What can I do to influence a family member’s irresponsible behaviour?
My oldest grandson is in his early thirties and seems determined to meet self-destruction. He has a good education and is employed with a satisfactory work record. It’s his free time that I am concerned about. He drives an expensive, high-powered car and speeds excessively. The police have cautioned him and he has been given numerous speeding tickets. So far, he hasn’t injured anyone, but I fear it is only a matter of time before he kills himself or someone else.
Goldie, I love him dearly and have a good relationship with him. Is there any way to help him? -H.B.
It is difficult to see someone you love risk his life so irresponsibly. One thing in your favour to help your grandson is that you have maintained a good relationship. Communication is your best method of getting through to him about the seriousness of this matter. But it may take persistent effort on your part.
Begin the process of helping by emphasizing the importance of your relationship. He is your oldest grandson, so there is an element of dependency should you ever need help. Will he be there for you? Tell him he is also setting a dangerous example for younger family members who may lack his driving experience. Would he want one of them to die by mimicking his behaviour behind the wheel?
Also, discuss the chance of a severely debilitating accident. Question his acceptance of a future as an invalid from this time forward with no chance of recovery. Finally, does he want to cause another person’s death, and live with a prison record and guilt for the rest of his life?
You can communicate in a good relationship. Also, he loves you and that will encourage him to listen. He is a carefree spirit, but you can help him to see that he has a responsibility to care for other people and himself on life’s journey.
I am a widower in my 70s in good health and living an active lifestyle. I would like to travel in Europe and Asia, while I am healthy and able. My problem is finding a suitable travelling companion for company and a degree of safety.
I have a friend of three years who is physically and financially fit, and has expressed an interest in accompanying me. We have become close friends, enjoying similar interests and entertainment. At the same time, each of us is very independent.
My worry is that being in such close contact during our travels, we might lose that cherished independence. I don’t want to spoil our great friendship either. -K.L.
Your options need serious contemplation. The fact that you are questioning your travel companion indicates your hesitancy. The two of you need to discuss these worries thoroughly before making final plans.
After your few years of friendship, you must each be aware of any habits that could upset you in a more confined situation. Face these matters honestly and discuss them openly so neither of you will experience problems later. If doubt still exists, then it may be wise to rethink your travel plans, and maintain the friendship you have enjoyed.
Only you can decide about sharing your trip. Perhaps a weekend trip together will bring clarity to you.
AUGUST 2009 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER
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