|I think it also helped for Dad to have been in the Navy. As a chaplain, he often had to take orders from younger commanding officers.
It may seem easier at times to give in to your parent's will or whim. But that can be like giving in to your child who wants to play in the street.
Words Count So Pick Your Battles
Of course, not every issue is one that I should insist on my way. Dad loved to pick his teeth with a toothpick after meals. Left to his own devices, he would still have that toothpick in his mouth when he returned for the next meal. My concern was that he would fall asleep in his recliner with the toothpick in his mouth. I was afraid he would choke on it when his jaw dropped open to snore. He got very upset when I tried to take it from him. So I shifted gears and said, "Dad, you can keep the toothpick, but I can't let you go to sleep with it in your mouth. Let's put it in your sweater pocket so you'll have it when you need it." He was okay with that. And so was I. Anyway, once it was in his pocket, the "out of sight, out of mind" principle kicked in. ;-)
My willingness to take charge helped my Mom, while she was alive. Dad would not listen to her at all. It made her crazy. She would come to me and say (gritting her teeth), "Your father won't listen to me. Can you try talking to him?" So I'd go sit down with Dad. "Blah, blah, blah." He would say, "Okay. I'll do it."
Next thing I'd hear Mom growling, "I told him 10 times and nothing. You tell him once and he does it. Grrrrr." I'd hug her and say, "It's okay, Mom, we got him to do it. That's the main thing." MORE>