My aging Dad is still trying to dictate their outdated values as they did 10 years ago. Does mental development slow down with age? - AgingCare.com

My aging Dad is still trying to dictate their outdated values as they did 10 years ago. Does mental development slow down with age?

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I've been living abroad for many years, having escaped from home, from my parents' care -- especially my dad, which I have never gotten along with since I was 18. I made a serious conversation with them a few days ago, and it was remarkable to see that my dad was still singing the same old song to me. The song that always made me feel uneasy. He never listens, jumps to his own conclusions, and puts very little effort in trying to understand complex emotions. He's an engineer and I always thought his profession had made him a very poor at human psychology.

So does this really mean that after all those years, nothing has changed about him? He's now aging and became slightly more self-righteous, somewhat jealous of me, cantankerous, and often shouting at my mother.

I'd have thought after all those years, his personality might have mellowed a bit, but I'm not really sure. Maybe the brain development really stops after a certain age, or doesn't get more flexible from a certain baseline in terms of emotional development.

I also noticed that he became more politically conservative and hearing him no longer criticizing government's disastrous decisions --- for a man in his youth, was quite left-wing and raised us in that fashion.

I'm a male and I've never had a good relationship with my father since I was 18 and saw that I won't be the kind of man he wants me to be. Now I fear that our relationship, rather than improving, is going to get even more worse with him aging.

In addition, my first language is now English. My dad is living in a non-English speaking culture, and everytime I converse him with our native tongue, I hear him scolding that same 17 old teenager I was, who hated him for who he was. No evolution on his part ever since.

This is goddamn complex and annoying. I know that I have to cut him some slack, be easy on him, and follow my own path, but why do I feel like he still exerts so much power on me and still makes me feel uneasy?

Any input would be appreciated.

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Deter was suppose to be dictorial
Roses have thorns
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I'm not sure if I totally understand situation. But I had a father who is very deter I'll self-centered probably alcoholic, close minded and really never asked anything about other family members his life was all about him. I think the best way to look at this is nothing will change most likely. Have boundaries, be loving if you really want to see him and if he gets to being deter all then just say that you're leaving the room. I find that a codeword is very handy in life whether to children parents or whatever so you could use the word Rose. Rose is a loving wonderful and they also have the r I find that a codeword is very handy in life rather two children parents or whatever so you could use the word Rose. Rose is a loving wonderful and they also have the thorns. So what you could do is be with him and if he gets to be on your case then you say roses and he has a choice of stop being his conversation or you have the choice to leave the room and a very loving way. This way you get to have your boundaries a somewhat kind of a relationship with him. I think the best way is to just know that nothings going to change and just have a boundary of what you're comfortable with and BAB seeing him not at all a little bit or often . It's really about changing your expectations of him. It's about having boundaries and good luck
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Hey Jinx, thanks for the Dysfunctional Family Bingo idea! I've sent that to everyone I know and posted it on Facebook - it's a great way to react to family that drives us nuts!!
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My beloved father was stubborn, often illogical, and pretty immature sometimes.
At other times he was so wise and kind. Around age 75, he started saying, "Well, you just can't tell other people what to do." The first time he said that I almost fainted! He always told us what to do! After that he would still express his opinion, but then reluctantly back off.

MarcAnthony, I recommend a "game" called Dysfunctional Family Bingo. Google it. You can change your reactions by expecting Dad to say what he always says, and laughing to yourself about it. I hope you have siblings or a spouse or children who can help you find reasons to laugh, because he ain't never gonna change. Some folks mellow, but others get more afraid and more stubborn and critical.
Also try compassion. Isn't he a pitiful old guy who can't do 10% of what he could? Think of him as a helpless child or wounded animal, striking out in fear and pain. Don't let him "bite" you, but try to remember whatever good times there were in the past. Redirect him from criticism by asking about his past. "What were you doing at my age?" "Whatever happened to your brother?"
Dealing with parents is sssoooo hard. Good luck.
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In some cases, mental development slows down and then backs up -- that is when dementia is present. If your dad is still functioning as a rational (if "outdated") adult, count yourself lucky.

Your father is a unique individual. He is not representative of the "aging process." He is what his genes and his experiences and his decisions have made him. He is who he is. He may "mellow" a little (my father did) or he may cling more closely to his familiar life view. But he is basically who he has always been.

I don't think you can change him, but you can change how you react to him. You are no longer seventeen.
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You left the nest and your world expanded. You have had years away to cultivate new ideas, see new things. Your dad's world stayed the same, as he ages his world is even beginning to shrink. As we leave the working world behind we no longer are exposed to new ideas and technologies, as we age we no longer spend as much time away from our own little circle of people and interests.
You say you feel like a 17 year old when you are around him, it will be up to you to analyze and understand why you feel that way and devise ways to cope. Why would you expect years alone to make him a different person? Some wines may mellow with age, but may others turn to vinegar!
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The way I look at it, the world would be very boring if everyone thought the same.

Curious what kind of relationship did your father have with his own father? I know my mother's political views she learned from her own parents and she wouldn't change. As I became an adult I also held her views until I got older and finally formed my own opinion which is different from hers, yet similar to my Dad's :)
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I'm sorry your dad is as bull-headed as he always was and is still annoying to you. I'm a female, but my dad and I always butted heads growing up. He was military and very authoritarian, while I was more liberal and left-leaning. As he got older, he mellowed and as he needed more help from me, we established a closer bond than we had when I was younger. I think we both understood that we were similar in a lot of ways, more so than my brother and my dad. I would hope you could find the same kind of peace with your dad. But being two males, your dad's ego may not let him let down his guard in that way.

I think we all want perfect parents, but part of maturing is to see your parents in the fullness of their being. My dad and mom weren't perfect, but they did the best they could with the upbringing they had and their own personalities. I can now accept that and love them for who they are - warts and all. I hope you can come to that place with your dad. Look for what there is to admire about him. Obviously he raised a caring and intelligent son, so he did something right!
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