There comes a point at which most adult children begin worrying about the health and safety of their parents. Many of them worry that their parents are not secure in their own homes. There are fears of slip-and-fall injuries, property crimes, fire, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, discussing the issue with adult parents is not necessarily easy.
Maybe you find yourself in a position of having to talk to mom and dad about home security. You sincerely believe that installing a monitored system complete with video surveillance and fire and carbon monoxide detectors would be a good thing. In past discussions with your parents though, they have insisted that they are still perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.
The last thing you want to do is start an argument. You certainly do not want to make your parents think you don’t trust them. Yet, this is a discussion you really think is important. What do you do? Below are some suggestions for talking about home security with mom and dad. If you cannot get through to them, maybe a family friend or healthcare professional can.
Express Concerns for Their Safety
The foundation for any such discussion should be your legitimate concerns for their safety. This is not about proving that you are right and they are wrong. It isn’t even about alleviating your own fears and anxieties. At the end of the day, your fears and anxieties are your problem. What this is really about is keeping mom and dad as safe as possible.
Make a point of expressing your concerns about specific safety issues. If you are worried about your parents’ health, let them know that. Also explain why. If you are concerned about neighborhood crime, express your concern over them becoming victims. Remember, this discussion is about their safety.
Speak to Them like Adults
These sorts of discussions often break down because parents feel like their children are speaking down to them. You can avoid creating such perceptions by speaking to your parents like adults. Speak to them with the same straightforward, intelligent tone you would use with colleagues at work. Make them feel like they are your equals rather than your charges.
A key thing to remember here is that it is very easy to speak to your parents the same way you speak to your own kids. Make a point of not doing so. Even if your parents are in poor health and in genuine need of your help, they are still adults who deserve respect.
Ask a Lot of Questions
Even though your concerns are the foundation for this discussion, consider that your parents may have concerns of their own. A good way to find out is to ask them. When you are talking about home security, don’t just talk at your parents. Do not just explain your viewpoint and your concerns. Ask them questions about their own thoughts and perceptions.
Parents are often reluctant to share concerns with children because they do not want to appear as being weak. But with the right questions asked in a thoughtful manner, your parents are likely to reveal what they are really thinking. This is when constructive conversation can really take place.
Roll with Their Technological Limits
Let us assume you convince mom and dad to install a modern home security system. There are going to be technology challenges. Today’s home security technology is vastly different from anything your parents might have been familiar with a few decades ago, according to Vivint Smart Home. Understand that your parents will have some limits where technology is concerned.
If dad doesn’t quite get the concept of programming lighting for security purposes, just roll with it. If mom doesn’t understand the benefits of video surveillance outside the home, don’t stress over it. Also bear in mind that your parents are likely to need your help maintaining their system.
Discussing home security with older parents is not always the easiest task. But if it’s necessary, avoiding the discussion simply to avoid the discomfort doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s better to have the conversation in a thoughtful and meaningful way and hope you can come to some sort of agreement.