How Adult Children View Taking Care of Their Aging Parents

In this third and final blog about parenting, here are some attitudes that govern how adult children at each stage view taking care of their aging parents. Those in quotes are actual verbatim statements:

  • Stage One―“What did they ever do for me?” Ones are also likely still to feel entitled to be on the receiving end, no matter how incapable their parents are of giving. Onesare least able to accept the reality of when parents die or are close to death, regardless of their age, health, or other circumstances. For Ones, it’s just about always about themselves, and how almost any circumstance that occurs makes them a “victim.”
  • Stage Two―“Now it’s my turn for revenge.”
  • Stage Three―“Now I make the rules”. ”Children should ‘take care’ of their parents when they grow old.”
  • Stage Four―“Maybe now they will finally recognize/ love me.”
  • Stage Five―“Taking care of them is my duty. In addition, “saving money now by taking care of them myself is a way I can maximize my inheritance”. However, Fivesare quite likely at times to find the experience fatiguing, overwhelming, and in conflict with other aspects of life.
  • Stage Six―“It’s an opportunity to strengthen and complete our relationship while there is the chance.”
  • Stage Seven―“It’s an honor and a graciously loving endeavor to give back.”

If there were truly a “selfish” reason to climb to those target stages as a parent, it would be to anticipate that time when the tables are turned. This calibration is one I’ve seen in play many times. And in reality, it’s often a predictable consequence of the example you set that your adult children follow.