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  1. #31
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Simple question: As we grow up, what responsibilities do we have towards our parents?

    A more specific question, if you choose to answer it: If your parent(s) expect you to devote their life to them, since they raised you, are you obligated?
    Whatever love won't dictate, then yes duty comes in there I suppose.

    I certainly think an adult child owes a truly disabled parent the type of gaurdianship that ensures they are warm, fed, medically cared for, safe and as happy as they will allow themselves to be---if the parent did the same for the child growing up. If the parent was grossly neglectful or grossy abusive, then it's something the individual person has to come to decide on their own.

    I don't think one necessarily needs to devote their whole waking hours or emotional self to the parent. Especially if the parent is healthy and capable of taking care of their own needs.

    And I see nothing wrong with using the modern available services like assisted living or skilled care when they are needed and can be afforded. In fact, when one finds a professionally run operation the quality of life for both parent and child can be greatly improved.

  2. #32
    sophiloist Kaizer's Avatar
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    People might owe their parents an understanding of this:

    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran


    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.

    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.
    The answer must be in the attempt
    avy url : natgeocreative Photo

  3. #33
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    The only thing I know for sure is that I owe my parents respect. Beyond that things start becoming negotiable, imo.

  4. #34
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I think we owe good parents love and respect, and physical and emotional help when they need it. We don't owe them their particular brand of love if it's unhealthy. If your parent is perfectly healthy and is guilting you into doing things for him/her or trying to make you feel bad about doing some things for yourself, you are under no obligation to submit to that. You have to set boundaries just as you did when you were a teenager and felt they were too overbearing. Remind them you are an adult.
    Something Witty

  5. #35
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I also think we should take care of our parents after they have retired if/when they can't take care of themselves.

  6. #36
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    What about the good parents? Or the well meaning parents that may or may not have done an ideal job?
    Well, my parents were 95 percent good, so as I said I do feel like I own them something. I suppose that I feel like I will have to keep in touch, and help them materially in case they have problems, invite them sometimes for dinner, etc.

    Although, I know I will not go on my way to visit them daily in the case they get Alzheimer's disease or something similar. I've seen this happen with my mother and my grandma, and she was getting sick herself after a while.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #37
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    This is a good and hard question.

    I think to myself- would I take care of my mother if she can't take care of herself- I am talking about changing diapers and feeding and everything. She wouldn't be able to afford a nursing home nor any of her children to put her there. If she didn't have a place to live would I invite her to stay with me or would I try to pawn her off onto one of my sisters.

    I am selfish- I want a life unburdened, is selfishness bad or good or neither is the real question? I am also very protective of my marriage and would not want to do or have anything put stress on it.

    My instinct would honestly be to pawn my mother off onto one of my sisters. As to the right or wrongness of it- I am humbled and find guilt when I wonder to myself- what will happen to me when I am old and cannot care for myself and am a burden? What example will I be for my daughter? Even the guilty conscious comes from a selfish source- just a future selfhisness.

    My mother took care of me and did the best she could and loves me no matter what- I was a burden on her in many ways as taking care of someone simply can be a burden by the nature of the things required to take care of someone- I was also a joy for her- it was worthwhile- it was her duty as a parent to take care of me too even if she didn't want to or feel like it or didn't have the energy or could afford to- which she always took care of me and took on that duty so what then is mine in return?

    What is my duty to my mother? What is the duty of a child to their parent?
    The care of which we give we can expect to get back ourselves, nothing is a gurantee, but for the most part I do feel that you get what you give. What duty will we want our children to take on when we are older?

    I am more motivated by the example I will leave for my daughter then what I actually want or prefer for myself because no matter how you cut I am still selfish-selfish for the now or selfish for the future. My biggest battle is determining whether that selfishness is bad or good or neither and challenge myself to strive to be good.
    Me and hubby made an RPG Nutrition Game
    Play and Vote July 14th to Aug 14th
    http://www.appsforhealthykids.com/ap...ing-vegetables

  8. #38
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Obligation, owe, devote.

    Those seem inappropriate words to use for this type of situation.

    My parents have given their time, energy and love to me. They screwed up many times and were selfish or made the wrong decisions. Some things still grate on me but overall they were a positive influence in my life. My grandmother has always been around and giving of herself and has been a wonderful person to experience.

    Family is important to me and I would hope that I would take care of my parents if they need it, as I would hope my kids would take care of me, if I need it. It's not about owing or duty, it's about what I want out of life, and part of that is being close to my parents and children. I would never expect my kids to "devote" themselves to me, it would be a very selfish thing to ask of an adult child.

  9. #39
    ♪♫♪♫♪♫ luminous beam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cenomite View Post
    parents that -remind- their kids how much they "sacrificed" for them, how much they've given them, how the kids would be nothing without the parents, etc really piss me off. The way I see it: I never choose to be born. I didn't make you have a kid, and I didn't make you raise me. You did so out of your own free-will, knowing full well what would be expected of you and what you should have been prepared to sacrifice and change in your life. Forcing help upon someone, and then trying to manipulate them with guilt because of it, is behavior of an emotionally unhealthy person.

    I choose to help my parents when I can, and respect them, because I feel that they really went above-and-beyond for me. They did things that didn't necessarily "come with the contract" of having a kid, so I feel morally obligated to repay them in some way and to some degree. I want to see my parents happy, so I try and make that happen, even through minor actions.

    Parents that try and extract or expect help from their kids so much that it interferes with the kid's lives though, are messed up IMO.
    I think there may be a case scenario or situation where your parent, though perhaps unhealthy as someone who reminds you of what theyve done for you and of what they expect from you in the future, may have still been a good parent. In that case I think I would also help them as much as I could in their old age regardless of their demands.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    I believe it is the responsibility of the children to look after their parents when they're unable to look after themselves when they're elderly just as the parents are responsible to raise the children. But this shouldn't be thought of as an obligation and until the parents get to that stage in their lives (either old age or a severe illness), there shouldn't be anything forced.

    Devoting one's life to somebody is slavery and expecting something like that from anybody is blackmail. People with healthy emotional state will never lower themselves to that kind of behaviour. Fortunately, my parents are reasonable people and I have a mind of my own, I won't be subjected to blackmail but I still feel the responsibility to look after them in their old age. I think it's the right thing to do, there's nothing negative about it for me, so I guess I do owe them that.
    I agree in regard to timing when a son or daughter may be expected or required to support a parent. I think if a parent is still capable of taking care of themselves that this expectation is premature to say the least. however, doing a favor here and there is not the same as wiping your parents ass because they can no longer bend over to do it themselves.

    In my opinion devoting your life to someone is usually done because you simply love and adore them. If you are forced to try to do this, its unreasonable. I think we are all our persons and no one is really expected to do anything they dont want to do, despite societys norms or your conscience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chi'xer View Post
    People might owe their parents an understanding of this:

    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.
    I think this poem is a wonderful illustration between the reality of a parent/child relationship.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladypinkington View Post
    This is a good and hard question.

    I think to myself- would I take care of my mother if she can't take care of herself- I am talking about changing diapers and feeding and everything. She wouldn't be able to afford a nursing home nor any of her children to put her there. If she didn't have a place to live would I invite her to stay with me or would I try to pawn her off onto one of my sisters.

    I am selfish- I want a life unburdened, is selfishness bad or good or neither is the real question? I am also very protective of my marriage and would not want to do or have anything put stress on it.

    My instinct would honestly be to pawn my mother off onto one of my sisters. As to the right or wrongness of it- I am humbled and find guilt when I wonder to myself- what will happen to me when I am old and cannot care for myself and am a burden? What example will I be for my daughter? Even the guilty conscious comes from a selfish source- just a future selfishness.

    My mother took care of me and did the best she could and loves me no matter what- I was a burden on her in many ways as taking care of someone simply can be a burden by the nature of the things required to take care of someone- I was also a joy for her- it was worthwhile- it was her duty as a parent to take care of me too even if she didn't want to or feel like it or didn't have the energy or could afford to- which she always took care of me and took on that duty so what then is mine in return?

    What is my duty to my mother? What is the duty of a child to their parent?
    The care of which we give we can expect to get back ourselves, nothing is a guarantee, but for the most part I do feel that you get what you give. What duty will we want our children to take on when we are older?

    I am more motivated by the example I will leave for my daughter then what I actually want or prefer for myself because no matter how you cut I am still selfish-selfish for the now or selfish for the future. My biggest battle is determining whether that selfishness is bad or good or neither and challenge myself to strive to be good.
    Once again, what one should or shouldnt do is really all up the person in control of their actions. I personally dont think you should feel guilty for not wanting to add strain to your marriage and so on. If you believe you wouldnt be the best person to care for your mother, then perhaps one of your sisters may be better suitable. However, if you feel some sort of obligation as to taking care of her, perhaps what you could do is help financially as well as make sure shes in good care and hands.


  10. #40
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    No. I have a rule that when someone does something for you without ever checking that you wanted it, you don't owe them for it. That rule applies here. Nobody asked me if I wanted to be born. After I was born, nobody asked me if I wanted to be raised the way I was.
    The question is, how much did your parents sacrifice for you in ways you wanted? Did they ever buy the toys you asked for? Do they help pay for your schooling? Did they pay for you to go to that summer camp you wanted to go to? It may not have all been about THEIR wants, they may have adjusted to your needs in ways that were uncomfortable to them.

    Shouldn't that be taken into consideration?

    Quote Originally Posted by syckkz View Post
    Personally.. I think that it's only right that when my parents get to a certain age where they can't take care of themselves.. that's when I would step in and take care of them.

    That's just me though.. they wiped my butt when I couldn't.. I'll wipe theirs when they can't too.
    You bring up a good point - there is a difference between genuine need and manufactured need.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    If you a parent "expects you to devote your life to them" that parent has co-dependency issues.

    The job of a parent is to teach a child to be independent.

    There is a point where you no longer have to "obey" your parents, but I think if they ask for your help, and it's in your power to help them, it would be honoring to them for you to do so. But that is not the same as letting them walk rough-shod all over you and not letting you have your own life.
    Agreed on the co-dependency issues. Where would you, personally, draw the line? And why?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladypinkington View Post
    My instinct would honestly be to pawn my mother off onto one of my sisters. As to the right or wrongness of it- I am humbled and find guilt when I wonder to myself- what will happen to me when I am old and cannot care for myself and am a burden? What example will I be for my daughter? Even the guilty conscious comes from a selfish source- just a future selfhisness.
    Some people are better at it than others, so hopefully you have a sister that's able to better handle the responsibility. If that's the case, just being supportive of her and the decisions she makes regarding your mom seems pretty reasonable.

    I dislike the idea of sacrificing for a parent largely out of fear that if you don't, your child will do the same to you, though. There's a pretty good chance your daughter will figure out what's going on, and may be a bit resentful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    Family is important to me and I would hope that I would take care of my parents if they need it, as I would hope my kids would take care of me, if I need it. It's not about owing or duty, it's about what I want out of life, and part of that is being close to my parents and children. I would never expect my kids to "devote" themselves to me, it would be a very selfish thing to ask of an adult child.
    What's the difference between having a child devote themselves to you, vs taking care of you? Especially if you require a high level of care or attention? Where does the boundary get crossed?

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