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Archive for May, 2012

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Ruth Nemzoff, Resident Scholar, WSRC speaking at Council on Aging, Waltham

Ruth Nemzoff,  Resident Scholar at WSRC and the author of Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children (Palgrave Macmillan 2008), presented her compelling work on building relationships with adult children at the Waltham Council on Aging. Approximately 15 seniors were in attendance on May 15th, attentive to the topic, asking many questions related to their own experiences, and even buying her book.

Ruth advocates not biting your tongue with adult children, although the common public myth is “keeping your mouth shut.” Our adult children need to know what we are thinking and feeling—without our badgering them. Relationships are ambiguous, and we need to develop some comfort with uncertainty or lack of clarity. And, communication is key—as it relates to such issues as weddings, grandparenting, and money. It’s not that we can say whatever we want whenever we want to; when we talk, what we say, and how we say it are crucial. Image

Some of her tips include:

  • Listen to how you frame advice or questions so that they are not perceived as critical.
  • Be honest, but with sensitivity.
  • Be positive about what you love about your child.
  • Invite communication so that you can discover what your child is thinking.
  • Ask questions that encourage a response and are not perceived as criticism.
  • Acknowledge that you could be wrong and that your child could be right.
  • Don’t look for or expect perfection.

This presentation was the first of many planned by WSRC’s Waltham Committee for the Waltham Council on Aging. Our intention is provide enrichment to seniors at the CoA and in so doing offer a service to the wider community in which WSRC “lives.”

 

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