Why are Mom and Dad SO Slow? Why Won’t They Do What’s Best For Them? Lisa’s Real Estate conversations

Why are Mom and Dad SO Slow?

Why are Mom and Dad SO Slow? Why Won’t They Do What’s Best For Them? If you are like so many ‘kids’ of seniors in Canada, you want your parents to move to something more manageable for but they won’t cooperate. They are slow to make decisions, they change their mind, a lot, and they get upset at you when all you are trying to do is what is best for them and will help them.

Fear not! This can come down to a communication gap bred through not understanding the life stages people go through. I understand, I’m in this stage with my parents right now.

David Solie, author of ‘How to Say It to Seniors’, refers to these stages as Developmental Agendas. He identifies two primary agendas for seniors, and three for their Baby Boomer kids. A basic understanding of these agendas goes a long way to bridging this gap.

The two Developmental Agendas of seniors are:

1. Retaining Control

As people age, and maybe develop some health or mobility challenges, it seems like everyone is telling them what to do. Especially doctors! It’s very frustrating, and they often feel they have no control over this journey through health care. They are afraid of losing their social life as friends become sick and or die. Couple that with the fear of losing their driver’s license and the uncertainty around how they will get around, and you have a very powerful feeling of loss of control.

When you come along with your idea that they have to move, they likely realize they should, but they just aren’t ready to give up their home and all the memories it holds. You care about them and want them to move so you drop more hints of possible new places to live. And while you’re not doing this maliciously, you are stripping away the one thing they need – control over where they will live.

2. Figuring out their Legacy

The older people get, the more they reflect on their life – what does it mean that they were alive? What will they be remembered for? This reflection causes them to slow down, think a lot more, and they begin re-telling stories. Often, they tell the same stories over and over again. This is not typically a sign of senility, but rather, it is so that they might remember something new from that story. Or maybe you, if you are listening, will hear something new, mention it, and begin a whole new level of reflection for them. Figuring out their Legacy.

The Three Developmental Agendas of Baby Boomers are:

  1. Finishing the imprinting of their beliefs on, and the raising of, their children
  2. Making and saving enough money for their retirement
  3. Worrying about taking care of their aging parents

Can you see the dilemma here?

You, the Baby Boomer, are racing through life, busy, never enough time, trying to make the money for your family and retirement. Then there’s Mom & Dad, moving along at a snail’s pace, and you’re frustrated because they just can’t seem to make up their minds.

All you have to do is let them be in control. Let them come to the decision that they should look at a new place to call home. It may take a while, but in the end, it is the only way to have a happy ending. This is a simplified version of one scenario, but I’d love to talk about all your options and help you in these developmental phases.

Your friend, Your Neighbour, Your Realtor,

Lisa Sinopoli

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