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Thread: Parents with older children :)

  1. #1

    Parents with older children :)

    My children are 21, 18 and 7 and since I am 35 years post, I got them all after my SCI.

    How do your children behave to you? My children behave with respect but they do not want to help me with anything. Nothing practical like shopping or cleaning house and so on. They say they do not want to do anything more then children with AB parents. I have taken it up with a psykiater and she said they were right, they should not do more than normale.

    Sometimes it gives me real trouble because there is things I can't do and I need help and nobody wants to help me because they believe my children can do it.

    I have a friend who has a 10 year old girl and I see that she is starting to do the same thing.

    Is this a protest because we are not ABs and the children want us to be? Do anybody here have any commants.

    I do not have husband or other family to help me but I have a woman helping me with the house 3.5 hour twice a week.

    I am starting to be really tired. I have been doing everything I can for the children and I can see I do not have energy to do the same with the 7 year old that I did with the big ones. The oldest one has moved out of my house but none of them is helping with the small one. The father of the small one is living 2500 km away and can't help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    WFE, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this issue. I believe there is no excuse for an 18 and 21 year old, who are still living at home, NOT to help their disabled mother who also lives with pain. The 7 year old's attitude is typical of that age and situation, but the older ones are being selfish and immature in my opinion.

    I'm not SCI but the father of my 15 and 11 year olds is a C7 complete quad. We adopted them from Russia when they were 7 and 4, so they are not even our biological children. However, we've never had a problem getting them to help their father in any way. I think there are reasons for that, the first being that, when we were married, they saw me always available and willing to help him when he couldn't help himself. You unfortunately have not had another adult living with you to model that proper behavior for the children. We parents are the most influential people in our children's lives, whether we realize it or not, and how we behave in front of them affects how they behave in front of others.

    Second, Scott's family is a very close, supportive, loving family, especially when it comes to helping Scott. Again, my children have been fortunate to have this type of attitude and behavior modeled for them from day one. Also, I'll admit there's a little "peer pressure" and guilt applied by family members when one of the kids hesitates to help their father. Is that right? Not sure, but it teaches them that there are things and people in life more important than themselves or their cartoons, computer games, DVDs, etc.

    My only suggestion is seek out a family member or close friend who's sympathetic to your situation and may be able to speak a gentle word of "encouragement" to the older children to start helping their mother more. This in turn will teach the 7 year old more than you can imagine!

  3. #3
    WFE-

    I have a 23 yr. old stepson and a 14 yr. old son. They are both lazy. I think this is typical of kids, even kids with able-bodied parents. The only thing I know to do is to shame them or guilt them into helping. They say they don't want to do anything more than the kids of AB parents. Yeah, well what they want and what they get will often be different. That is true of kids of AB parents as well.

    My son told me yesterday that I don't understand how hard life is for him, as I am disabled and don't do much. Grrrrrr, whatever.

    I think you might need to tell the older ones that they can either help or cough up money to pay someone to help...their choice. I'm sure they know what is right, they just choose to do what is easy. In the U.S., kids often move out from their parent's homes at 18. If they don't, they should surely contribute around the house. Does the 21 yr. old borrow money much? Make him work for it. But pay by the hour, not by the job. I learned that the hard way.

    Just my opinion, and if you figure this one out, let me know. I'll pay you to solve this problem! lol....Beth

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  4. #4
    Betheny, your children sounds like mine. In some way it makes me happy to know I am not alone
    And the only way to make them do things is to make them feel guilty. That again, makes me feel guilty. Maybe because so many people has been angry because I made children at all.

    And both of them tell me I am lazy because I don't do everything myself. My oldest one is even angry that I don't work and are living on disability He has left home. He was in the Army and when he came home again, he found his own place. My daughter leaves this summer I think.

    I have tried to pay, that doesn't work. They tell me they do not have time. School, the boyfriend, work out and party are the most importent things for my daughter and the university and football are the importent things for my son. I understand that but sometimes I can't do the things for myselves.

    If I beg them, they think I am pathetic and that makes me really angry.

    Martha, they have never had any good rolemodels. Nobody has ever been helping me, except the hired help. My husband did but they don't remember him to much. So my daughter excpect that woman to do everything in the house.

    I believe they think I am superwoman . Maybe because when they were small, I did everything when they were in school. I am not doing the same mistake with the small one. He is helping out

  5. #5
    Just curious, what were there responsibilities while growing up? Did they have regular chores? Were they expected to contribute to family life? What did you do for them? They sound awful selfish and self-absorbed.

    In my family we had chores from an early age, and were also expected to help grandparents, great aunts and uncles, etc. etc. As we grew into adulthood and older family members started to have problems, we naturally chipped in to help with shopping, yard work, etc. Since my mother is also severely disabled, I have assisted a lot with her personal care. My sister (who is not a nurse) has helped with non-medical issues such as purchasing gifts that make life easier for my mother (and father), sewing and modifying clothing, helping them get attendant care, help with vacations and travel, etc. etc.

    Not sure if you can change your children when they are already adults in this area. You might try some family counseling with a good social worker though. Trying to "guilt" adult children into helping you will only cause resentment and alienation. They have to want to do it, and see it as a normal responsibility to the parents who raise us (and changed our diapers, cooled our fevers, etc. etc.) as we grew up.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    When they were younger, they were helping with what I suppose is normal, dishes, going out with the garbage, taking their plates from the table, take away their toys and so on.

    Now, nothing nearly at all. My daughter, 18, is sometimes making dinner and wash her own clothes. My parents live close to us but they have never cared to help and we do not have a good relationship. They left me alone with my problems from the sci when I was 16 and I can't forgive them for not helping me out with doctors and stuff like that. I stayed at home but they never wanted to talk about my problems.

    I have been to a counsellor and she told me and the children it was the parents duty to take care of the children, not the other way. So you can say, I did not get any help

    Like I said, I get some help from the city so I can do the shopping and cleaning the house and the rest I do alone. But I am tired and need more help. It is hard to fight with the healthservice for more than 30 years

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    WFE, again I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It's tough enough when you're a single mother, but to throw SCI on top of it is cruel and unusual punishment imo.

    Hang in there. I wouldn't be surprised if the older ones wake up in a few years. I once read that the most self-centered time in a person's life is between 18-25. Looking back on my life, I can tell you it was true for me.

  8. #8
    WFE,
    I have 3 daughters, 5, 10 and 16. When it is time to go to the grociery store I decide who is going with me. My husband works alot and so I dont expect him to go with me on his day off. Its just not a choice around my house. I do alot for my children. Took my 16 yr old back and forth to school sports and gymnastics since the age of 6. I play taxi for the 10 yr old, back and forth to gymnastics and girl scouts and I let her have friends over all the time. Its all give and take around here. I dont take to much of their time by asking for help going to the store or needing something I cant reach and I give them as much as I can so that they will give in return. I never let my kids sleep past 9:00 am, to me it is just being plain lazy to sleep any longer. They get up, I make them breakfast and if something needs done then they do it, if not they can lay on the couch and watch tv or play. When I say "if something needs done" I dont mean something I cant do, I am talking about things any kid with or with out a dis mom should do. Like clean up their mess in the living room, maybe sweep the floor or make sure their bath and bed rooms dont look like pig pens. As for your older kids being so disrespectful of you that is just plain bull shit. I hope to think that in 3 or 4 yrs I can call my oldest if I need to and know I can depend on her to be here for me. You bring these children into this world and if you raise them right and treat them with respect you should expect the same back. Maybe you need to be more assertive? Good luck, anna

    [This message was edited by annabell123 on 04-03-04 at 02:25 PM.]

  9. #9
    wfE,
    Seems to me that there are four in your family living together and there should be four people helping out - up to their free time available and their age. The counselor might be right in that you have certain parental responsibilities, but that only should go so far... Your children have responsibilities also - especially the adult children - anyone in the US is considered an adult at 18! I'd tread carefully, but find a new counselor and have a heart-to-heart talk with your kids. (These are my opinions. Interesting that many people in the US think that European parents are pretty tough and we spoil our kids.) BTW, I also think that this should be true of an AB single mother, single father, or family.
    Good Luck,
    Carl

    [This message was edited by carl on 04-03-04 at 04:53 PM.]

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