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If ever there was a loaded question, this one is it:
Are you the kind of mom-in-law or father-in-law who gets all bent out of shape if your married kids don’t (gasp) call you regularly? We all know the stereotypical conversation between
Billy Crystal anyone who has a Jewish mom.
Mom: You never call me?
Son: Yes, I just called you the other day, Ma, you forgot.
Mom: The other day, the shmother day…that was ages ago, like weeks ago.
Here’s the thing. Calling one’s loved ones works both ways. Hey, if your children don’t call you, you call them.
You can’t? You don’t want to? Why not?
I’m not talking about disrespect here. I believe in respect. I believe that children and parents are not equals and we are supposed to show respect for our elders. The child should be taught from very young to love, honor and respect one’s elders.
But, sometimes it helps us if we realize that our children have lives that are extremely busy and we should try to initiate the phone call if they sometimes don’t get to it.
It helps if we don’t suddenly have amnesia and forget how busy we were back in the days when we had small children.
We’re not asking for a lot of empathy here, guys. Just a little.
And as in the conversation above, the topic of conversation became all about how upset the mom is, when they could have jumped right into talking about pleasant stuff.
But still, there will be moms, and there will be moms-in-law, who will complain that their children are too busy and too (you fill in the blank here with adjective) to pick up the phone and to call their (fill in the blank here with adjective describing a victim) mother.
And so, I’ve decided to go out on a limb and suggest to that mom or mom-in-law several reasons that she may be wrong (gasp) and that maybe if she realizes these facts, she will be less likely to be upset about her son, daughter, grand-daughter, grandson, or any other loved one who doesn’t call enough.
1. Wanting them to call and expressing it to them myriad times, will only decrease their desire to call you, because they will associate calling you with negativity and complaining. So your best bet is to just be nice when they do call and not mention anything negative otherwise.
2. The fact that they don’t call you means that chances are great that they are spending their time doing good things with their lives. Now doesn’t that make you feel proud when your children and grandchildren are occupied with charitable causes? All their activities even provides you with more brag material for you and your own friends at the local Mah Jong club.
3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. If they don’t see you for a long time, they will be even happier to see you, and just think, you can spend the time waiting by baking a good carrot cake and putting it in the freezer for when they come.
4. You have the option of calling them on their cell phone, or even contacting them via text or email. Even if you don’t use email or text, it may be worthwhile to learn it so you can stay in touch with your children and grandchildren, even if it’s just a “hi how are u?” or “I miss u” or whatever. Learn to meet them halfway, and you will always be happy.
5. You even have the option of becoming your grandson’s facebook friend, or your grand-daughter’s linkedin contact, or your son’s pinterest follower. Who knows? If you change your handle on Twitter, no one will know who you are, and your grandson may just contact you without much fuss.
There you have the 5 Reasons not to be hung up on being hung up on. And if you understand these reasons really deep in your heart, I guarantee you that you will earn the respect of your children, grandchidlren, and yourself.
How do you feel about this loaded topic? How do you stay in touch with your adult children without appearing whiny and overbearing to them? Let us know…
Tags: cell phones for grandmothers, giving space, letting go, phoning elderly parents, phoning grandparents, respect for elders, texting for grandmothers