Driving has stopped becoming a luxury a long time ago and has entered the realm of necessity. This is especially true if you are not living in well-connected, big cities with subways or buses. For those in the suburbs, it is hard to imagine life without a car. However, there comes a time when you need to inform your loved ones or parents to stop driving – and for their own good.
This is due to a variety of reasons: state laws prohibiting a license past a certain age, lack of confidence in driving, slower reflexes, and frequent accidents. However, knowing that your loved ones should not drive and convincing them of this are two different matters. This article will help you navigate this terrain to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Understand Their Point of View
Any introductory counseling or therapy book will teach you that understanding someone’s viewpoint is extremely important. This is because you will not know a person’s problems till you manage to see them from their perspective. This is simply achieved through active listening: the process whereby you not only listen to the words but also the tone and body language through which they are conveyed. This can tell you a lot about what a person is thinking and feeling. For example, your mother might be saying she’s okay to give up her weekly book club held in another city but her dejected tone will tell you all you need to know about how she feels.
Use Appropriate Tone and Language
Convincing someone to do something they hate but that’s actually good for them…sounds familiar, no? That’s exactly what our parents have been telling us all along. The role reversal, therefore, can be pretty jarring. Thus, it is incumbent on you to use the right tone and language whilst broaching the matter. It never hurts to make a rough plan of what you want to say. It will help you stay on track when things get a bit heated. Ensure that your frustration doesn’t bleed into your tone or that you don’t talk down to them. Using words like “we” and “us” can tremendously help.
Rope in Their Friends to Convince Them
Who would we prefer to go to for advice – or friends or parents? The obvious answer is that our peers’ values and opinions can hold a lot of weight when considering one’s own life choices. Chances are that your family or relatives may be experiencing similar issues. They can then speak to your parents and reach them in a way that is not possible for you.
Encourage Them to Explore Alternatives
When you are depriving someone of one thing, it is only polite to consider what the possible alternatives are. Do you live in a place where there is abundant transportation? Maybe you could offer to chauffeur your parents around from time to time. Do remember to be mindful of their independence. Alternatively, if they live in a retirement community, transportation is always available to them so giving up their keys may be less painful.