Adult kids forced to police parents on COVID-19 safety practices

Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 3:25 PM EDT
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The coronavirus pandemic has reversed the roles of many Millennials and Gen Xers. They’re now acting as “parents,” making sure their moms and dads obey social distancing rules and stay home.

"It’s more frustration than anger," said Leslie Sloane, a 40-year-old mother of three.

She hasn’t had difficulty keeping her kids inside during the coronavirus pandemic, but her parents are another story.

"I’m having to, I mean I don’t want to say discipline them, but a little bit like, really tell my parents to stay at home and not go out," she said.

Kate Kirschner recovered from COVID-19 just three weeks ago. She says her illness was a rude awakening for her parents and in-laws.

"I think that many of these baby boomers are dealing with it by denying it, and the problem is that denial is what is actually going to be not only a threat to them but to their spouses and to anybody that they come into contact with," Kirschner said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

"These are stressful times for everyone," said Dr. Lisa Damour, a psychologist and CBS News contributor.

Damour says younger adults can help keep their relationships intact by communicating effectively.

"It may not be a single conversation, it may be a couple of conversations, and those conversations might happen over a day or two," she said.

Kirschner feels her efforts are paying off.

"We are able to connect, and we have to be creative about it," she said.

She hopes providing her family with facts rather than frustrations will keep everyone safe.

Health experts warn that easing restrictions, for every age group, could result in a spike in cases of COVID-19.

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