15 Sep Setting Boundaries With Your Grandchildren
Ageing can introduce certain elderly problems that cause difficulties when trying to bridge the age gap, especially when baby boomers or elderly grandparents are living in the same home with several generations.
The problems are obvious. A seventy-year-old who likes to nap in the afternoon is not going to take kindly to being dynamited out of a sound sleep by the latest offering from “Guns and Roses”. Elderly problems begin with small grumblings but can constitute real suffering if ignored and left to escalate in a boisterous atmosphere ill suited to an aging boomer or elderly person.
Elderly people who live with their younger relatives are often labeled as self centred and their elderly problems are often looked upon as attention-seeking nonsense. However, self preservation is often life’s way of protecting us from the kind of stress that might otherwise make us deeply miserable. An elderly relative who recognizes their own difficulties and the way to keep them under control might very well ask that certain boundaries are set, especially with regard to the way younger people behave within earshot.
Such boundaries are often regarded as being unreasonable and even part of a regime of ‘nagging’ but retaining an environment of peace and tranquillity can effectively reduce the effects of elderly problems and encourage harmony with the family unit.
A number of practical considerations should be met when dealing with your children and grandchildren. For example, younger people zoom up and down stairs in seconds but people with elderly problems are not so supple and might also be suffering from poor eyesight or inadequate balance. A few boundaries can make all the difference to going up and down stairs with confidence, such as ensuring that the stairs are always properly lit and that debris is never left where it can cause the person to trip and fall.
The interests and hobbies of the younger generation are usually at variance with those of an aging baby boomer or elderly relative but not necessarily less noisy or intrusive. There is nothing more aggravating than trying to listen to your favourite TV program against a background of Grandpa’s wartime favorites on the piano! Although the tastes and pastimes of the generations might be opposite, there could be a happy middle ground for all, providing everyone is willing to compromise and be considerate.
Elderly problems need not interfere drastically with the generation gap as long as sensible boundaries are set and everyone understands exactly what they are. Don’t be afraid to set those boundaries as they are the cement that holds the generations of the family together, enabling them to live in harmony.
The Psychological Article on How to Set Boundaries with your Children and Grandchildren is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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