May 10th, 2020
“The hardest part of growing up is realizing your parents are growing old.” - Anonymous
Throughout our lives, things are constantly changing. Our bodies are changing as well as our minds. Things in the world change and adapt as well. Society is constantly altering as each year there are new fads and new styles, sounds, and shows. One thing that does not change is that things are always changing! This is the case with parents as well…
As parents age, they change and adapt to the ever-changing world around them. This can be difficult, though, for some. Some people do not like change and are resistant to change. One thing that can be helpful when dealing with change in life is to try to be prepared for it. Parents must be ready for change as they age and as their children age. In this blog post, we will focus on parents as they age and navigating the change that comes with aging.
Getting older brings different obstacles and challenges. As a parent this is no different. As we get into our thirties and forties, we start having more difficulty recovering and our energy levels decrease. This is due to natural processes in the body (such as with hormone production and the aging of cells) which occurs in us all. The thoughts and viewpoints that we have often change and adapt overtime as well. We are presented with new information and new experiences and this alters our schemas, or thoughts about the world.
Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to deal with these new experiences that challenge our schemas. It can be extremely stressful and distressing to have things challenge what we thought we know to be true. Therefore, it is helpful to have an open mind as we age and encounter new things and new ideas. It is a good idea to be prepared for the aging process as a parent and be ready to navigate the challenges that come with it physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As a parent, aging themselves is one thing, but their children aging is a whole other topic to navigate. It can be difficult to watch your child age. While it is wonderful to see your child develop and grow as a person, this still does not mean it is easy! It can be challenging to send your child off to school for the first time, or to give your child the keys to a vehicle for the first time (or any time for that matter!). But just as it is important for parents to be prepared for their own aging and the changes that come with it, they must be prepared for their children to age as well.
Children’s development is even more involved than adult’s development. Children change rapidly. This can be apparent in their bodies, as they are constantly growing and need new clothes and shoes frequently to fit their ever-changing bodies. Children’s brains are constantly developing as well. They are constantly learning and forming new neural networks in the brain.
It is important that parents are encouraging the learning and development of their children. It is also important that parents are supportive of their children’s interests and hobbies and encourage their children to try new things and engage in new endeavors.
Another element that changes as parents age is that of society. Society is constantly evolving, and rules and norms change. Sometimes, people get caught up in the ways of old, instead of being open to new things and ideas. While it can be good to stick to what you know to be true and be unwavering in one’s convictions, it can also leave one in the past.
There are times when this can be extremely distressing to society, such as when older people keep their old-time racist or sexist ideals. Over time, ideas evolve and change. Progression occurs and it is helpful if parents progress as their children grow and learn. This helps keep the generations connected despite the ever-evolving changes that occur in life.
As parents age they must be prepared for all kinds of changes. These changes will occur in themselves, with their own aging process. These changes will undoubtedly occur in their children, and the changes and development of their children will be much more extreme than the changes they will experience themselves. Finally, the world and society as a whole will experience changes as well.
All of this evolution can be difficult at times. It can be beneficial to seek therapy or counseling if the changes seem too hard. Seeking social support from others is always a good idea in both the good times and the bad. Reaching out to other parents to see how they are navigating the changes through their lives and their children’s lives can be very helpful. Altogether, it is important to be prepared for the changes that will come and meet them with an open mind.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/03/when-youre-the-aging-parent/472290/ https://psychcentral.com/lib/aging-parents-and-your-emotional-well-being/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/child-development
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