I am sure that if you have clicked onto this post, your parents might be driving you crazy…The change in a relationship between parent and child evolves from when they first meet until the child becomes an adult and then it appears to stabilize for many years. No matter what the changes are, the dynamic remains the same for most (one person is a child and the other is a parent).
I am of the generation where they often said respect your elders. The other famous saying I heard was the parent knows best whether or not that is true remains to be unclear, but it was said a lot. No matter what, everyone knew their role. Generally speaking, most parents are independent and take care of themselves and their child learns to become independent too and take care of themselves too. On the other hand some cannot take care of themselves and some need assistance.
It’s when the parent starts to show signs of health issues or as they age, that it seems like the roles change. What was once the hierarchy (parent on top and child below), evolves into more of a relationship where the child needs to take on the roles to help their parent. This is never easy for either party because both remember their initial roles that both held for so many years. I think of my own family situation where I have siblings too and everyone had their role in the family. It seemed like no matter how old the person was or what their life experiences were, we still envisioned the person in the role we gave them as a child.
Is this fair?
No, but it just seemed to be part of the family dynamic. Learning the new roles once a parent needs help can be challenging.
Communication is key.
Patience is required.
Compromise and forgiveness are also useful as everyone adjusts to their new roles.
Understanding helps too, but if all fails seek professional help from a licensed therapist or expert.
Some professionals specialize in this field and sometimes having a third party that has no personal interest in the matter, can give a different perspective or tools to help everyone in the situation.