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04-03-2012, 21:35   #31
miec
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Taking the balanced and traditional view of family, as an inter-generational kinship relationship, there are minimum duties owned to even the worst of parents. It is good to set humane examples.
I disagree with this on two points; speaking as a child of abusive parents and as a parent of a much loved child.

Duty was forced down my throat by my family despite being the recipient of varying levels of abuse until I removed myself from my family. So if / when they become infirm I will not be around to assist them and I am comfortable with that. I don't think one has to care for parents and in particular for cruel, uncaring parents.

As a parent myself who broke the cycle of abuse, etc, I am glad to say that I love my child (who is a teenager) when I conceived him I did it because I wanted to experience parenthood, so in effect it was a selfish act, it was for me and I gladly parent him despite the challenges that parenting brings but with love comes freedom, and I want my child when he grows to be utterly free, he owes me nothing, absolutely nothing and I don't want him to feel obligated to care for me or be tied to me, that would break my heart, I want him to be free to choose whatever, if he wants to care for me in my dotage and he happily chooses it then fine (although I think he would be nuts to do so) but for me there is no expectation. I think this whole notion of duty to parents is pretty disturbing for me. I believe that once our kids grow up they should fly the nest and not look back.
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04-03-2012, 23:52   #32
gcgirl
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Originally Posted by miec View Post
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Taking the balanced and traditional view of family, as an inter-generational kinship relationship, there are minimum duties owned to even the worst of parents. It is good to set humane examples.
I disagree with this on two points; speaking as a child of abusive parents and as a parent of a much loved child.

Duty was forced down my throat by my family despite being the recipient of varying levels of abuse until I removed myself from my family. So if / when they become infirm I will not be around to assist them and I am comfortable with that. I don't think one has to care for parents and in particular for cruel, uncaring parents.

As a parent myself who broke the cycle of abuse, etc, I am glad to say that I love my child (who is a teenager) when I conceived him I did it because I wanted to experience parenthood, so in effect it was a selfish act, it was for me and I gladly parent him despite the challenges that parenting brings but with love comes freedom, and I want my child when he grows to be utterly free, he owes me nothing, absolutely nothing and I don't want him to feel obligated to care for me or be tied to me, that would break my heart, I want him to be free to choose whatever, if he wants to care for me in my dotage and he happily chooses it then fine (although I think he would be nuts to do so) but for me there is no expectation. I think this whole notion of duty to parents is pretty disturbing for me. I believe that once our kids grow up they should fly the nest and not look back.
+a million
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13-03-2012, 14:56   #33
Emme
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Eh, being "always put down by a parent" is a form of abuse (mental abuse), as difficult as you may find it to believe. (!)

I will not go into what went on in my childhood on here because it would be off-topic and it would feel too much like I am justifying my position, while I don't feel that there is anything I need to justify. Suffice it to say, it was abuse, and anyone is at liberty to believe me or not.
Unless you've been emotionally abused by a parent, you have no idea what it's like and aren't in a position to judge the actions of those who have. There's an old Irish mentality that one child, usually a daughter, should give up their life to care for their parents or at least not marry and therefore be in a position to give up all to do caring "duty". Duty being the operative word. It's not so prevalent now, but exists in some rural parts of Ireland.

I know of parents who deliberately held back bright children, tried to put them down and stop them moving forward in their lives because they wanted the children in their control. These people used emotional abuse to try and cripple their children and prevent them from becoming truly independent. These were parents who revelled in their children's misfortune and failure, telling them they were useless, would never amount to anything, were insane and incapable of doing anything right.

Parents who always had to take centre stage even when the children were ill. It didn't matter how sick the children were, the parent in question always had to be sicker and get the attention. The children grew up knowing that his/her needs didn't matter and were second to the needs of the parent.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of emotional abuse. I could write so much more about it.

The OP's first duty is to himself, his spouse and his own children. If he chooses not to care for parents who abused and neglected him he is within his rights to make that decision. If he does decide to look out for his parents then that's also his choice, but he does not have the right to neglect himself, his spouse or his children for the sake of his parents. If caring for his parents jeopardises his relationship with his spouse and children and drains his health he should step back and leave his parents to take care of themselves.
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