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Old 02-08-2011, 10:45 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,353,340 times
Reputation: 22356

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontblameus View Post
It makes me so mad that the parents of today who are rearing children count their parents (now seniors) of so little value that they can't stop their incredibly busy lives to speak to someone they supposedly love and care for once a week on the phone with the aim of showing their love and support.

I am a senior, incredibly in tune with the computer age, articulate, loving, independent, generous, intelligent and yet still a mother.

Our children and their spouses have experienced generosity from us that we never ever experienced from our parents who were survivors of WW2, we are not rich but we are generous. We like to help our kids.

It is common for the baby boomer generation to give their children tens of thousands to help their children get into the housing market.

Is that generosity reciprocated by loving phone calls and invitations to join in family gatherings? No sir, they just live their lives without a thought about making their parents part of it unless they want a babysitter, or something else that their parents can supply eg if father was an electrician they would get their house rewired free, and when it's finished seldom get in touch the father that gave so much unselfishly. We have selfish, thankless kids. How much they have gone away from the values they were taught by words and deeds by their parents.

In my day as a mark of respect to my mother in law I would phone her every week to ask after her and she was quite cold towards me until I provided a grandchild. She had not invited me to call her by her first name and I called her Mrs .... for years. I was the one who took her to doctor's appointments, who visited her in the nursing home, the one who took her in when she was ill; but would this occur now with a daughter in law if her mother in law treated her like that NO WAY.

We receive little respect from our sons and daughters in law, little love and no matter how we hard we try we can't win their hearts.

So, we live on independently with loving, caring friends around us, and even though we all want close bonds with our children and grandchildren our kids are unwilling to love us enough to include us in their lives. I think it is disgraceful.
May I please have your permission to use this post when people say to me....."You don't have any children? Who is going to take care of you when you get old?"

Thank you in advance.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,170 posts, read 8,691,075 times
Reputation: 6167
Smile Around my children....

I want to hear their problems, their stresses, I want them to be themselves and then someday, if I'm lucky enough for grandchildren, I want those grandchildren to feel the same.

I'm not one for surface talk. I deal with problems all day and I like finding solutions so in my family life - same thing.

I want to hear what they are going through, what they're struggling with; what they're really thinking - and I do listen.

I hope I don't make my kids feel 11 again - I really try to treat them like full fledged adults! They're both really independent though.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Devil's advocate

There are certainly some sad and heart-rending tales in this thread - tales of adult children too busy or maybe too self-absorbed or maybe too uncaring to ever initiate contact with their aging parents who feel the pain of the one-way street that they must travel to communicate.

However, I can't help but wonder what story we would get if we could interview the adult children of people who have posted here. And as a disclaimer, I know that many, perhaps all of the posters may well be giving us the complete, true and accurate version of their situations. So this is not directed against anyone. It is simply an exploration of this particular human interaction.

Naturally our own histories color our take on things, so I will give mine. My mother, now deceased, was a very controlling person and I have an independent nature, so conflict was inevitable in our relationship. For the last 30 years of my mother's life, she lived about 1,800 miles away from me. I would visit every other year for a week or two, and there were letters and phone calls on both of our parts, maybe once a month or so. I kept her at arm's length (while still maintaining reasonable contact) because I found it unpleasant to try to deal with her controlling nature, for which she used hidden agendas and subterfuge. If someone had asked her if she tried to control me, she would have denied it. With my father (also now deceased) I had no problems, but his third wife was an unpleasant person. When I came to visit, which was not real often (once a year on average? 700 miles away), she would not clean the house ahead of time - the bathroom which I was to use was a pigsty, certainly a sign of the degree of welcome I merited in her eyes.

The bottom line of what I am saying here is that there may be other things going on besides what we have been given. Often people are in denial about these things, in various ways and for various reasons. Again, I am not claiming this is so in the case of any given post here. I'm just raising the possibility.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 17,698,759 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlaker View Post
Two daughters and six grandchildren -- it hurts because we only hear from them if we call them. Prior to retirement we lived close to one daughter and an hour from the other -- babysat most weekends so we felt we had truly bonded with the grandchildren. We moved to FL for the winters a few years ago -- since that time the girls don't call or write. We've even waited 2 weeks for a call -- then we call. We never give them a guilt trip - - remain calm and cheery just wanting to keep in touch. Sold our home this past summer and children got most of the stuff. While growing up they were shown an example of keeping the family close -- both sets of grandparents were visited weekly, and we had them both over for every holiday -- for 30 years. Now it seems those over 55 communities are for people who want to feel their kids could be near, but can't because of the rules -- when actually, they just don't want to be bothered.
I guess we're lucky then since 3 of our sons and wife for #4 son (his schedule is a killer ) call all the time.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,971,705 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
The bottom line of what I am saying here is that there may be other things going on besides what we have been given. Often people are in denial about these things, in various ways and for various reasons. Again, I am not claiming this is so in the case of any given post here. I'm just raising the possibility.
I on the other hand was raised with strict duty to parents. I too had an abusive controlling mother but there was never any question what her daughters' (four) duty was to her. We wouldn't have dreamed of (1) each not calling 3 times a week or more, even when we or our kids were sick with the flu or in any kind of crisis (2) cards and gifts on holidays (3) at least asking if she, once widowed, would like to come with us on family vacations. She raised us rather poorly but was fabulous and loving toward her grandchildren. In old age she made us all want to bash our heads against a wall, she was so controlling and manipulative and often downright mean. Nonetheless all us sisters did our duty toward her all through the year, no exceptions. Our duty to her was not out of fear (well, maybe a little, as in the fear of God), just a feeling of what we owed her as our parent. It was hell, but at least we have no guilt feelings whatsoever now that she is gone. We repaid her in full for giving us life and working so hard bringing us up. Several of my own kids are like me and my sisters, one not. I have no expectations whatsoever that the me-centered generation is going to take care of their parents the way we did ours (I know there are exceptions ).

Last edited by RiverBird; 02-09-2011 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Dutiful children

Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I on the other hand was raised with strict duty to parents. I too had an abusive controlling mother but there was never any question what her daughters' (four) duty was to her. We wouldn't have dreamed of (1) each not calling 3 times a week or more, even when we or our kids were sick with the flu or in any kind of crisis (2) cards and gifts on holidays (3) at least asking if she, once widowed, would like to come with us on family vacations. She raised us rather poorly but was fabulous and loving toward her grandchildren. In old age she made us all want to bash our heads against a wall, she was so controlling and manipulative and often downright mean. Nonetheless all us sisters did our duty toward her all through the year, no exceptions. Our duty to her was not out of fear (well, maybe a little, as in the fear of God), just a feeling of what we owed her as our parent. It was hell, but at least we have no guilt feelings whatsoever now that she is gone. We repaid her in full for giving us life and working so hard bringing us up. Several of my own kids are like me and my sisters, one not. I have no expectations whatsoever that the me-centered generation is going to take care of their parents the way we did ours (I know there are exceptions ).
This is a generalization, and as such it has many exceptions, but I think women, being care-givers deep down in their essential natures, are more likely to have that deep sense of duty towards aging parents than men. It's also difficult to know if it should be properly called a sense of duty or a sense of guilt, i.e., "I feel guilty if mother is not satisfied with what I am doing". NewEnglandGirl (above) and her sisters stuck by their mother despite her abusive treatment of them, but many people would withdraw, to a greater or lesser extent, because of the abusive treatment, i.e., "why should I put up with this?" I know my sister had a stronger sense of duty/guilt than I did, although I did what I could to provide long-distance support for my sister during the last couple of years of our mother's life as she (my sister) bore an increasing burden. I even flew in to assist with what turned out to be my mother's final move (to a retirement community).
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,971,705 times
Reputation: 15649
I am now witnessing in my sisters and several friends some seemingly heartless treatment from adult kid toward parent(s). Rather than put up or shut up, I say put up or speak up. I helped my sister write a direct, blunt but not at all "mean" letter to her daughter expressing her feelings over the daughter's treatment of her. It helped quite a bit therapy-wise, but my sister hasn't gotten up the nerve to give her daughter the letter. I think there;s fear of lifelong rejection on the part of the parents, if they speak up. This is one reason why they don't.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:42 AM
 
4,572 posts, read 7,057,201 times
Reputation: 4222
I've found in my own experience, that the reason I didn't speak up to my brother was knowing that he is perfectly capable of completely breaking of all contact/ties, which would have including my niece and nephew. I think that's one reason why some don't speak up...they fear the loss of whatever assemblance of relationship they do have. And it does happen all the time.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,475,774 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I am now witnessing in my sisters and several friends some seemingly heartless treatment from adult kid toward parent(s). Rather than put up or shut up, I say put up or speak up. I helped my sister write a direct, blunt but not at all "mean" letter to her daughter expressing her feelings over the daughter's treatment of her. It helped quite a bit therapy-wise, but my sister hasn't gotten up the nerve to give her daughter the letter. I think there;s fear of lifelong rejection on the part of the parents, if they speak up. This is one reason why they don't.
A thousand letters written but never sent can be quite therapeutic and cathartic. Sometimes it can also be the best way to go. No one feels stepped-on or attacked and it doesn't trigger fight or flight.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,230 posts, read 11,671,977 times
Reputation: 2642
For goodness sake, they have their own lives. My children call me occasionally as I do them. They are busy adults and I'm a busy adult. I raised them to be self-sufficient; they are. If my children were always around me or called me umpteen times a day, I'd wonder how I failed as a parent.
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