Caregiving Relationships: My Parent is Stubborn

By Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

How many times do we hear adult children say “my parent is stubborn” or “my parent is difficult”?  How often is this really an accurate assessment of the true situation?

family relationships and conflictDoes the definition of a “stubborn parent” arise because a parent may be starting to become less physically or cognitively able and adult children desire to step in and take over without consulting the parent? Many times perceived stubbornness can be resolved by having a discussion about the issue at hand and attempting to understand both sides of the situation.

Each situation is different and depends on whether the parents require the involvement of family for support. If not the situation and the outcome may be up to the parent. If the parent does require the assistance of family it is possible that negotiations and compromise must take place especially if the care required affects the day to day life of adult children who have careers, families, and other obligations. Being independent versus being dependent on others changes the dynamics of a situation and stubbornness may become a challenge.

Is it possible that stubbornness is similar to persistence—or the quality of not giving up? How might stubbornness be different from persistence? Is your parent stubborn or persistent?

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