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How to Respond to Caregiver Criticism

It can be discouraging for others to point out flaws relating to your caregiving skills. However, exploding at others won't solve anything. If your goal is to get them to show empathy, it's best to respond with respect even though this can be difficult in the moment. Daily Caring shares three ways you can respond, all of which we will discuss here.

1. Use the "I" statement.

Let the person known how they made you feel. Do this by adopting the "I" statement, which will show them your feelings without coming off as accusatory. For example, if your sister tells you that the bathroom is a mess, you might feel inclined to snap back. Instead, try expressing how you feel by saying,

"It makes me sad that you only focus on the mess when I have been busy taking care of Dad all weekend.

2. Ask for suggestions.

Ask the person how you can improve your caregiving skills when they give harsh criticism. If your niece claims that you should take walks outside with Dad so that he's not cooped up inside the house, you might respond by saying,

"The heat is tough on Dad and it's difficult for him to walk for long periods of time. What other activities would you suggest he might like instead?"

3. Stand by your actions.

It's important to stand up for yourself when criticism is plainly rude and hurtful. For example, if your uncle mentions that you never let Dad enjoy his favorite foods, you might respond by saying,

"Dad can't eat sugary foods because of his diabetes. His doctor has him on a special diet. It's important that I follow this so that he can enjoy spending time with both of us."

Daily Caring shares more examples. Remember to respond to criticism calmly so that the person hears what you're saying instead of focusing on your tone; this might lessen arguments that don't resolve anything.

Visit Daily Caring for more information.

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