How do you deal with an aging parent's constant negativity?
It's funny, but I never realized until my Mother moved in with us just how negative and judgmental she is. Looking back over the years, it has always been this way - I just didn't realize how it has affected me throughout my entire life. Her compliments are always followed by a "but" (your dress is pretty, BUT why don't you do something with your hair?"... "That dinner was good, BUT next time try it with ____", and my biggest pet peeve of all is her pointing out to any and everyone their physical flaws. As a child, I was always reminded that I had a "bubble butt" or that I was "chubby" - the food we were fed as children was the cause, but there was no responsibility taken there. We can't go anywhere in public without her pointing out how "fat" someone is, how "horrible" that person's choice of clothing is, etc. etc. - and because she is hard of hearing, these comments aren't exactly whispers...other people hear her.. IT'S SO EMBARRASSING!!!
Now that my mother is living in my home, the constant negative comments are really taking their toll where my grandchildren are concerned, and I refuse to allow her to treat them the way myself and my siblings were treated. It was never to the level of what I would consider to be abusive, but we all had an extremely low self esteem as a result. The most I've said to her about it is "Geez mom - would it kill you to say something nice once in awhile?" Of course she thinks she's doing the person a "favor" by drawing this stuff to their attention. Oy.
I was just curious if anyone else has dealt with the above, and what they do to cope with it??