We all love our parents dearly and will be eternally grateful for every sacrifice they made for us and every moment they spent nurturing us.
So why can it often be so difficult to spend time with them now we’re grown-ups? It’s not that we’ve outgrown them – their advice is still sought, and we’re all guilty of borrowing from the parental bank! Let’s face it; they also make the best babysitters for our kids.
It is time to make an effort to spend quality time with our parents, and here is a guide to help you get started.
Spend quality time together
As much as they love seeing their grandkids, chances are they love seeing you too. Why not leave your partner and children behind and spend an afternoon together? Now you and your siblings have flown the nest it’s likely they’ve picked up some new hobbies, and even met some new friends. Why not ask about them, get involved, or invite them all over for dinner?
Get them involved
Of course, as our parents age, it’s natural we start to worry more for their well-being. Parents that are left alone when we fly the nest can be vulnerable to loneliness, especially after retirement. Beyond your company, who else do they see that they are close to? Perhaps they would consider something like mature dating to meet new people in similar circumstances? Clubs, social groups, and fitness classes offer opportunities to meet like-minded individuals too.
Have deep conversations
Do you remember the old days when you used to go to one or both your parents with your heart on your sleeve for a chat? As a parent you probably cherish those moments with your own children, knowing they’ll soon grow out of your wisdom offerings. Would you consider having a conversation like this now with your own parents? Don’t worry if their opinion on the matter feels outdated or unwarranted. Letting them know their thoughts are still valuable to you can be a great way to reconnect.
Take it outside
Make the most of the weather. If you have warmth and sunshine where you are, take a walk with your parent. Not only is the fresh air and exercise good for you both, but it gives you a chance to chat freely without interruption. Coffee shops can be loud and noisy, and waiting staff at restaurants have a habit of butting in at the wrong moment.
Make it a night together
Many married couples make the most of a weekly date night. The kids go to bed with a sitter downstairs taking care of things, and you both enjoy a night to reconnect. There is nothing wrong with adopting this concept to have a quality evening each week with your parent. Even if you live miles apart, picking a set day and time for a video or phone call could be all it takes to keep the connection going.
Write a letter
It’s good to carefully contemplate what you have to say to someone. A handwritten letter is full of sentiment and offers that something extra over an email or text message. Writing a letter to your parents just rambling on about your week can be an enjoyable thing to read! Who knows what they’ll have to say when they write back?