Ungrateful son

MY beloved wife passed away six years ago and I’ve been staying with my eldest son and his family since then. Although financially stable, I have to depend on my son for certain things.

But whenever I approach him, he never responds. Sometimes he shouts at me, saying he is too stressed out or tensed up. He even shouts at me in front of his wife and children.

How come he is good with or approachable to everyone else even though he is stressed or tensed? Fortunately I have my pension, otherwise he would have chased me out.

Children depend on parents for everything when they’re young, but they forget how their parents had toiled day and night to give them a good education and all the necessities for their well-being. Wasn’t it stressful for these parents too?

I could find a home which can accommodate me. Of course, I won’t be a parasite. But nowadays, I am a cook and babysitter for my son. I am happy to render my service, but is it fair if this has been taken for granted?

All parents, do be careful in your golden years. Never stay with a son who is selfish and ungrateful. A daughter is always yours, but some sons want only your service and money, and give their attention only to others.

Sad dad

IT is sad to see an adult child treat his parent this way. It must be difficult for you, especially when you have lost your partner and have to turn to other family members for support. It is not fair that your son shouts at you. Whether he does it when you’re alone, or in front of his wife and children, it is unacceptable.

No one can speak for his behaviour. Maybe he is nasty to you and not others because he thinks you can take it. Or, maybe he takes you and your feelings for granted. And this is not right at all.

You are not a parasite – you seem to be doing your part in your son’s household as well. Looking after his children surely counts for something.

Contributing financially is not the only way you can do your part. It is important for you to realise this and not be ashamed of the fact that you are living under your son’s roof.

Yes, you could perhaps live in a home. But the conditions may not be as comfortable as what you have now. Also, you risk not seeing your grandchildren as often as you do now and you could end up being lonelier than you are now. Besides, living in a home also brings its fair share of problems.

And, you don’t know if a daughter would have been any different. She may have her share of responsibilities as well and that would bring its own problems and stress.

It is pointless to speculate on how things could be different as you will be relying on your imagination and ruminating on half-truths, and that can be far more stressful for you.

You cannot change your son’s behaviour, but you can change your expectations of him. Changing your perception of what and how you expect him to behave will help you manage your feelings. You know that this how he behaves. As awful as it may be, it will help a great deal if you accept it. Stop expecting him to treat you differently, and you will probably feel less disappointed.

You should not stop having your own life. I hope you are maintaining friendships and relationships with other people. Try and fill your days with activities that do not involve the household or your son.

One of the things that many people assume is that you have to give up your independence when you grow older. This is absolutely not true.

Financial stability is not the same as independence. There are still plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy life, and this is your chance to take advantage of them.

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