Ok/ interesting questions. 1. Tips- setting your boundary with your parent is really hard, but super important. Worse than quitting smoking is quitting parents! I tried about 7 times in my life to walk away. So, tip is to keep at it. You actually know what is right for you. Tip 2. You may have to be your own strongest advocate. My siblings did not, and still do not, support my decision to step back. You can imagine the recrimination. My tip- find your rationale for stepping back- for me…as I didn’t choose my parents, and because they chose to parent the way they want led rather than parent the kid they had, and as I now know they cannot help me with out punishing me first, they can never be a good influence on me- or my kids. That is the line I hold and keep restating to myself and to whoever needs to hear it. Tip 3- make it a compromise you can genuinely live with. My dad is not allowed to contact me except during business hours, and only about his healthcare. I made this clear to him. I remind myself that a case worker does not take calls out of hours about their personal life from their clients- so that is how I keep the conversations with my dad- infrequent, kind and helpful but impersonal. If he starts in, then I just say I have a meeting and I have to go. Always a good get out- which you can only do in business hours! My position took a while to establish- and was suggested to me by a wiser and older friend. My kids are delighted- they can’t stand him anyway, but they are able to see and accept that my dad needs my help- and I can do that but only on my terms. So far, so good, and it’s been 18 months. In the nicest possible way, if he died tomorrow I would have no regrets- I feel comfortable about my choice. And really, that says it all!
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