“All of a sudden, she found this man, and now it seems like he’s the center of her world. He’s running her entire life. How do we know he isn’t a con artist taking advantage of the situation?”
We’ve heard comments like that more than once from concerned adult children. And it can be quite alarming when a parent who hasn’t been single or dating in decades suddenly finds themselves in the heat of a new relationship.
What can you do?
Don’t Parent Them
To start, stop parenting them. If they are capable adults that can live and make decisions on their own, they have a right to their own freedoms. Remember when you were a teenager? Your parents were consistently asking you questions such as:
- Who are you going out with?
- Where are you going?
- Who will be there?
- What time will you be home?
How did those questions make you feel?
Now reverse the situation. Imagine how your parent feels facing your interrogation. They are adults. And as long as they can remain on their own, they have the right to make their own decisions.
Be A Friend
Friends are excited to share little details about their new relationships without having the concern. Become that friend.
It’s okay to ask questions to discover more about who the person is:
- How did you meet?
- Where does he live?
- Have you met his kids or friends?
This allows you to get to know the situation a little better without questioning the act. You can even plan lunch or dinner to get to know one another and bring them into your life. It may be difficult, but keeping them close is often the best protection.
Scams Are Real
Unfortunately, scams are real. And we all need to be diligent to ensure we don’t get taken by scam artists. If your parent hasn’t been in the dating world for decades, chances are they don’t understand possibilities. Things have changed since they were single. You can help them positively navigate today’s possibilities.
If they want to use an online dating site, make sure it’s reputable. Make sure they have information on how to protect their personal data.
And if you’re concerned about a loved one that has fallen victim of elder abuse, you can contact your local National Adult Protective Service Association. The average loss is over $90,000, so the quicker you take action, the better your chances for a positive outcome.