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Old 02-21-2010, 09:51 PM
 
49 posts, read 101,024 times
Reputation: 52

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
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.
And i got beaten by my father, and had to go the summers to another country with my brother. Away from my mother and everything that was secure in my life, to a country i didn't know. I got beaten and he told me time after time "Men don't cry, so don't cry" and if i cried he would beat me again. When it came to food if i didn't eat up everything, i had to sit at the table and wait until i was done. The time would be around 15:00 and he would take his leave to go to the pub to be with his mates, told me i couldn't leave before i ate up. He got back at 20:00 something and i was still sitting there not touching my food, and too scared to move away.

He made sure that my mother could not call us, and we had no way to talk with her for the time we spent there (Two months). I spent most of my time walking around the town, and the beaches because my brother and father would argue and i didn't want to hear them scream at eachother. He made sure that i knew "No son of mine is that weak" everytime i would curl up into a ball when he beat me. This went on for a very long time.

I could take my anger out on him now, but the fact is that he got another wife, and another son and he is being an excelent father to that son. He kind of .. practised on me and my brother. I'm being the better man by not talking about it, and not hating him for it. But i will never feel any obligation to him, and that does not make me a worse person. I might not be a good person, but i'm damn well better than him.

And let me tell you that it was true anguish sitting on the plane, knowing that you were flying 2 000KM away from your mother, into the arms of your 'loving' father. The amusing thing is we never told her anything, because she was depressed and sad as it was. My brother used to look at me and tell me that i had to bite my teeth together now, for our mothers sake. I don't know why i'm writing this, i just get a bad taste in my mouth when i'm supposed to owe my father anything.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Boise
2,684 posts, read 6,340,167 times
Reputation: 1002
If my parents asked for help or money, I would help them out, because I know if they were asking me they really needed it and had exhausted all other avenues for work, etc.

But say you parent is a hopeless drunk, always asking for money just to blow. In that case, like a parent would do to a child, time for tough love, and say no.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
2,383 posts, read 5,622,925 times
Reputation: 1134
We (my husband and I) are in this situation.
First, I would like to say that I was brought up in a household where I was taught that hard work would pay off, but that nothing in life was simply given to you on a silver platter. My husband was brought up knowing that his hard work would pay off but his parents had a different plan in mind!

So my husband's mom and dad, two adult beings capale of working, refuse to work, for one reason or another. They have been doing so for years! When my husband was 18 years old, he received a football scholarship and went off to college. His sophmore year, he received a call from his father asking him to quit school and return home to help pay the rent. Being the loyal family member and son that he is, he did just that. He tried to go to school part-time at a local college, but because he was an hourly employee and had to make a certain amount to help pay rent, car loans, feed his two younger siblings etc, he left school completely and has never returned.
Now, his father worked at the post office making descent money and his mom has a Master's in Education and could have made descent money. They rented a trailer, so rent was like $400 a month but they were lazy adults who didn't want to work. Fast forward to present day times and they still don't work! They always want money and they are always looking for a place to live! It's incredible and I have become the horrible, awful, b$tch that won't help them out financially! We have two children to raise in an unsteady economy and there is no way I'm about to give up college funds to two able bodied people!

If someone had posed this question to me 10 years ago, I would have said, hands down, help your parents out, but after meeting my husbands folks, no way. There are circumstances in which you simply can not!
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:36 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,954,836 times
Reputation: 4990
I don't think parents or families should ever ever keep score. Parents shouldn't demand repayment from their children for being born.

I think as an act of kindness and love, if someone needs help and you can give it, you should. But doing more than you can afford, or doing so for someone that doesn't need it, is another matter.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,157,326 times
Reputation: 910
Definitely depends on the circumstances. In my case, I know my siblings and I will be supporting my mom once she is unable to work. She was a single parent, did not make much more than minimum wage, and sacrificed a ton for us. She always kids around that she invested in us as her retirement plan...and I know this is not really a joke. I love my mom, she did the very best she could, so I want to see her live a decent retired life.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,855,293 times
Reputation: 1716
An obligation is an interesting way to put it.
I think that we should start out with a desire to help our parents.

The first thing is though that I do not believe thay you should
Quote:
disregard their own financial security to help the parent
If you do that you will end up in the same predicament that the parent is in.

The earner of the money needs to think carefully about how that money is spent. If you have a wife/partner/husband and children of your own then you have a responsibility to them.

Quote:
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.
Parents make sacrifices, invest mountains of money in their kids. Thats what parents do. They do it out of love (hopefully). But it is not a I spent this on you now you give it back deal.

To me it comes back to support.

If the parent is losing money because they have become inept or senile then maybe you help out with medical care but I still don't think you just throw money at them because they want it. Any more than they would have thrown money at you as a teen just because you wanted it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:26 AM
 
Location: SA
744 posts, read 1,102,872 times
Reputation: 571
I feel the child has the duty to help the parent by not letting them mooch off from them. They need to show the parent(s) that they did a good job raising them to not let others walk all over them no matter who they are. If the parent(s) find themselve to be in the lazy category then they will need to realize that they will not be able to survive that way. The child owes nothing to the parents finacially, but should be respect them enough to guide them to find the help they need.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,550,288 times
Reputation: 1221
I think my mother did the best she could. However, she did NOT support my education, and has yet to put a cent toward it.

And would I help her? Well, if she needed some cash to keep her from losing her home, or to buy food with, sure, if I could. Would I give her money for beer and cigs? No.

Try telling your alcoholic parent you won't give them money for their addiction. That isn't a pretty argument.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,909,221 times
Reputation: 14633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday night View Post
And i got beaten by my father, and had to go the summers to another country with my brother. Away from my mother and everything that was secure in my life, to a country i didn't know. I got beaten and he told me time after time "Men don't cry, so don't cry" and if i cried he would beat me again. When it came to food if i didn't eat up everything, i had to sit at the table and wait until i was done. The time would be around 15:00 and he would take his leave to go to the pub to be with his mates, told me i couldn't leave before i ate up. He got back at 20:00 something and i was still sitting there not touching my food, and too scared to move away.

He made sure that my mother could not call us, and we had no way to talk with her for the time we spent there (Two months). I spent most of my time walking around the town, and the beaches because my brother and father would argue and i didn't want to hear them scream at eachother. He made sure that i knew "No son of mine is that weak" everytime i would curl up into a ball when he beat me. This went on for a very long time.

I could take my anger out on him now, but the fact is that he got another wife, and another son and he is being an excelent father to that son. He kind of .. practised on me and my brother. I'm being the better man by not talking about it, and not hating him for it. But i will never feel any obligation to him, and that does not make me a worse person. I might not be a good person, but i'm damn well better than him.

And let me tell you that it was true anguish sitting on the plane, knowing that you were flying 2 000KM away from your mother, into the arms of your 'loving' father. The amusing thing is we never told her anything, because she was depressed and sad as it was. My brother used to look at me and tell me that i had to bite my teeth together now, for our mothers sake. I don't know why i'm writing this, i just get a bad taste in my mouth when i'm supposed to owe my father anything.
The obligation is to yourself to do the right thing. Do what you know is right. Retaliation rarely makes us a better person or even makes us feel better. You are harboring resentment you need to let go. What happened, happened. Nothing will change that. Don't let it define who you are.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,909,221 times
Reputation: 14633
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyW View Post
I think my mother did the best she could. However, she did NOT support my education, and has yet to put a cent toward it.

And would I help her? Well, if she needed some cash to keep her from losing her home, or to buy food with, sure, if I could. Would I give her money for beer and cigs? No.

Try telling your alcoholic parent you won't give them money for their addiction. That isn't a pretty argument.
I don't think anyone is suggesting we should enable addicts. In a case like that, the right thing is not to help. Sometimes, letting people deal with their own messes is the kindest thing we can do.
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