To make unreasonable demands on adult children;

Love to complain, see anything is not obedient, extremely picky;

Only from their own perspective, never care what will affect others

This kind of unreasonable behavior divides the parents who are difficult to cope with into six categories, namely dependent parents, sprinkling cold water parents, control parents, self destructed parents, narcissistic parents and fear parents.

Comparing with this questionnaire, we can find that most of the elderly are difficult to get along with in their adult children’s hearts, which not only makes the relationship between parents and children shadow, but also the children’s life is deeply disturbed.

In recent years, there has been a psychological word that is very hot, called “native family”. Many people attribute all the problems that are not satisfied, unhappy, and can not be changed, the personality obstacles that can not be overcome, and the threshold of the things that cannot be accepted by people, are attributed to the original family.

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 3. is the power of the original family really so great?

Dr. Susan fouard, a famous American psychotherapist, gave a positive answer. She said children would selectively absorb their parents’ language and non-verbal information, just like sponge water absorption. They listen to their parents, observe their parents’ behavior, and then imitate their parents’ behaviors. In a small circle like the original family, children can not get external reference, and they will regard the information about themselves and others obtained at home as universal truth, and keep in mind.

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This also proves Adler said that: lucky people, life is cured by childhood; Unfortunately, life is healing childhood.

It can be said that if you can handle your relationship with your parents, you are in reconciliation with your native family.

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 4. why parents are difficult to get along with when they are old

Parents’ difficulties make their children feel helpless many times. You will find that it doesn’t necessarily work to speak more truth and try more.

Why do parents get so difficult to get along with when they are old? In fact, we can find the root cause of the problem from two aspects.

First, it is the impact of parents’ own native families and past experiences on them.

In the book “if parents are old and difficult to get along with”, it refers to a mother rose, who is a typical dependent parent. When she hears that her son wants to leave her, she will be ill. Whether it is for her son and daughter-in-law to go on holiday or go to party with friends, she will have headache and stomach cramp as soon as she leaves her sight. Such a situation is much more, son and daughter-in-law can not be disturbed, feel that she is pretending to be ill, mother-child relationship becomes very nervous.

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After psychological counseling, we learned that rose had been abandoned in her childhood. This trauma appeared in her later years, which made her worry about her being abandoned and neglected.

When you understand the suffering your parents suffered before and the impact of the past on them, you may have a sense of openness and use more empathy to rebuild your relationship with your parents.

“When I knew my mother was so difficult to get along because of her character, not because of me, I was relieved, and with this new vision, I became more inclusive of my mother,” Rose’s son said

If parents are in good relationship with their children when they are young, but they become cloudy and uncertain after their old age, it may be due to aging of their physical function or the impact of some kind of blow in their later years.

People will face many uncertainties and strikes after they grow older. Everyone’s old age is full of countless crises.

Some people have Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or severe diabetes and high blood pressure; Some people will face the death of relatives and friends, or move away from their hometown and so on.

Even young people, one of the above experiences, will take a long time to adjust, and in addition, the elderly face multiple losses.

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 5. how to do with difficult parents

When we understand the causes behind parents’ difficult to get along, we have taken the first step of understanding. Understanding is the first step to improve and promote relationships with parents.

What should we do?

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 01.

Don’t be angry, don’t be anxious to reason, don’t teach parents how to do it, and keep your mouth in check

Please see the following dialogue:

Daughter: Mom, you want me to call you every night, but I always have something to do occasionally!

Mom: you can do it if you have time, just don’t have time to call me!

Daughter: (losing patience) as long as I don’t call on time, you start to worry, but you should know, I can’t be on time every time!

Mom: hum!

Daughter: (anger goes up) I haven’t seen you so unreasonable!

Both sides of the dialogue were unhappy and did not solve any problems at all.

Remember, no matter how frustrated your parents are, anger can’t solve any problem, it just makes both sides feel more uncomfortable. Mother can not see her own problems, only see daughter’s impatience and fury.

At this point, the first thing you have to do is adjust the way you respond. Don’t get angry, don’t get angry, don’t make sense, shift topics, and distract your parents.

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Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 02.

Empathize with their parents, recognize and face up to their pain

Holding your mouth in place is the first step to avoid conflict. Next, you have to stand on the parents’ side and look back at why they do it.

Suppose you are an old man, maybe in your 80s, or older; You may lose a lot of motivation, including vision, hearing, vitality, mobility, etc., and you may understand that the behind the parents’ difficult to get along is actually a sense of powerlessness in life.

Many times, parents’ character has been deeply rooted, as children, may as well be off the disguise, to understand attitude and get along with them. You know, your parents are not bad people. Instead, they are victims of their own personality defects.

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 03.

Set limits for parents’ requirements

When we respect our parents, we should make suggestions gently and tactfully when we see that they have wrong places. If parents don’t accept it, don’t mention it any more, complain about their heart and keep their respect.

Setting boundaries is a major problem for adult children. It is difficult to say “no”, especially to parents who once took and take whatever they wanted, which is even more difficult. But the more you do, the more you show your parents what you can do and what you can’t do.

One reality many Chinese families will face is that when parents get old, they will inevitably need the care of their children, need to get along under the same roof, and if they are not well together, a series of family conflicts will be brought about.

When parents say they want to live with you and you think that too long you will hurt each other’s relationship, you can directly say to your parents: “Mom and Dad, I don’t think we can get along too long, and living apart is better for each other.”

It is most important to set boundaries not to assume the responsibility of supporting the elderly, but to try to defend their position while understanding and respecting their parents.

Take not living with parents as an example, you can choose to rent a house near your home to parents, or go back to visit parents regularly, or a nursing home or a pension center. As long as you think these places are far better than the chicken and dog jumping together every day.

Remember that, if you are under control or in your own control, you can choose.

Setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents 5. to achieve a sense of boundaries, we must overcome guilt.

David Hawkins, a famous psychologist, analyzed the energy level of various emotions, and found that the most negative and most harmful emotions are not anger, sadness and fear, but the guilt of shame and guilt. The more people who have higher self-requirements, the more likely they feel guilty, the more responsible they are, the more often they feel guilty.

Please forget the tall image he once covered the wind and rain for you, and let down the thoughts of making parents happy and not insist on the so-called perfect care. Because, care for their own heart, can take care of parents.

Everyone has their own life to live. You can’t change your parents, but at least you can escape from the vicious cycle of anger, regret, guilt and self-responsibility, learn to accept all of this, take care of their old life as much as possible, and never step behind their parents.


Psychologist Erickson once said that the greatest lesson in a person’s later life is to sum up his life – to be able to accept himself positively and gently, and his own life. This is a difficult lesson. Many people don’t have to do well. It needs to reconcile with the loss and suffering in life. The late years are the time to summarize and to reconcile with the life that will end.

Judith VIOST, the most famous psychotherapist in the United States, said a good thing in her classic book “necessary loss”: we grow up in loss, abandonment and abandonment, and that is a necessary loss. And these lost experiences, good and bad, determine what we become, how to live a life.

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