Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Are You Talking to Your Mothers?

Have you talked to your mother lately? I mean beyond, “How are you?” – to “I’m fine.” She may not really be fine. She may have some health problems that she is not telling you about because is concerned about what the outcome will be if you know. So she doesn’t tell you.

You, on the other hand are so busy - just overwhelmed with work, and children, that you are happy to hear “fine” so you don’t have to worry. You don’t have the time anyhow. What about down the line or in the future? What about when she needs you? Are you open to hear that she may need some help? Will she be able to tell you? She doesn’t want to impose or be a burden or bother you. That is not her style. And you may not really want to listen.

At the events where the book, VOICES OF OLDER WOMEN : What They Want To Say...Why You're Not Listening, was available to buy, I heard many different comments about communicating with the family between the generations. One woman said, “My adult children don’t speak to me and won’t tell me why.” Another said, “If I sent her the book she would just send it back. We don’t talk to each other and haven’t for years. I’ve just given up.” Many people seem to be bothered by the fact that communication is difficult and don’t know what to do about it. It seems that this the time to address it.

With the way things are in the country and the world right now, there aren’t many places we can make a big difference. But we can have an affect within our own families. We can reach out and mend fences if needed. We can reach out and offer some help if needed. We can at least reach out and have a conversation about what one another needs to make life better.

What do you think about setting up some groups of younger and older adults to work out wome ways to communicate? Or what about thinking of some questions that would evoke ideas and feelings about why it's important to communicate?
What else would build up the trust needed to talk openly with one another?

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