When the Tables Turn: When Children Become Adults...

I find this fact very interesting, and also very painful.

When a couple has a baby, they give everything they can to that child (does not apply to abandoned, unwanted children, of course). They will often sacrifice if it means that their child would get something better. And that love knows no boundaries because parents will do that for years, and for more than one child, in many cases.

But then that child grows up, and that child is in their teens or young adulthood, and now, the parent becomes somewhat a burden. I mean, how many times do you hear things like "oh, my mum is such a pain", or "I hate my dad"?

I find this particular culture very disturbing.

When I went home for the summer, I was super happy.

And everyone was happy I got to go home (because last summer I didn't and I was a little miserable having to study throughout summer); but for some reason, they seemed to think it would be a little awkward or something...

Cause I had people ask me: "How was it like having to live with your parents again?"

Me: "Great!"

Them: "Oh...Really? I would hate having to live with my parents again"...

So I can understand that when you're used to so much freedom and being able to do what you want and come home when you want; I don't, however, understand why it should be viewed as something negative...

I can also understand that some people have not-nice relationships with their parents, of course, but is it a norm?

I volunteer in the hospital and I meet so many old people who just don't have somebody. They will tell you they have children, but their children don't visit them in the hospital because they're too busy. They won't even call in some cases because they don't want to disturb or burden the child!

It strikes me as weird.

I know these children now have their own families, but what about the person whom without you might not have these families???

When a child is admitted into the hospital, the parent will drop everything and go. But when a parent is admitted, children don't seem to feel the same...need.

It strikes me as weird that many parents feel the love and need to provide everything for their child (not the abandoned ones, of course), but children don't often reciprocate that love and need when the parents grow old.

At the very least, don't they feel a sense of...duty?


WP said…
Yes, that's kinda true. It's rather sad...

But I've spent 7 years abroad and am now back in my parents' house...and I'm really NOT looking forward to leave! But I don't think I can stay here forever :P

I also remember being struck by a rather similar situation when I was visiting a discussion website regularly a few years ago. Several users were complaining about their parents and saying that they couldn't wait to be 18 so that they could do whatever they wanted. (I believe they were Americans, being 18 is a big thing there, isn't it?) What I thought was, does that mean that once they turn 18, their parents' views don't matter any more?

I think the sense of duty is more prevalent among Asians...because we were brought up to "respect our elders", etc. When I was in France, I found that what most people found important was independence...and we often see elderly people living alone (not with their children, I mean) And the old folk actually prefer it that way (maybe, like you said, not to "disturb" their children). I even have a friend who overheard some "makciks" discussing which old folks' home was better! (and this based on their children's recommendations...)

Hmm, I think this is my longest comment ever. lol
whre4arthou said…

We going to get another doggy this Friday! :)
Daphne Ling said…
Hey WP,

Oh yeah! It is such a big thing this 'indendence' in individualistic cultures and 'family' in 'collectivistic' cultures that almost every class I sit for, there will be a mention of how this will affect the results of studies.

I'm quite tired of reading the same thing, to be honest.

It's almost like...people have nothing else to comment about when it comes to cross-cultural differences.

Which is sad. If only both cultures could learn to embrace the good of both (because there is good and bad in both!)...
Daphne Ling said…
Hey whre4arthou,

Hurray! It's so sweet of you to adopt her and give her a home.