My dad's noises and other idiosyncrasies are making me crazy. He makes a dry whistle noise, breathes heavy, talks with his mouth full and the list goes on. How do you tell your parent to have better manners?

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I know he does not do these things and MORE on purpose but it is making me and my husband crazy. How do you tell your parent to have better manners, normal social graces and BE QUIET!!!!

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I'm sorry to say that you may not be able to change him at this stage. Your irritation may have to do with grief - seeing him decline with age. We sometimes transfer emotions like grief into anger as that seems more "acceptable."

Sometimes all we can do is change our attitude toward things. That sound harsh, but it can work. If you can discuss this with your husband and both try to talk it out and then try to change you attitude into "he can't help it," you may find some relief.

I'm saying this assuming you've already tried, gently, to help change, but that he doesn't understand it or can't help it.

I know it's hard. Try to get rid of resentment. It could carry into other areas of your life. If you can't, don't blame yourself, but you may need to adjust your living arrangements with your dad.
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ALENA:

Since his understanding of verbal communication has decreased, try simple hand language / gestures to let him know when he's renting space in your head. Wave the thumb left to right to indicate "No;" use the same thumb and tap on your ear to indicate he's making too much noise.

Although I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because of his age and medical condition(s) just as much as you do, only he knows for sure whether some of these things are done on purpose or not. In some situations it can't be helped; in others he might be seeking attention out of sheer boredom. In other instances he might try to get under your skin out of pure existential angst.

You're not only his caregiver; you're his therapist too. So TREAT and MONITOR as often as you can. If you find yourself getting upset, ask yourself "Why am I mad?" and "Who am I mad at?" ... Who knows? Your Dad might be just a trigger, or a repository of the anger caused by all the other stuff going wrong all around you. Sometimes you're upset because your husband is upset.

Remember: anger is contagious and addictive. You can't get rid of it for good, but you can certainly find healthy ways to cope by responding instead of reacting.

Good luck my friend.

-- ED
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Alena,

I have no answers, but have to say I have trouble with the same things.

Mom smacks, dad clacks. Mom bounces her knees up and down all day, dad flaps his hands or twiddles his thumbs nonstop.

Both pull out their floss sticks at the table after meals (at home) and thoing, thoing, scratch, scratch, pick, pick their teeth. Both are losing their hearing, so it's Huh? What? What?

And both fart a lot.

So all day it's smack, smack, twiddle, What?, clack, clack, fart, Huh?, thoing, scratch, pick, pick, fart, flap, flap, What?, bounce, bounce, thoing, thoing, fart.

I have to take a lot of time-outs.

Ali
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There may not be much you can do - he's set in his ways, and he's probably done that stuff for years. I have the same issue with my dad (I take care of both my parents). He sings all the time, constantly wakes my baby up singing (might I add that he does not sing well at all). If he needs something, it has to happen RIGHT THEN or he may die, even if I am giving one of my children a bath or have a hot pan in my hand from the oven. Doesn't matter, he is the most important person in the universe and I must drop everything to attend to his needs. He walks around in his underwear all the time, I swear the man never wears pants. He'll get something out of the fridge or cabinet and leave all the doors open. He tries to 'help' by cooking and leaves the kitchen looking like a tornado and hurricane hit it simultaneously. I could go on and on and on. But, he's my dad and he's always been this way - I just have to accept him for who he is and deal with his little quirks in the best way I can. We cannot change how others behave (and we don't really want to hurt someone's feelings when they're not hurting anyone but simply annoying us), but we can change how we react to them. I've had to work on my reactions to my dad, but since I have stopped blowing up and taking a minute to calm down, things aren't such a big deal any longer.
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clak clack whistle fart fart...my God ain't it the truth. It is best to follow Carol's advice. If there is more pain beneath the resentment get help with it so you don't explode and say or do something you regret. It all sucks. I know and I have to add leering and inappropriate comments to the list with my grandfather...It is only over when it is over...
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So glad I found this thread. I, too, am dealing with my mother's noises. She doesn't lift up her feet when she walks, so it's a loud "shuffle, shuffle, shuffle" as she walks around the hardwood floors downstairs. And when she's upstairs, it's "pound, pound, pound", as she has VERY heavy footsteps for such a small person (5 feet, 105 pounds)! And every day, multiple times a day, I hear her "hacking" up mucus. These are things she did, which I remember when I was growing up, but as an adult having to care for her it just irritates me!! And she continually talks/mutters to herself, commenting on whatever is happening at the moment, or recalling something related to what she's doing at the moment. If I'm nearby trying to read a book or write a letter, I have to leave the room because the constant chattering makes me nuts! She visited my sister out of state for three weeks and it was HEAVEN not to hear the noises while she was gone!!!!!!! I just have to keep reminding myself that she's not going to change, she won't be around forever, and to appreciate the time I get to spend with her now, even though she's driving me and my family nuts!
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kittyd, have you considered listening to your own music, to block out her mutterings? Or even wearing sound-blocking headphones?
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Hello - I don't even know when these posts were written but you have all just given me little pieces of sanity. This living together is hard work. Thank you for being here and giving me six comfort when I was about ready to jump off a cliff
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My husband does a lot of these things. This sort of dry whistling, also happens now and then in church! He has always been hyper, (probably ADHD) constantly talking, talking, asking questions, etc.... He has a bad hearing loss and wears hearing aids; but I think since he misses a lot, he does not hear the chewing, half-whistling, etc....as we do. So, some of this might be a hearing loss. Good luck.
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Hi "jeannegibbs" -- I haven't considered sound-blocking headphones, but that's an interesting idea. I have tried listening to my iPod sometimes if I'm near her and trying to read, etc., but sometimes I don't want to hear ANYTHING, know what I mean? I don't want to listen to music or have headphones on; I just want it to be quiet around me (I've escaped to the garage to sit in my car, even!). Earplugs may be more comfortable for me to wear for multiple hours....might try that.... Anyway, thanks for the suggestions!
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