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Dealing with parents (Read 648 times)

    This is a question to those of you with adult children and those who are good at dealing with their own parents. Any suggestions on how to keep your parents from coming into town? My mom was in town the last few days despite my telling her (and my dad) on the phone and by e-mail in a not-so-subtle way "gee, I would prefer that you not come this weekend. Why dont you come next weekend instead? We could then celebrate my birthday! And I would much prefer for you to come that weekend." She ignored my request and made plane tickets and showed up anyway. She is now gone, but it is amazing there wasn't more blood spilled over the last few days - we limited our fighting to words. But I am wondering what I should have done to have my privacy this weekend and what I can do in the future when I want my parents to give me space. I am not looking for the respect her decision (to ignore your wishes) and appreciate the visit and be grateful that she cares perspective. I know all that already. I am just looking for a better approach to avoid future conflicts.
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Heh. Were we used to live, the house was about 45 min. from my wife's parents. They would call (if they bothered to call) when they were about 5-10 minutes away. My wife laid it out that to them that such behavior is not acceptable, and that if they did it again, we wouldn't come visit ever. It sounds harsh, but with those two, that was the only way to get through to them. It pretty much worked. My mother-in-law sulked for a while (blessing in disguise, because she wouldn't talk to us), but she got over it. If your parent(s) is/are unable to respect your boundaries, then sometimes you need to set very specific consequences for their actions, and stick to them.


      I fly.

        I'm the wrong person to ask. My parents followed us to Nashville.

        Bring it on.

          Get a post office box for mail and DON"T give them your address Evil grin

          Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson


          I've got a fever...

            My mom was in town the last few days despite my telling her (and my dad) on the phone and by e-mail in a not-so-subtle way "gee, I would prefer that you not come this weekend. Why dont you come next weekend instead? We could then celebrate my birthday! And I would much prefer for you to come that weekend."
            Parents have a way of not realizing that their kids are fully grown adults and imposing their will on us as if we are still children (and BTW, not ok to simply impose your will on children either -- invalidates their feelings, but that's a whole different discussion). They treat us in ways that they would never treat non-family. I've lived it, and I see it all the time since my wife and I are currently living with our in-laws while our house is being finished. You mentioned not-so-subtle, but it sounds like it was still too subtle for your parents. Avoid words like "prefer" and things like "Why don't you...". Be direct. It doesn't have to be forceful or antagonistic. Something like: "The weekend you're talking about won't work for us. You can't come then. We'd love to have you come, but if you come, it will have to be following weekend." This leaves no wiggle room or ambiguity. Soften it up however you feel you need to, but make sure it's crystal clear. End the conversation by saying, "I just wanted to confirm the dates you're coming are ____." Good Luck! Jeff

            On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.


            Needs more cowbell!

              Or you could do what we do when Jehova's Witnesses or salespeople stop by--we get real quiet and pretend we're not home until they go away. Actually, the JWs haven't been back ever since they stopped by as I was getting out of the shower and I had to holler to my son (who was inviting them in just as I was getting out of the shower ) "shut the damned door, I'm butt nekkid!" Tongue k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                Or you could do what we do when Jehova's Witnesses or salespeople stop by--we get real quiet and pretend we're not home until they go away. Actually, the JWs haven't been back ever since they stopped by as I was getting out of the shower and I had to holler to my son (who was inviting them in just as I was getting out of the shower ) "shut the damned door, I'm butt nekkid!" Tongue k
                *LOL* I'll have to remember this one. My dad used to be a JW and he would take my brother and I along to go door to door. I was not a JW so I really didn't understand ...anyhow, we would go door to door for hours!!! Only about 1/4 of the homes let us in and then we'd all go in and sit and my dad would chat with them for what felt like forever. I loved it when my dad knocked on a door and nobody answered.

                Michelle



                  Any suggestions on how to keep your parents from coming into town?
                  I don't have a problem with my parents coming into town, they don't. My husband has too many "quirks" as my mom says, and my step-dad is a big hairy boob (as my husband says), so we limit time together. My aunt and uncle who live about an hour away have been known to stop by without calling ahead, but I think I fixed that. The last time they did an unnannounced visit, I was out shopping with my daughter. They spent an hour with my husband, then finally I was home. The kicker being, my house was a TOTAL MESS. I was trying to prove a point to the kids about "what if mom stopped picking up after us". Every other time my aunt has come by the house has been spotless, ready for company without a doubt. This time, it was sooooo bad. I laughed after they left, and then I cleaned the house like a crazy person (it really did bother me that they saw the house like that). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something positive came from my house looking like a disaster zone that weekend.

                  Michelle



                    Thanks for the recommendations guys. I hope in the future my parents will get it and I wont have to chase them away (they're usually good!), but just in case! I really like Jeff's "let me just confirm the dates" approach. Hehe. And when I say not-so-subtly, I meant it. I started slightly subtle and then e-mailed and told her that I did not want her coming but I would love a visit the following weekend. My dad told me to stop being an ish. My mom got the message she just ignored it. She showed up and said "I know you dont want me here but I am here anyway because I know whats best for you.") And I agree about younger kids too - but there is a difference when you are talking about adults who can make their own decisions and kids.


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      My mom got the message she just ignored it. She showed up and said "I know you dont want me here but I am here anyway because I know whats best for you."
                      Ugh, that is beyond rude! You're an adult and doing quite well on your own. But even if you were making mistakes, it's not her place to behave like that. If you were really in bad straights it would be one thing, but you're not. I'm sorry that your mom is not respecting your space and privacy. I think if my folks pulled that I'd be tempted to move, leave no forwarding address, and stop answering my phone when I saw their # on the caller ID. k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                        She's now angry that I am not answering my phone. I wonder why.