How to Have Fun with Your Aging Parents: I Want to Go to Lithuania – Christina Britton Conroy

(Reviewed by Pat Luboff)

A gem of a book! Part workbook, part memoir, part self-help and how-to book; in under 100 pages, Christina Britton Conroy has put together a blueprint for living in peace with your parents. Wow! Yes, even if your parents are cantankerous, unable to function or focus, or downright hostile, you can find a way to make your life and their lives work better.

The author is a former senior center director and nursing home music therapist. Maybe more importantly, she is someone who has been there and done that with her own father. The stories she tells to illustrate her points are both professional and personal. She makes the reader feel like the impossible is doable, if you just keep trying to find the solution to the problem.

Her advice is detailed and practical. Ask yourself questions. How do you see your parents? How do they see themselves? What do they want and need? How do they see you? How do you see yourself? What do you want and need? Discovering the answers to these questions for yourself is the first step in unravelling the mystery of how to have fun with your aging parents, even if you never had fun with them before!

Christina (I feel like I can call her by her first name because she is so accessible throughout the book) helps you identify your parent’s basic personality type, describe your relationship to your parent, and try to figure out what your parent needs to feel validated and whole. If you never had a decent relationship with your parent, this may be your chance to be the grown up and make it happen. I wish I had this book before my parents passed away.

I’m old and perhaps closer to the Aging Parents category. I’m going to give this book to my adult children! I hope they are as kind to me as Christina encourages her readers to be to their parents.

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