A common anxiety for older Americans is that they’ll inadvertently drive family away. Everyone knows the feeling of not wanting to overdo it and pester their kids or grandkids. What can you do to keep family close without making them feel like you’re invading their lives or trying to micromanage them? Here are our tips.
Keeping Family Close Without Smothering Them
Let Them Breathe
If your kids are grown adults with their own lives and jobs and friends and romances, then let them live those lives themselves. Of course, call them and check in and see how things are going, and be there when they want to confide in you. What you don’t want to do, though, is constantly hover over them and pester them for every little detail.
They’re grown and out of the house. Let them be. Remember, if you did your job well parenting (and we’re pretty sure you did,) then they’re going to do great on their own.
Nothing builds resentment faster than giving your kids a guilt trip about not calling or checking in. Your kids are probably often busy between work and their own personal lives. As such, they might not always get a chance to check in. However, the way to address that isn’t by guilting them.
Don’t be too meek, and don’t feel like you’re bothering them. If you want to call and talk, just call and talk. When your kid is busy, they’ll tell you, but you can definitely squeeze in a quick conversation just to check in.
Generational differences in politics are to be expected. Your kids grew up in a different world than you did, and they likely understand world events differently from you. That’s okay! If talking politics always results in bad blood or hurt feelings, maybe you should just avoid the subject altogether.
It’s better to not talk about something that will only upset you both and cause anger or even resentment. Family is worth more than petty arguments.