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Parent Conferences
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Parent Conferences are a necessary part of getting the kids through school. Students, parents and teachers all benefit. And there comes the time in life when another kind of parent conference is beneficial. This is when the conference is held for the aging parent rather than as the parent of a school-age child.

When we’re young, we think that life will always go on as it is. Most of us entertain good health and strength during our youth—and through middle age. Then, the obvious aging process moves in as the body slows down and limits arrive.

We can either be gracious and accept a slower pace of life or spend the rest of our years griping about it all. However, even for the most gracious, it isn’t an easy acceptance because most of us prefer to continue on as before. However, it’s just as important that we make decisions about how we’ll spend our sunset years as we do in planning our kid’s schooldays. This is the other kind of parent conference.

It’s necessary to talk about the changes that aging brings—and how it’s affecting us—with family to make sensible decisions together. These are some of the needs to discuss:

Things to Discuss

1. What can we afford to do?

2. Where do we prefer to settle? Is this feasible?

3. Consider why we’re doing what we’re doing. Is it just to please family? If so, we may be silently sad or perhaps overtly disgruntled for our remaining years. Or family may be. Honesty about this factor will give both us and our family happy years ahead. A parent conference is necessary and vital. Ask what their advice is—and if we choose not to adhere to it, thank them graciously and explain why we’ve decided otherwise. Let them know how important they are to us, that we value their opinions, but that we don’t think we’ll be content with their evaluation.

4. If we decide to move, be sure that family gets the important contact information about new doctors, etc. Don’t depend upon assumption.

5. Be sure that family understands our wishes about health care, end-of-life care, and funeral arrangements. For instance, don’t surprise family that we’ve opted for cremation if they’re expecting a viewing and casket burial. Even if they don’t agree, they need to know our preferences.

6. Some of these factors may seem unimportant, but they can make or break family relationships if we “just don’t want to talk about it.”

7. If hesitancy to discuss is problematic, seek the advice of how to approach the subject from those who can give good direction. Pastors and hospital chaplains are good sources. Most of all pray and ask God to set us on a straight path. His plans are best.

Parent conferences can set the pace for good grades and behavior at any age! Most of all it can give the senior-ager and the family a sense of peace for having talked it over—together.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION ®.

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