How To!

How To Get a Stubborn Parent to Listen

We turned to a former SNL comedian who figured it out.

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Episode Notes

Alan’s 86-year-old dad will not stop driving—even after an incident where he fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the road. Feeling guilty and worried, Alan has tried to convince his dad to hand over the keys, even enlisting the support of his father’s doctor, but everything Alan does seems to backfire. In this episode of How To!, Saturday Night Live comedian Jim Breuer shares his own experience dealing with a curmudgeonly father as chronicled in the documentary More Than Me. Jim says to reach an aging parent who is set in their ways, don’t try to replace them as the parent. Instead, realize they’re facing their own mortality and give them a sense of control. Let your dad be a dad, then ask for some fatherly advice: “What would you do if you were me?”

Do you have a problem that needs a creative solution? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.

About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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