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Home My parents are now in their 60s. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with them?

My parents are now in their 60s. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with them?

My parents are now in their 60s. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with them .png

My parents are now in their 60s. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with them? 

Mutual, reciprocal, and mature. These words can now describe parent and adult children relationships. 

When we were children going through different life stages, we also experienced the changes in the way our parents helped us grow our emotional and intellectual functioning and our intimacy and autonomy. Though these experiences had their ups and downs, we learn that as adults, our relationship with our parents have the capacity to become more and more positive over time.

Unlike before, adult children now can reciprocate emotional support and get to know their parents at a more personal level including their faults and strengths. This can lead to a closeness that both can enjoy until old age. 

Challenges to parent-adult children relationship and strategies to maintain healthy relationships with aging parents

  • Challenge in geographical location. 

After children have left their parents’ home, the amount of time they spend with each other will dramatically decrease. These adult children focus their time, energy and effort in building their careers and starting and growing their own family. Time with their parents takes a backseat in terms of priorities. 

How are closeness and intimacy still possible? When adult children reach their 40s, they usually come to realize that the relationship with their parents is precious and they seek to reconnect with them more. In the same way, aging parents have greater appreciation of a close relationship with their children.

  •  Talk about a schedule to meet and how regular 
  • Plan to meet on special events like anniversaries, birthdays or even vacations together
  • Consider keeping family traditions
  • Update one another about family, career, friendships, etc. 

These will keep both parties engaged. They can set up opportunities for them to spend quality time together. 

  • Challenge from changing family dynamics.

It is undeniable that our culture and traditions growing up and the values that were entitled to us affect our relationships and they will play a big role in the new roles and responsibilities we have as parents and adult children. 

  • Understand that everyone is unique; Create opportunities for you and your aging parent to connect and get to know one another’s needs in the relationship. 
  • Continue to develop your relationship with your parents by responding to those needs. As you do them, you build a trusting relationship. 
  • Talk about healthy boundaries with your parents to maintain your autonomy while respecting them as well. 

General tips to foster strong parent-adult child relationships: 

  1. Show support to one another’s important life events. 
  2. Openly talk about and settle any conflict that has happened in the past. They might still be lingering hindrances to your intimate relationship with your parents. 
  3. Accept that both you and your parents are still growing and improving as individuals, and that includes accepting your strengths and weaknesses. 
  4. Learn healthy coping strategies that might be useful in dealing with negative life events associated with aging like medical emergencies, chronic diseases, etc. 
  5. Enjoy each other’s companionship. 

Questions to reflect upon in your journey to a healthier relationship with your aging parents: 

  1. How do you feel about your current communication with your parents? 
  2. How has your relationship with your parents changed as an adult? 
  3. In what ways do you want to grow in your relationship with your aging parents? 

These questions can help you see the status of your relationship, and the strategies above can help you  find ways to get to know and get along with your parents in their old age.

May you and your parents be filled with peace and wellbeing. 

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My parents are now in their 60s. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with them?
Brandon Resasco