December 7, 2010
You're planning a birthday party for your 85-year- old mother and she insists on wearing her favorite blue dress. Because her eyesight is poor, she can't see that the dress is stained and worn. What do you do?
It's important to determine whether this really is an issue--that the stains are worth addressing with your mother. If so, be direct: "Mom, did you know that your party dress is stained?" Then offer to have it cleaned or, better yet, suggest a shopping trip: "Mom, this is a really special occasion. I'd love to buy you a new outfit. Let's go shopping." If she still wants to wear the dress, then a family council or a fight with your mom is simply not worth it. You may need to figure out a way to overcome any embarrassment that you feel at your mom's appearance, but ultimately what she wears should be her choice. The embarrassment that you feel is your problem, not hers. Chances are, though, if she knows you are apprehensive about the dress and willing to help her find a new one, she will agree.
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