I’ve talked to a number of parents who feel their grown children do not treat them with respect.
Here are a few things parents have said they wanted:
Please say hello and act like you’re happy to see me when I come for a visit. And when I call on the telephone, show some interest in what we’re talking about.
And please, please answer the telephone sometimes when I call, instead of letting it go to voice mail. Ask about my life and what I’m doing.
You know I have little money. It would be nice if you helped me pay some of my doctor bills.
Respect my right to redecorate and change things in my house. Don’t tell me I don’t need a new sofa or family room furniture. I’m not ready to be buried yet.
Ask before you help yourself to food in the refrigerator.
If I tell you I don’t like something you’re doing, don’t punish me by not seeing me or not talking to me.
Sometimes invite me to one of your parties so I can meet your friends.
Just because you’ve change religions, don’t ridicule mine.
Offer to bring something when you come to dinner.
Accommodate my schedule sometimes when we make a date to get together. I have a life too.
Once in a while come for dinner and stay the whole evening.
Stop ridiculing me when I tell you about something I’ve read about vitamins, or diet, or changes in the laws. I’m not always mistaken or stupid.
Tell me about your life and the people you’re dating.
Call back when you say you’re going to call back.
Say yes or no to an invitation in a timely manner. Don’t keep me on hold until the last day.
Remember my birthday and on time.
Be gracious and thank me when I give you a gift, rather than acting as though it’s too much trouble to open it.
Listen and believe me when I tell you I’m tired. Don’t push me to go on to one more store.
Invite me to dinner sometime.
Take a little time out of your life to remember to see your grandparents. They always took time with you when you were little.
Be on time for dinner or call when you’ll be late.
Pay back the money you owe me or talk to me about it.
Stop being critical of my taste in clothes.
If you borrow one of my appliances, return it without my having to ask.
Don’t get mad if I tell you I can’t baby sit, and don’t expect me to baby sit every weekend.
Stop talking about what I did wrong when I raised you. Tell me what I did right.
Give me a hug and a kiss when you leave.
Treat me as nicely as you treat your best friend.
Following these requests won’t solve all problems between parents and grown children. But it certainly sets the stage for a more respectful relationship.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,” and “Thin Becomes You” at Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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