This is a touchy subject but I'm going there. I have mixed feelings when it comes to this. Every family is different, every circumstance is different. There are so many circumstances that you can't fit it into one box, so I'm going to touch on a few scenario's.
I came across this article yesterday and I was more than a little disgusted by the nerve of this elderly woman living in BC. Basically she abandoned her her son at age 15 and the now grown son has not had a relationship with his mother in years. Now she wants support from all 3 children that she abandoned. British Columbia, Family Relations Act, states that children must by law take care of their parents. Thank goodness I love my mother and have no problem taking care of her if she is not able to in the future. For those that do not have a good relationship with their parent(s) you might want to leave BC. The law seems to be on the parents side no matter how badly they treated and/or neglected you.
This may sound mean but your parents chose to have you, they had a responsibility to you up until a certain age (varies by country, province etc.). You grow up, start your own family in whatever form that may be. You have your own financial and familial responsibilities to deal with. Is it your fault that your parents did not take proper care of their own future? Just a question that I feel the need to pose.
What I do not agree with is the blind faith that many people take. Just because you are a parent, this does not grant you automatic respect. Like anything else in life, respect must me earned. Like trust, love, honour etc. I know a lot of people are not going to agree with me but that's okay because this is my opinion.
Sure it would be nice if we could depend on parents/children in general to help when we need it, but that's just not the case. Sometimes people don't have the resources. Between mortgages; saving for retirement; raising your own children; saving for their schooling, it's just not possible in many cases.
If the family was dysfunctional to begin with and the parent/child relationship remains that way, what is the person supposed to do? Just continue to deal with the abuse until the parent dies? Sometimes we have to cut our losses and deal with the outcome. Personally, if you abused your children and they were smart enough to cut ties with you, you shouldn't expect any kind of support from them. Of course guilt or family obligation gets to people and they wouldn't let the parent flounder. Better people than I.
Some cultures expect you to take care of your parents no matter what. This includes the parents living with them and being financially responsible for them. Taking care of their every whim and need and not complaining once. It's your duty as a child to take care of your parents.
Then of course you have the people where every man is for themselves. If you can't deal than too bad. You took care of me for 16-18 years, then I'm on my own. Don't even ask for money to catch the bus. The parents had better have their retirement in order because the kids have their own life to deal with.
Harsh but I've seen both sides.
As I stated earlier every case is different and fraught with it's own issues. I don't know how I feel about the government getting involved in that kind of situation. At the same time I'm all for the government getting involved in preventing elder abuse. This includes, physical abuse, mental abuse, neglect, financial abuse (theft), trust. The neglect I can understand if the parent is living with you, therefore I assume that you would be concerned that they are eating, hygiene, socializing with you and the outside world, etc. This is a hard one but I felt the need to put my thoughts out there.
What are your thoughts on parental support? Should the government step in or should it be up to the individual?
Song of the Day: 'Calling All Angels' - Train, My Private Nation, 2003, Sony Music Entertainment Inc. Click here to watch the video of 'Calling All Angels'. (Links may not work in all countries, sorry for the inconvenience.)
Till next time,