I guess all of us would agree that as we age, we begin to notice that our parents yearn for attention from us – they need our attention more and more each day. Remember when we were teenagers? It seemed like anything that they did or said annoyed us. As for me, I couldn’t wait to graduate high school so I could get out of the house. My family was not my priority when I was younger.
However, we also grew up, and with growth came more wisdom and compassion for the family, especially for our parents who cared for us and loved us no matter what we did. And then it hit us. They’re old. We may not be able to spend a lot of time with them anymore. Now we are eager to build a relationship with our parents.
The truth is, what our parents need from us in their senior years are not presents, but our PRESENCE. And not just any kind of presence, but our sincere presence – and we call that quality time. That means not only do we need to have gifts delivered to them on their birthdays but also we must celebrate it with them. They don’t need our drivers to drive them to their regular doctor’s appointment, but they need us to be with them to comfort and assure them that we are there for them no matter what.
Unfortunately, not all adult children have a close relationship with their parents throughout life. Thus, they will have to start from the beginning, and for those who have not even come close to ‘close,’ the behavior of your aging parents’ demand for attention may be overwhelming. Yet there is never a wrong time to form bonds with people, especially to the ones we love the most.
Below are some reasons why it is essential for us to spend quality time with our parents, along with some great ideas to get us started.
Are you one of those children who didn’t get to establish a great parent-child relationship because you were just so stubborn while you were growing up? I am. Through the years, I was always causing the family trouble because I felt that they were too tough on me. I would sneak out of the house and party, and when I get home, my dad would be waiting for me. I knew I would be grounded, but who cares? I just wanted to have fun. In junior year I felt I couldn’t stand them anymore and I left the house. I had very little communication with them after that. There were times when I’d miss them, but I stopped myself from calling because I was ashamed to reach out. My pride would get the best of me.
To make the story short, here I am now, 40, and mending a relationship that I broke. I regret that it took me a long time to decide to fix it, but hey, there’s no better time to do it but now. You can do it too. Give them a call now. Don’t let that pride stop you. If you have kids yourself, like me, you’ll agree that we can’t stand our children, no matter how hurt we were because of them. We can’t undo our past mistakes, but we can surely fix them. Quality time with them is precious.
Make Up For Time Lost
If your parents were busy while you were growing up or you were busy being the teenager and adolescent that you were, then spending quality time with your parents now is the best way to make up for lost time. Do not postpone your first dinner date or your first visit to them. Now is the best time to do it. It’s time to be there for them – or should I say for each other – and build a stronger bond.
Making up for lost time is also a great way to learn from each other. Yes, there are several words of wisdom that your parents can share with you. At the same time, you get to teach them some of the modern ways to do things, like video calling perhaps. Seniors can’t get enough of their grandchildren – that’s for sure.
Ways To Spend Quality Time With Aging Parents
Some fun things to do to strengthen your bond with your aging parents include:
Better Late Than Never
Spending quality time with family, especially with your senior parents, may not be very easy to do especially if you’re a busy person taking care of her own family as well. But it is vital to find the time to share a part of yourself with them. Besides, you wouldn’t be who you are today if it weren’t for them. How about tonight?