Learning what your parents need is often simply a matter of learning to listen. Most of us are poor listeners, in fact when we appear to be listening to what others are saying it is only because we are thinking about what our next comment will be. And if truth be told this happens more often with our parents than anyone else. So if you are tasked with helping your parents here are few tips to help you be a better listener.
Stop yourself from interrupting their conversation.
When what you hear appears to be just complaining imagine your self in their circumstances, and don’t assume that he or she will respond in the same way that you would.
Demonstrate that you’re paying attention to maintaining eye contact, and sticking to their topic of conversation.
Refrain from interjecting you and your issues by comparing them to what your parents are talking about.
Encourage your parent to talk by asking them open-ended questions.
Don’t assume that you know what your parents are thinking or feeling and don’t try to speak for them.
Repeat what your parents say in your own words to make sure that you understand their meaning.
And above all don’t pass judgment on their thoughts or feelings.
If you are attempting to help your aging parents you may find my recent book of some help.