My mum is one of those parents who refuses to acknowledge that she is getting older, Lol. She loves her independence, and much to my frustration, she insists on doing things by herself. Naturally, at her age, there are some things she has to slow down on, but she keeps pushing and I find my admiration for her growing simply by watching.
Still, I worry, because her claim to being independent could easily make us grow complacent in supporting her the way that we should. The fact she doesn’t ask for help doesn’t mean she doesn’t need it. So I’m constantly thinking of ways to ‘codedly’ show up for her and support without getting her defences up. Here are a few tips I’ve learned in the process.
Check on them regularly
Sure, your parents may be retired and living their best lives off their pension. They may finally be taking trips together that could not indulge in when they raised their families. But this does not mean they don’t want to hear from you nearly all the time. Call them and have proper conversations. Don’t just call for calling sake. Don’t call because that’s what you are supposed to do every Sunday. Genuinely inquire about their activities. Show interest. You’d be surprised at the details you’d pick from genuinely engaging with them.
Put them in your schedule and visit
Yes, you have a job, and your side hustle has a side hustle. But you should intentionally plan to visit your parents. Technology has made connection a little easier but nothing beats an actual visit. It may be once a week or every fortnight, whatever the case may be, having a schedule will help you to remember. You can also set a reminder because you may start out with good intentions and life will get in the way and cause you to forget.
Send them random treats/gifts
Your parents may have all the money they need but they will always appreciate random gestures of love from their children. And it doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be fruits, groceries, a spa session, actual money and so much more. They may not necessarily need it but as they say, it’s the thought that really counts.
Take them out
Growing old can sometimes come with a measure of helplessness or dependence, even though your parents may not want to admit it. Going out alone or even with their partner may not be as fun as before because they’re ‘slower’ than before. So taking them out to the cinema or other nice mellow spots will definitely brighten their day.