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As an adult child, how to handle your parents' arguments and fights?

In our culture, adult children keep in constant touch with their ageing parents, many living in the same house or at least on two different floors of the same building. We take pride in looking after our parents, the concept of old age homes is still not that popular or widely prevalent. When we ourselves are adults and we find our parents having never-ending arguments about the same topics in the morning and of course endless reconciliations by the evening, how do you handle it?

Kids View of Parents Arguments - Gloom and Doom

When we are very young children any arguments between them will send our hearts racing and we think this is the end of it and are mentally making choices that if push comes to shove and god forbid they separate, whom do we prefer to stay with? In all innocence we think either staying with mom is better as she knows how to make food, but staying with dad is better as he is the one who earns. By evening when our parents have reconciled and are pally with each other and laughing away, all our fears vanish and we are happy we did not have to make any of those horrendous choices until a few days later when the parents are arguing about the same thing.

Adults View of Parents Arguments - Fix it, Fix it, Fix it

When we become adults ourselves and we see our parents arguing about the same things that they were arguing about a few decades back, we think, it is time we should do something to settle the matter. We want to 'fix' things between them. We think there should be a full and final settlement of the issue so that it never gets raised again. We think, now that we are grown-ups, it is our 'responsibility' to do it. We approach the problem from a logical rational angle and of course, the 'justice' angle and try to sort it out. We fail miserably as the 'silly' issue seems insurmountable. And we are frustrated and feel helpless at our inability to resolve the issue.

Binding Arguments are Bonding in another way?

When you think deeper about it you realize that they have been arguing and reconciling about the same thing for years and now decades. Whenever the issue comes up both become passionate about it and stand firm ground not willing to concede an inch of the battleground. For us to think of it as a 'problem to be solved' is a very wrong approach. We should cease to believe that an elderly couple cannot have their differences. In every relationship no matter how deep and how long the relationship has been there will be Chronic Issues. Problems that will be perpetual and last as long as the relationship lasts. An issue that will never ever get settled between the couple, so what if they are your parents. Look at that issue as a bit of past history that binds them together. The issue cannot be resolved because it is not about facts but about perceptions of what happened ages ago. Just because they argue about it does not mean we have to step in and resolve it. Think of it as a form of communication between them that keeps the relationship alive.

Que Sera Sera and Peace

When they start arguing, a better idea is to leave the place and give them the dignity and privacy to have a good argument. When you come back from your outing you will find they are still together with no divorce lawyer insight and you didn't have to choose sides. All problems don't have to be resolved between a couple for them to live harmoniously. Having a good old argument is part of that harmony. It is not your responsibility to fix it.


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