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There are recurring conversations that aging parents and their adult children may have.

And during these conversations, it may seem to the kids that they are speaking with the best of intentions.

These talks often result in parents shutting down or telling their kids just enough to make them “go away.”

A lot of adult children have found themselves in the position of being self-appointed protectors of their parents, whom they see as vulnerable.

As a result, some have started adopting more intrusive roles with their parents.

At the root of aging parent-adult child relationships are communication styles.

Communication that has turned more into dictation than discussion.

What adult children may see as their parents ‘lying’ to them may actually be aging parents embracing errors of omission versus errors of commission.

People in the “Silent Generation” (those born 1928-1945) are not always open to discussing personal issues or sharing thoughts.

Communication styles of their children have changed, and older adults may see those as challenges to maintaining their independence.

Listen and reflect.

Focus on preferences; that can make it easier to be more open.

Remember there are boundaries — because privacy is important.

We all need to accept that aging is inevitable, and that it is best done with support, not with preaching.

One of the keys to understanding aging parent-adult child dynamics is to ask questions and indicate a willingness to understand other perspectives.

Thank you to and Howard R. Seidman for this content!