When You Are Old
A writer to Ann Landers newspaper column lists these points to remember about how to behave with your children when you are old. Although there is much valuable information here, be critical in your judgment because they are not appropriate in all contexts.
- When my children tell me I should no longer drive, I will believe them and quit, because I know they love me.
- When it becomes apparent that I need extra help, I will accept it from outsiders because my children cannot do everything. They have other obligations beyond my daily care.
- It is up to me to make my life fulfilling. It is not my children's responsibility. I must stay active and learn to entertain myself so I do not become a burden to them.
- If my children tell me I am becoming confused and that it is no longer safe for me to be alone, I will believe them and not become defensive.
- If I am unable to get along with my children, I will seek counseling so we can learn to manage the changes in my life together.
- I will get my legal affairs in order and trust the advice of professionals so there will be no problems about money or property down the road.
- I will not complain about feeling poorly. My children cannot fix my health, and such complaints are emotionally draining for them to hear.
- My children are not my indentured servants. I will remember to thank them for everything they do for me, and I will do loving things in return.
- I will avoid making my children feel guilty. Age is no excuse for insults and manipulative behavior.
- For as long as I can, I will take good care of myself physically, dress well and carry myself with dignity. Nothing saddens a child more than to witness parents who give up on how they present themselves.