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Old 02-21-2010, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
677 posts, read 873,285 times
Reputation: 606
Default What obligations does an adult child have to his/her parents?

Adult child? Is that the correct terminology? I'm not really sure how to properly phrase that

Anyway, I would like to think that adult children would help their parents when they can - financially, medically, etc.

But what happens when a person begins to routinely ask their children (even teenagers in high school) to borrow money? To disregard their own financial security to help the parent? To do favors that greatly inconvenience them? What if the parent doesn't get another job or look elsewhere for financial help because s/he is simply lazy and doesn't feel like it? What if the parent has the ability to work more but not the motivation?

Does the situation change if the children are living under the parents' roof or if they live separately?

What about if it's a single parent who has been a single parent for most of the childrens' lives?

Should the children just accept it - after all, the parent did raise them since they were babies. The parent certainly gave up a lot to make ends meet, made plenty of his/her own sacrifices to give what s/he could to the children. Family helps family sort of thing.

Or should the children stand up to the parent and assert that they will not be taken advantage of anymore - that the parent needs to go get a second job or look for help elsewhere if s/he is struggling that terribly?

I would love to hear your viewpoints on this
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:02 PM
 
49 posts, read 57,952 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchelle View Post
Adult child? Is that the correct terminology? I'm not really sure how to properly phrase that

Anyway, I would like to think that adult children would help their parents when they can - financially, medically, etc.

But what happens when a person begins to routinely ask their children (even teenagers in high school) to borrow money? To disregard their own financial security to help the parent? To do favors that greatly inconvenience them? What if the parent doesn't get another job or look elsewhere for financial help because s/he is simply lazy and doesn't feel like it? What if the parent has the ability to work more but not the motivation?

Does the situation change if the children are living under the parents' roof or if they live separately?

What about if it's a single parent who has been a single parent for most of the childrens' lives?

Should the children just accept it - after all, the parent did raise them since they were babies. The parent certainly gave up a lot to make ends meet, made plenty of his/her own sacrifices to give what s/he could to the children. Family helps family sort of thing.

Or should the children stand up to the parent and assert that they will not be taken advantage of anymore - that the parent needs to go get a second job or look for help elsewhere if s/he is struggling that terribly?

I would love to hear your viewpoints on this
It would depend on the way your parents took care of you, no? I don't see a girl have any obligations to a father that beat her. You should never let anyone take advantage of you, no matter if it's your parents or someone else.

Your obligations should be to your own children, as your parents were to you? I don't come from the U.S originally, and from where i come there never was any official obligations. You helped your parents because they were in need of help, not because you felt that you needed to do so. And they didn't expect you to take care of them, but to focus on your own life and your own children.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:05 PM
 
4,384 posts, read 1,828,183 times
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It depends.

If the child was always well treated, then there is no excuse.

Other than that, I feel it is wrong not to do so.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:13 PM
Status: "Current ear worm - charming Billy..." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,777 posts, read 15,865,297 times
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What do you owe the people who gave you life and raised you? Ans: You owe them a lot. However, you also need to look at the entire situation. There is a difference between a parent who gambles away the family home and one who mortgages it to put you through college.

If your parents have done right by you, you owe it to them to do right by them. If your parents didn't do right by you, you owe it to yourself to do right by them. Whatever decisions you make here, you will live with for the rest of your life. Ask yourself which you'd regret more.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:14 PM
 
Location: NE TN~ TriCities
5,137 posts, read 6,285,543 times
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I plan on mooching off my kid when I'm eighty and destitute. It's the reason I'm sending him to college.

Seriously, I've made sacrifices for my kids and I would expect that if I get older and am in need of assistance that they would be there for me if it's possible. Hopefully I've done a good job raising them to be kind and loving people who will step up and and do the right thing when needed.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:19 PM
Status: "Current ear worm - charming Billy..." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,777 posts, read 15,865,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
I plan on mooching off my kid when I'm eighty and destitute. It's the reason I'm sending him to college.

Seriously, I've made sacrifices for my kids and I would expect that if I get older and am in need of assistance that they would be there for me if it's possible. Hopefully I've done a good job raising them to be kind and loving people who will step up and and do the right thing when needed.
I'm hoping I don't have to mooch off of mine but I would hope if I were in need, they'd let me mooch. I will be risking my own financial future to put them through school. Hopefully, that won't leave me needing help but I would hope they'd appreciate the leg up they got by not having to incur massive debt to go to school if I were in need.

I just don't think family members should take an every man for himself stance. What kind of family is that? I could keep my money in the bank and tell my kids to pay their own way through school and protect myself at their expense. I would hope they would not, later, repay the favor of putting them through school by protecting themselves.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:24 PM
Status: "Current ear worm - charming Billy..." (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,777 posts, read 15,865,297 times
Reputation: 11357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday night View Post
It would depend on the way your parents took care of you, no? I don't see a girl have any obligations to a father that beat her. You should never let anyone take advantage of you, no matter if it's your parents or someone else.

Your obligations should be to your own children, as your parents were to you? I don't come from the U.S originally, and from where i come there never was any official obligations. You helped your parents because they were in need of help, not because you felt that you needed to do so. And they didn't expect you to take care of them, but to focus on your own life and your own children.
Actually, no. It depends on the kind of person you want to be.

My father was bi-polar (a fact my mother hid from me and should not have when I was a child). My childhood was rocky. Every time he came to visit, he fought with mom. Always the same fights. He didn't want to pay the $10/week child support that he was supposed to pay, he didn't want to come for visitation or he wanted to claim us on his taxes. When he overdosed on Lithium and landed in a nursing home, I could have walked away but I didn't. My step father taught me to do right even when others do wrong. As a result, I actually got to know my father before he died. I learned to separate the man from the disease. Did he deserve it? No but that's not what matters. I'm a better person for the experience.

You do what makes you the better person. This should not be taken to mean you allow others to take advantage of you or enable them if there are issues. You do what is right.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 5,258,055 times
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I don't think children "owe" their parents anything. If the adult child chooses on their own accord to help, great--but they shouldn't feel that they have to at all costs. Parents need to plan faaaar into the future (as much as possible) when thinking about having children. Is putting multiple children through college going to mean that they are unable to save for retirement? Then maybe you should rethink having that additional child.

Things happen, emergencies that you can't plan for. But I don't think any parent should PLAN to move in with their child when they retire, or expect their kid to pay for their medical care when they're older. If they can and choose to, great--but I would hope that's not plan A.

As for the situation in the OP--my friend is going through that now. We're in our mid 20's, and he's looking at buying a house and renting a room to his mother, because she's such a financial mess. It's making him physically ill with stress. He's actually getting sick, not to mention putting off his life plans to move out of state, because he's scared to leave her to her own devices. Not a good situation, at all. I think just like parents do with irresponsible teenagers, it may be time for some tough love.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
24,685 posts, read 15,826,373 times
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when I was younger and wanted so much more than I needed I used to tell my parents they had plenty of money and didn't need to worry so much about saving. Then my mother would tell me

"The best thing we can do for you is to manage our money so we don't ever have to depend on you for financial help. You will have your own family and should not have to ever give either one of us a helping hand."

I think that is good advice for most of us. While I never had to help my parents financially, I did take in my widowed mother to have her live with me and my family when she became incompetent. It almost cost me my marriage and I warn people about doing it if there is any other way.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:31 PM
 
5,852 posts, read 4,686,932 times
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A child is never obligated just because their parents gave birth to them or paid their college tuition. Hopefully, they will have been brought up to learn respect and compassion. But if the situation is that the parents are irresponsible and lazy, well, too bad. If they want to help some, fine, but it should not be a way of life for them.
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