What is the best way to handle nagging parents?

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My mom nags with my dad of being disorganized on things on a daily basis, my dad will also talk back negatively. It just irritate me sometimes.

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Are you at their home during care giving or do you live with them or them with you? Can you separate yourself when the sniping begins? 'Well, I can see you need to sort things out, it must be time for me to leave (do something else)". Remove yourself from their discussion and let them be negative on their own. You may be able to train them (like Pavlov's dog) to NOT do the sniping when they are with you.

Years ago, while my friend went through a 7 year final illness (at age 50!) one couple's negativity accelerated constantly while they were with her. She shared with me how much this bothered her. I reminded her she didn't have to spend time with them and the negativity wasn't helping her. She did kind of cut them off in the last year. Her only mention of it was that she was sorry she had to do it but it was better for her. The couple did come to the services, never wondered why they had been cut off. Sometimes these folks are so caught up in their own habits, they have no clue as to the effect on others.

Remove yourself from the sniping. Leave the house/room/discussion.
I also have difficulty with this when I visit my parents, or even sometimes when I am talking to them on the phone. My mom has lost so much of her independence it seems that the only control she has is by nagging, mostly my dad. It drives me nuts. It also hurts to see them argue so much even as a grown adult. I have found my visits are fewer between and shorter as this behavior takes so much out of me. I feel guilty for that though.
One point that seems to get missed is that one assumes these two people love or loved each other? It would be a shame to ignore it and let their last days be sniping at one another. I strongly suggest they see a family therapist to try to recognize what they are doing and stop it. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. If one won't go then the other can go alone. If they allow it, you should consider going too, since you are a part of the dynamics and a more impartial participant than they are (though not completely). Just separating yourself from the issue doesn't solve it. It only leaves them to flounder and suffer in their final years. If neither will go, I suggest you go yourself (and feel free to tell them you are going). You will be amazed how much better you will be able to deal with the situation and recognize what is happening. And don't be afraid to go to three or four therapists for a one-time consultation until you find one you are comfortable with. The right "fit" is very important. One of your parents may even eventually go with you if you ask once in awhile (probably mom). You'll feel better able to handle it all, and perhaps your parents will begin to have a healthier relationship. Worked in our family.
If this is ongoing more-of-same behavior, tune them out, or remove yourself from the nagging and negativity. It is not your responsibility to fix their marriage.

If this is new behavior, and especially if one of them has possible dementia or other new impairments, perhaps you could help by gently offering information to the other about the impairment and how to deal with it. Don't get into lecture mode or scolding, but share information.
Deprive them of an audience. Or once in a while blurt out that phrase Ralph & Alice Kramden used when they got on each other's nerves. They'll probably gang up against you, but at least the nagging will be interrupted for a while.

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