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6 Tips for When Parents Just Won’t Listen

Are you trying to give your parents advice, and they just don't want to hear it? I’d love to say that we have never heard this before, but this is a very common theme!

Mom and Dad won’t listen.

According to Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, 77% of adult children believe that their parents are stubborn about taking advice on long-term care, aging, help with daily problems, etc.

Here are some tips on what to do if your parents won’t listen:

Treat them like they are adults.

Give them the dignity and respect that they deserve. Involve them in the process. Show them options. Remember that dealing with your parent is not the same as dealing with your child. Your parents would have the right to act freely and independently, as you help guide them, and they feel your support.

Think ahead of time.

Remind them of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. If there are events that they would like to be around for, try reminding them that you are helping them to live as healthy as possible to reach those milestones.

Protect their feelings.

Do not take it out on your parents when they are not willing to conform. Find an outside outlet or support group to confide in; friends and family can be very supportive and you may even learn that they are going through, or have gone through, some of the same things with their own parents.

How important is it really?

Sometimes the best that we can do is to stand by and be supportive and loving. You can always jump in when needed, but you never want to push so hard that you push them away. Ask yourself, “is it really that important today?”

Accept what is happening.

Have you ever heard the saying, “you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it dink”? Well we hear this on a pretty regular basis from some families that we work with, and our best advice is that happiness comes in two forms in these scenarios: 1. When they make the decision on their terms and when they are ready, and 2. When they are safe and you can sleep at night knowing that they are safe. If you try to force your advice on anyone, of any age, it will most likely be rejected.

What’s the motivation?

What is their motivation to resist your advice? Try starting these conversations with questions that get to the root of why they are resisting your assistance or advice. Take notes and then help them weigh what’s really reasonable or safe.

Team Senior has helped many families to mediate through these discussions, presenting options and keeping families focused on the important topic: are they safe and can we accommodate their wishes for as long as possible?

If you are struggling to have these talks on your own, then we would highly suggest reaching out. Someone from our team would be happy to help you navigate these difficult conversations and our services are 100% FREE for you.

Call us today at (541) 295-8230 or online at

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