The Sandwich Generation

The Baby Boomers are now known as The Sandwich Generation. We are responsible for taking care of our aging parents and our aging children, the Boomerang Kids. Emotional support for our aging parents and financial support for our aging children can leave the Boomer exasperated.

How do we cope?

Let's begin with our aging parents. The real issue we have with our parents has to do with how our parents see us. We are still their children in their eyes. When conversations become heated, remember, they are conversing as parent-to-child. That's why they may actually become disrespectful towards you. An example: My older sister was trying to explain my mother's finances to her and my mother finally said, "shut-up". My sister was mortified. "How can you say this to me?" My mother's reply, "I'm your mother. I can say anything I want."

Of course, we know that's not true. Both people need to respect each other. We need to change the parent-to-child conversation into adult-to-adult.

It's not easy.

You need to become the initiator. When my mother begins to scold me about my lack of taking care of myself, I immediately switch it to her and ask how she is feeling, what did the doctor say, is she doing what she is supposed to.

I also call first. If you call first, you control the conversation. If you live close by, visit first.

Be the initiator.

And remind your parent that you understand their circumstances. If my mother and I get into a heated argument, I back off quickly, and say, "Mom, I understand how you feel about that, but we need to do this." Recognize their feelings.

Now, the Boomerang Kids. I'll keep that one for another day.

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