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Love Me or ELSE!!! Why has it come to this? Forcing generations to care for each other.

Recently we learned that China enacted a new law which stipulates that children must often go home to see their parents.

This is because parents have taken their children to court for abandonment.

Here is a link to the Chinese news piece.
You can use Google translate to read it.

http://news.qq.com/a/20130701/000775.htm

And here is the Yahoo news piece:

http://news.yahoo.com/law-requires-chinese-visit-aging-parents-063254370.html

So, what do you think?

Should the government get involved in this situation?
Would you sue your child if he did not come to visit you?
Can we force our family to love us?

What do you think of all this?

If you are from China and know information that can help us understand this issue better, please comment below.

Thank you so much!!

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    Jul 6 2013: All of us are running into the inevitable problems of the need for much higher levels of schooling, training and travel from home to survive. At some point the effort and expense of constant back and forth travel to care for aging parents can become destructive to the survival of the care giver. Everyone has a breaking point. The demands of long distance care are well know to me. At some point the level of commitment rises above the level of the individuals physical emotional financial capabilities to sustain it. This has massive spillover affects throughout the economy, and society. IT is in the interest of the society to provide support in many forms not least financial to aid those caring for parents. Now especially in the US we are utterly and completely on our own. The cost in care giver illness, lost work productivity, loss of savings, even traffic accidents due to fatigue are passed directly to society and a hundred ways. Love is very powerful , but unfortunately doesn't necessarily conquer all. Parental care and parental visits and the associated costs should at very least be completely tax deductible.
    • Jul 6 2013: Peter, from reading your contribution I detect that you have first hand knowledge of this situation.
      I do too.

      Yes, care giver illness is a big problem.

      Not all parents age the same way.
      Some elderly, who suffer from chronic diseases, are really in need of special attention.

      Some of our parents do so much for us when we are children, and even into young adulthood, that, to turn our backs on them, and excuse ourselves from their lives seems.....inexcusable.

      I don't know about where you live, but here in Florida, the sunshine state, we have so many elderly.
      They are everywhere.

      And we have so many choices in taking care of their needs. There are a lot of foreigners (women) who dedicate themselves to taking care of the elderly in their home.
      This is a great relief to children who are of working age and are still raising a family themselves.

      And there are adult living facilities as well........in all price ranges.

      There are many choices. But perhaps, this is the case in large cities.
      I'm not sure what it's like in rural areas.

      Your idea of tax deductions sounds like something to consider.
      Has there been any legislation on this at all?
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    Jul 18 2013: Just my take on it. Personally, I think this particular law is ridiculous. This is a case of laws infringing into sphere of morality. In China historically, there has been 2 parallel strains of modes of governance: Legalism and Confucianism. Legalistic governance is the rule of law, while Confucian governance is governing through morality. Laws inherently carry coercive force behind it, and even if this law is enforceable, which I believe it is not, it will not make the children "love" or truly care for by heart their elderly parents. Since the cultural revolution, much of traditional Chinese culture had been abandoned for "scientific thinkings." Of course, nowadays there have been efforts to try to revive traditional Chinese culture that emphasized much on the concept of filial piety. Ultimately, this law in my opinion is also hilarious, another attempt by the Party to use the State to influence mass morality. Like the story I heard in China of this man getting arrested by police because he was watching porn by himself in his own home. To wrap up, I think this law is insignificant, but it reveals an overarching characteristic of the Party, reminiscent of the Chinese state in the past dynasties as well, to influence public morality using a top-down approach. Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't. During the cultural revolution it worked so well that the State was able to break down 5 millennia of Chinese moral structure by turning kids against parents, students against teachers, citizens against each other.
    • Jul 18 2013: Taiyi, I am so grateful for your in-depth and well thought out reply.

      You have brought further enlightenment into this most serious topic.

      I had not really thought about this issue from the perspective of the state using this top-down approach, and how it had used it before to affect morality and Chinese culture. It seems very arrogant for a government to rule over people's hearts.

      Our figurative heart is where the seed of our motivations is contained.
      And giving it to a human organization...such as a political government, to do with it what they will, is just totally unwise.

      Perhaps those Chinese who value love and compassion within their heart, not because of Legalism or Confucianism, but because of Humanism, will somehow help others to overcome all the detrimental effects of this terrible human government that has done much to harm your culture.

      We humans need direction.
      Morality is something that many talk about, and discuss, and even argue about.
      But whose morality will we ultimately follow?

      The question is still up for grabs.

      I am thankful that I had the opportunity to exchange thoughts with you.
      My name is Mary, I live in the United States, in Florida.
      I am a mom and a teacher and a Christian. Nice to meet you!!
  • Jul 6 2013: Mary M. This is a great topic.
    Isn't it obvious that ALL Governments have a problem with over-reaching?

    I have Great grandchildren, and soon they will have children, and life goes on.
    My children and grandchildren all treat me with respect.
    I try to use my age and experience to help them when I see it might help.
    Sometimes they listen, sometimes not.

    I wouldn't want them to feel obligated to return to the nest after they had left and
    found their futures in far away lands. If they lived closer, I would be disappointed
    if they did not visit now and then.
    But that's all. Merely disappointed.

    I would reject a government that says they must visit and care for me.

    Our government has much to much to do these days. Making war, and letting
    some manufacturers add appliances on our computers to monitor our every move.
    Appliances that the user cannot even find or remove.
    1984? all over again.
    • Jul 6 2013: Frank, I think many older ones feel the same as you.

      This whole situation is a very complex one.
      I do not think there is a single solution, as families vary greatly, and what is good for one, might not be good for another.

      But you cannot go wrong with loving and visiting your aging parents.

      I find it inexcusable that adults turn their backs on the two humans who brought them into this world.
      Of course, not all parents are perfect, and there are dysfunctional families, but overall, it is sad when a government has to make such a law......
  • Jul 6 2013: There is a difference between being visiting your parents and being made legally responsible by the government for their care. Morally and ethically, families in general should do what they can to help each other survive. However, in a case where four parents are dependent on one couple for support, there may be insufficient family resources to cover the level of health health care deemed minimal by health care officials. So, do you bankrupt the current working generation? How about families that have a child to support in addition to four aging parents? Now you have potentially 7 people dependent on one income, or two if both parents work. This is a problem partially developed by a one child policy, so I think the state should be held partially responsible. It also seems reasonable that if the elderly worked their entire lives and supported he state, that there should have been provisions made by Chinese government planners to provide care for them in their retirement coupled to the one child law. The decision made about an acceptable level of suffering for the Chinese elderly is tied to these provisioning decisions and resourcing for them. Forcing children to come visit their parents sounds like a ploy to somehow emotionally leverage children to take responsibility for a planning oversight made by the state.

    Taking care of the elderly everywhere should not be a question, it should be an accepted part of life. Families should not need to be told they should step up and do all they can to help their parents, but I do not think you can legislate or enforce a moral responsibility on those that choose to turn their backs on the problem. Ideally, workers should be made to plan for and pay for their own retirements during their working years. This should be regulated by the state. If there is an oversight, the state should protect the minimal needs of these people for survival just as they would any other person that was incapable of providing for themselves.
    • Jul 6 2013: Robert, thank you for your fine contribution.

      In this country, you can turn the care of someone into the state's hands......there are guardianship programs which take care of individuals when a family is unable or unwilling to do so.

      I wonder if in China, such a thing exists?
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    Jul 6 2013: Mary,thank you for bringing out this in-depth conversation.As a Chinese point of view,this law is understandable,but the limit of its enforceability is self-evident.There is no specific red line,parents's flexibility and longing for care vary.

    However,I can provide some pressing and deep cause of it coming to this situation.First,one child policy accounts for the cumbersome burden on every single young adult,no other sibling can give a hand to share the care.Some young couples have to carry four parents,from each side.Second,the increasing fierce competition throughout the society. Provided young employees have the impulse and need to come home to see parents,but the loss can be devastating,they might lose out to their competitor,losing a high-paying job.On the other side,their employers have compulsory obligation to give them an extra holiday,to be credible,employers have to survive also.Third,high travelling expense.Tickets,food,even hotel on the way back are unaffordable to some migrant worker,the truth is those who migrate to find a job,are mostly from poorer family. Also,there is a cultural transition ongoing, in traditional Chinese's eyes,filial piety is the foundation of all virtues,which props up the whole system of society and governance,as Confucius underlined it.But,after a 30-year opening up and rapid growth,the foundation of virtues changed,but we are confused and directionless on what might be the best replacement of filial piety.

    There are definitely more causes,like the lack of education,people's sense of morals collapse when their brain is dominated by the pursuit of money.

    I personally pretty supportive for this law.There is a flip side,when we are children,there are laws protect us more tightly than our parents,laws stipulate that our parent must meet their obligations as guardians.When we commit some crimes our parents are inevitably responsible because of their neglect.Our laws and morals drive everyone to care for the vulnerable.
    • Jul 6 2013: Thank you Jaden for your insight. Here are some points you bring out and my subsequent questions:

      ** "First, one child policy accounts for the cumbersome burden on every single young adult,no other sibling can give a hand to share the care"

      Do you think perhaps China will change this policy?

      ** "Increasing fierce competition throughout the society"

      Why the "increase" of fierce competition? Are not employees allowed to sue employers for wrongful termination of employment?

      ** "the truth is those who migrate to find a job are mostly from poorer family."

      Do not the neighbors help each other out Jaden? If a poor elderly couple is left alone, and the son goes away, do not the neighbors in their village or town care for the elderly?

      And do the sons and daughters that go away to work, do they send money back to the parents Jaden?
      Do they at least take care of the parents financial need?

      ** " but we are confused and directionless on what might be the best replacement of filial piety."

      Let me ask you Jaden, what about love? Love is a worldwide principle. It has nothing to do with Confucius, it is a human need...........we need to give and receive love.........at any age.

      And another question..........how widespread is this problem of elderly abandonment?
      Are there any statistics?

      ** "Our laws and morals drive everyone to care for the vulnerable"

      This is a good thing, isn't it? But, it is hard to legislate people's hearts Jaden.
      For this we need a superior kind of knowledge and values which surpass government mandates.

      I look forward to reading any additional information you have for us.
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        Jul 7 2013: Here are my answers,some of them might be my own understanding.

        One child policy shouldn't be abolished in the near future,we can't afford population growing rapidly,which is already 1.3 billion.Candidly and historically,one child policy benefits China tremendously in the long term.I will let yourself to imagine live in a country where its population extremely excessive. One child policy is a successful move now,but it has to be swept in the end,state should let people decide on their own how many children they want.As time goes by,the expense of raising child rockets up,people receive more education,they tend to have less children than previous generations. Currently,there has been a great debate over the legitimacy of one child policy.

        Let me give you some details that the phrase 'one child policy' can't provide. This policy is quite flexible among different people and places.In the region I live,

        1.Families whose first child is a girl,they can legally have their second child.

        2.The couple that both husband and wife come from one child family,they can have two children regardless of gender.

        This policy is also flexible,to ethnic minorities,disabled people,they have more freedom than common people in choosing how many children to have.

        I don't mind tell you, that I have a brother,seems illegal? But here I am,safe and legitimate. I have a friend,who has 5 siblings,I can't imagine,but his mother moved from place to place to give birth,in order to escape the authority and without being punished.His parents' goal was to have a boy, despite they had four girls bore previously.
        • Jul 8 2013: Jaden, thank you for shedding further light into the One Child Policy.
          It is interesting, I did not realize a lot of what you have shared.

          Thank you so much.

          I am short of time.
          But I will read the links you provided, and come back and comment later.
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        Jul 7 2013: 'Are not employees allowed to sue employers for wrongful termination of employment?',since I have no knowledge about this case,I won't add any information so as not to mislead you.

        Neighbors certainly will help when someone is in need,whereas the limit is obvious,that they can't expect their neighbors to play a child's role,they can't provide much emotionally and financially.The state has Basic Living Allowances,but only few of us are eligible to receive the allowance,in my village,all the old alone people who have no children receive it.

        Sons and daughters,my knowledge,99% send money back,their basic obligation is to support their parent financially,but somewhere along the line,due to some cause,their performance deteriorate.However,as parents and children,blood is thicker than water,the bond is out there,which means emotional obligations are relatively more crucial than finance among families.Actually, the parents come to the stage of suing their children,they are in desperate need of tangible support,like money,food,daily life care,etc. But I believe what visiting parents often creates is the bond,emotion,love,that they also short for.

        I think love is the ultimate principle,even filial piety is one of the forms of love. The question is love is so boundless and penetrating that we don't know where to start?I think if we pinpoint some smaller spirit maybe easier to practice. I see the educational system and principle really put patriotism upfront. I personally uphold the traditional principle filial piety,diligence,frugality,gratitude,and some fresh elements like equality and freedom.

        I'm looking for the statistics,will give when I find.Here are links relate to this issue,you can google translate them,

        http://health.zjol.com.cn/05zjhealth/system/2012/02/08/018183594.shtml

        http://www.liushou.org.cn/
  • Jul 6 2013: I believe that government should not get involved. If people have to be forced to visit family, it would not be genuine. It would not be a relationship worth preserving.
    I do think it is extremely sad though, that commited, loving parents are being forgotten in their later years.
    • Jul 6 2013: Craig, do you think this abandonment issue is mutually exclusive to China?
      • Jul 7 2013: No, it seems to happen in many countries. It looks like China at least acknowledges the problem and is trying to fix it. I think they are going about it the wrong way though. I feel that appealing to peoples compassion is a far better method than relying on a fear of punishment.
        • Jul 8 2013: I do think they are going about it the wrong way.

          But perhaps, since they understand their people, maybe, just maybe, they are doing it this way because it will bring out feelings of shame, and so the people will act the way they know they should? Could it be some sort of psychological strategy?
  • Jul 18 2013: How could Chinese parents sue their child, the only child? Most like it is because the child is abandoning them. Even you are doing this, you will not be punished if your father and mother do not sue you. The government just want to protect your parents when they think they need the protection.
    • Jul 18 2013: Yes, Tao Sun, thank you so much.

      I think that the government is trying to protect the parents.

      To me it is sad that it has come to this.

      Children should love their parents, and parents should love their children..........always.....

      Thank you for your contribution Tao Sun.
  • Jul 8 2013: I don't get it.
    People the world over talk about how children are the future.
    They say it is 100% unacceptable to abuse them in any way.
    There are so many abused children in the world, everywhere.

    So, let's not raise them with love. "Too much love" will ruin them.
    What in the hell is "too much love"?
    There is not enough love in the world to begin with.

    To thine own self be true. This is something children should be taught.
    But therein perhaps, lies the problem.
    What are we teaching children?

    In American it is mostly lies, about themselves, their country, their leaders, each other, others, and they do this
    while raising them to believe in things that don't exist, like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and God.

    Perhaps the greatest thing that could be done worldwide, IMO, would be to remove or greatly lessen the stresses and pressures and outside forces that infringe upon and greatly degrade not only the parenting/family environments world wide, but also later, the child-into-adult living that is becoming more and more overwhelming and almost impossible to not only live up to, but just to show up in.

    When I was young, children left home, not because they were looking forward to their own, possibly exciting lives, but mainly to get away from those people who were literally driving them crazy (into insanity). Their parents. Who in the world would want to visit them again? Parents mostly make their children neurotic by giving them their neurosis to carry on into the world.

    There are many forces at play here and somehow I just don't accept it is caused by being an only child.
    Not only do children look forward to getting away, so too, and often, do the parents look forward to children leaving, for good.

    Unspoken feelings, are saturated in both parties, and affect them as such.
    "In all the places we were hiding love, what was it, we were thinking of?"
    • Jul 8 2013: Powerful stuff Random.

      Your comment showcases the depth of this issue.

      One of my coworkers (35 years old) was once talking to her mom on a cellphone.
      Next thing I see is the cell phone flying across the room, smashing against the wall, and falling to the floor in pieces.

      Anger.......rage..........some children feel hatred towards their parents.

      And yes, some parents harbor similar feelings towards their children.

      A few months back I read a book called "The Girl of the Limberlost".
      In it, the mother treats the daughter in a very harsh way.
      As you progress in the story you learn what was at the root of the problem.

      At the root of so much emotional turmoil........there is always a cause.
      Get to the cause of the problems, and many times you can solve all the issues.

      Getting at it is the big problem Random.......some people suffer when faced with truths, they prefer the lies.
      • Jul 8 2013: Hi Mary.
        Thanks for your comments.
        From the time I have been on Ted, I have continued to say, "Americans worship lies."

        Well, so do many other people in many other countries. If they didn't, the living conditions for most
        of the world's population would not be so harsh, dangerous and deadly.

        I have also repeatedly said, that getting at the cause is how to solve human problems,but most don't seem to think so, so, it is nice to see or hear from someone else like yourself who also knew this to begin with.

        I thus assume, you are one of the few sane people in existence at this time.
        We have too many pressures and stresses upon us to live in a relaxed, non-threatening and inclusive, loving way.

        And those stresses and pressures are created and put on us, by those the majority trust and believe in. It's pretty sick but they cannot see it because everyone around them is sick just like them so all seems normal. Even the loss of their freedoms, homes, etc.

        What you said is so true but now I fear most can not even spot or recognize the truth.

        Tootle...........lou
        • Jul 8 2013: Lol,I think the same in the all over the world:people just adore lies,don't like to hear the facts,true things.if you mention about the truth ,they would feel u sound like a jeek:).

          I keep staying in an english chatroom online to keep on english learning.People just like to hear good words,and most of them don't like to have a registered nicknames,maybe because they just don't want to take responsibility to what they do in the room,or some others' reasons?that's alright,but the worst thing is:some people changed their nickname this and another to send bad words to others,Lol,sometimes I couldn't help laughing:do they really want to be a man or sth?
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    Jul 8 2013: So, the great experiment failed? It didn't take into consideration cultural change and outside influence within a short time frame? Right now from my view point which is highly speculative, she's ready to explode.
    • Jul 8 2013: Have you read Jaden's comments?

      I think that perhaps we have to be careful and really think about this.
      Perhaps it is not many sons and daughters who have abandoned their parents.

      Perhaps it is just a few.

      I still have not looked up the links he provided.

      Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and maybe this is what is happening....a few parents upset? And making noise?

      I am still collecting information.

      What I think most of us are dumbfounded about, is the gov't involvement.
      Passing legislation is not going to change the problem, or help solve the root cause.
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        Jul 8 2013: All through my childhood years and young adult years i have watched the western media paint china as the repressive political system, Tienanmen square to the reports of chinese watching their own people online. What we do in one timeframe sends waves through two generations until the third generation either let's it go or faces it.

        Regardless of what people we are born from we are the same, mutant clones of each other and follow a basic program, it has always been this way until we started to question why and so for some it may feel we are progressing on an evolutionary scale but it is not so. because that theorem takes an inordinate amount of time.

        Time, a founding generation find they quickly run out of and so by the third generation we have something different and so on and so on.

        We have forgotten one of lifes unspoken rules.

        Teach the young to work for nothing before they go out and work for something because nothing comes free.
        • Jul 8 2013: Nicely said Ken. Thank you.
  • Jul 8 2013: A big problem in china is:young generations have quite different raising children's thoughts from their parents,and meanwhile grandparents spoil children too much...So one child policy makes the new generation consider themselves as centre more than before...it caused conflict between parents and children,because in the ancient of china:parents are sky and land.
    As the world is getting open completely,so new generations learn a lot western countries'things,different cultures are on the way to get compromise...
    • Jul 8 2013: "One child policy makes the new generation consider themselves as center".........

      Now here is insight into a possible cause of the problem.

      Having adults dote over you throughout your life, can certainly spoil you, and make you self-centered.

      Loving a child too much, and giving them everything, might have created this problem?

      Hmm Edulover........I had not thought of this point.
      It is a very interesting one.

      When I was growing up, kids who grew up as an only child in the family, and the parents and grandparents spoiled them, were insufferable.
  • Jul 8 2013: Hi Dear Mary M.:)Amazing topic,Lol,thank you so much for the caring so much from you about china.
    I heard about the law information from internet more than a few weeks ago in the morning.It shocked me a lot,then when I was my parents'home cooking lunch,I told my parents about the law,they despised it a lot.My mother said:what a stupid law,who made it?then we discussed a lot about it.
    My parents said:blood thicker than water,what else love can be deepper than parents and children's?Can you evaluate it with any law?It isn't law's function to force people in this norm.we are humanbeing,we have hearts,love,passion...if we wanted a law to force children to go to see their parents,are we still humanbeing?Stupid,Too Stupid...
    Anyway in China,most of chinese parents and children they are connected the most cloestest:some of them three or four generations live together,at least half of parents and children live together...hardly see parents complained their children treated them bad around me.
    But because of one child policy,the old china relationship between children and parents has been changed a lot.Half of them if they have conditoin,they would like to live alone in their house,not living together with parents more,Especially sons,because mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is the most difficult to deal with...most of daughters when they have children,they would like to live together with her parents...And no matter son or daughter,when they have children,if their parents' health is good, parents always feel pleased to go to live together with their child...meanwhile can take care of their grandchildren...
    • Jul 8 2013: Edulover, your mom sounds so wise!!!

      Yes, what can be stronger than a mother's love?

      Many of us wonder why a law was passed. It seems something that the government should not be involved in. The government cannot force people to love each other. This is silly isn't it?

      But why has it come to this?

      How many parents actually complained to the government?
      How long was this issue around before the government stepped in?

      Or perhaps the government is wanting to wake up some people before they actually take this cold attitude towards their parents?

      The way you describe Chinese family, they sound a lot like Cuban families. :)
      • Jul 8 2013: Yes,I guessed the government is wanting to wake up some people before they actually take this cold attitude towards their parents.I have to say:it all caused by one child policy problem,it is just one of problems we will have to face:how to balance a happy relationship between parents and children...aging population is getting larger in china...how can next generation to support old people?....
        • Jul 8 2013: Do the Chinese come abroad to study how other nations deal with this same issue?

          It sounds like there is great opportunity to open up homes for the elderly.

          Don't you think this would be a possible solution?
      • Jul 10 2013: That's sure gov keeps eyes on other nations dealing with it.Because they are aware of aging people will be a severe problem to deal with in China.
        • Jul 10 2013: Well, that's good to know.

          Be Well!!!
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    Jul 7 2013: I did give you my views on this on the other conversation page, remember?

    And I forgot to mention an important point that caring for another depends on the others kindness and affection that he/she shows to one. If my grandparents or parents did not like me and did not care for me, I would actually not bother about them since social conventions don't bother me and I treat people the way they deserve to be treated not the way they want to be.
    I sound rude and forgive me for that.

    Also, Love you mom and dad and nana!
    • Jul 8 2013: Simon, thank you for participating in this conversation.
      Yes, I know your views very well.

      And I think that you bring out an important point, that of kindness in adults.

      Sadly not all parents and grandparents are loving. Some abuse children, and the children, once grown walk away from the relationships.

      I don't think you sound rude. I think you brought out another side of the issue.

      I think perhaps that at times adults act mean, because they themselves have never been loved, they suffer emotional scars, that they pass on to their children. In a family, if there is at least one member who has some kind of knowledge or insight into these kinds of human struggles, then they can serve as a conduit in helping the healing process.

      It is a terrible thing to grow old alone and unloved. Terrible Simon.

      Do you think your mom, and dad and nana got your message? LOL
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        Jul 11 2013: haha.. :) I'm sure they know it well enough.

        And yes, some go unloved and loving their parents back just because of social conventions is pretty hard; specially if government enforced.
        • Jul 12 2013: Simon, thanks for contributing to this conversation.

          Be Well....Mary
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    Jul 7 2013: Dear Mary,
    I am not surprised at all. I think it is a cultural dictate in Asia. In India, old, ailing and not well off parents enjoy rights to receive care and financial support from adult children. In most Indian societies such cultural expectation is from the sons and not daughters (certainly not a married daughter). The law doesn't discriminate between sons and daughters though.
    There had been court verdicts forcing unwilling children to take such responsibilities.
    While this is an additional burden on people, I don't see it as much wrong particularly when many parents sacrifice heavily to help children make a good life financially.
    This, however, does not ensure love for old parents. But the law cares less - the idea is support, not love.
    Traditionally Indian families had been additive, that is, the concept of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) (also Muslim families too) was to keep the adult sons living within the family even after marriage so that after a time a HUF would be like a league :) This is changing as more families are now 'nuclear' (parents and one child) but the old values die hard.
    I think China, which is culturally close to India, must be having a similar experience.
    It will be interesting to hear from someone from China of course.
    • Jul 8 2013: Pabitra, thank you for bringing in information on India.
      I was not familiar with HUF....

      We have a government agency which is set up in each state called the "Department of Children and Families". http://www.myflfamilies.com/

      Whenever we see any kind of abuse, be it child, or elderly, you can call the department and a social worker goes out to investigate. (notice the abuse hotline on the web page)

      I am not too familiar with all the goings on of the agency, but I do know they have a way of helping and finding resources to deal with various issues.

      Is there such an agency in India?
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        Jul 8 2013: Mary, you may find this interesting.
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/may/31/elderly-care-affordable-india
        • Jul 8 2013: Pabitra, what can I possibly say to this?

          The system here exploits the elderly.
          Even after their death, funeral homes take advantage of the mourning children to squeeze more money out of them.

          It's all about $$$$ here.

          This was a wonderful story Pabitra, simply wonderful.

          Thank you so much for sharing it.
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          Jul 11 2013: These kinda happenings are very rare and not a daily happening.

          In Bangalore, one of the most developed place in the country, an old citizen was kept like an animal. He was tied up on the roof,given food twice a day, given a bath,and left on the roof till night..when he was brought in. This does not happen everywhere and it rarely ever does and similarly, its like the old people having a great time in Pondicherry.

          Incidents like these either keep our hopes up or diminish our faith in humanity.

          But anyway, what we need to do for our own parents is clear enough and I'm pretty sire we all will do the right thing. And what better way to make others do the same for their parents than being a perfect example and a practitioner of what we are trying to say through this discussion.
    • Jul 8 2013: Oh, and I forgot to show you this:

      http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php

      We also have a department specifically for helping the elderly
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    Jul 7 2013: I suppose this law would have to be understood in the context of Asian culture, where elderly are held so highly. The law might not make sense to we Americans because our values are different, or perhaps at this point we are taking adequate care of our elderly without this law. I would have to think we as Americans have laws that seem strange to people from other countries (for example, our death penalty, or our gun laws), but they work for the majority of Americans. Different culture.
    • Jul 8 2013: Good point Greg.

      Come back and read Edulover's comment above, if you get a chance.
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    Jul 7 2013: 4th. Commandment ..
    "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you."
    Good sound advice, as are the other 9.
    My wife & I are in our early 60's. My Mum in Law is the sole survivor of her generation. We make sure she is ok without meddling, as we did for those past.
    We have a grown daughter & son; plus a young lady, in her early thirties, who so missed having a mum & dad that she applied to join us. So now we are five.
    We treat our children with respect & they reciprocate. I am certain that they will give us the required attention, as we have given them, in their time. We have done our best not to be a financial burden; but your best is all that one can do. Governments can fleece you of everything at anytime.
    I think mutual respect is the key to this; governments should keep out, as you cannot legislate respect. It has to be earned. If I had never given my children a second thought, & drunk their dinner money, then I would have no right to expect their love when I needed it most. What goes around comes around.

    :-)
    • Jul 8 2013: Peter, here in the US we have agencies in place to help those who are at risk and are vulnerable.
      One such agency is:

      http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php

      I do agree with you Peter, that you cannot legislate respect.

      Simon above gives us his 17 year old perspective on this. It is in harmony with what you say.

      Like many other social issues, this issue is very complex, and there are many sides to it.
      It is rather sad when people's lack of love and compassion makes front page news as a law passed by government officials.

      How do you think the children of those parents feel? Ashamed? Do you think maybe that was the intention? To bring shame to them?
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    Jul 7 2013: This is just my opinion, my personal experience. My father died when I was 5 years old. I watched him rot from cancer of the esophagus, on a bus drivers salary in 1960. There wasn't enough money in his measly pension death benefit to pay for a shoe shine. My mother's income for the entire year was $1400, a pittance even in 1960. MY three older brothers, were still at home but had to grow up pretty quick, as did we all. It tore our lives apart. My mother had to continue raising and guiding us with no help what so ever. She finished the job of getting us on our way in life with great courage. My brothers, and I cared for her for 3 years when she was diagnosed with cancer. I drove 200 miles every weekend on a salary that barely paid gas, and rent at the time. While trying to have lives of their own my brothers spent many thousands. IT was a huge drain on all of us. It was also a duty that we could not forsake. So if my comments on TED seem to be filled with anger, and contempt sometimes that's one of the many reasons why. A society that allows multi billionaires who gained most of their money through bribes, intimidation, fixed markets, and privileged tax deductions to rig the game, while the middle class and the poor get dirt, that is a sick society. I deeply respect, and honor people who work hard to get by get ahead. The ( 1%s ), "no", their sticking it to us big time ,and we all Americans are apparently to stupid to take them down off their high horses to live in reality like the rest of us. Government is neither good, nor bad, it's just a tool , a vehicle to be used by those who are smart enough to take control of it.
    • Jul 8 2013: Peter, you were very gracious to share your heartwarming and poignant experience with us.
      There are so many different points to think about when discussing elder care.
      So many different circumstances in each of their lives.

      What a blessing for your parents to have had you and your brother's love and compassion in their last days, as well as your self-sacrificing spirit.

      I think, like you, many of us view our parents care as a duty we just cannot forsake.

      Thank you Peter, thank you.
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    Jul 7 2013: I believe it has very much to do with Asian culture. The elderly are traditionally treaded extremely above the next generation. It's not about being right or wrong, its about strict respect to the elderly regardless if you disagree with what they say. It's overboard and extreme. Told to kiss a dog under the tail and you better do it if it means 7 years of good luck at the casinos (yep, I made this up but close enough). You simply do what you are told and don't ask any questions, a loyalty nightmare without any change.
    ... I personally lived with someone for 9 years in this culture. This is not a good law. How can forcing someone to care about you be in any form of emotional righteousness? Is it really about caring? Why would you want this in the first place? Money? :( yeah, yeah I believe this has much to do with it. It's never enough. I strongly believe money in this culture has great influences beyond emotions such as empathy, love, and kindness. Break the cycle, how can their government or any government support it?
    • Jul 8 2013: Good points Vincent. Thank you.
  • Jul 7 2013: I think that this is really the difference in culture and time. Several hundred years ago, almost all families with parents and grandparents lived with their children together even the children were adults and with jobs. Therefore,it's natural that the elderly parents expect their children to support them, or to care for them. In modern day western culture, it seems that the elderly parents have no rights to ask for assistance from their grown up children. Yet, like here in the U. S., because of the bad economic conditions, the grown up children are returning to their parents' house/home when they are in financial difficulties. Many people here don't even give it a thought, and believe that it is entirely normal. But is it fair that the parents are always the party to give and the children are always the party to receive with no reciprocity?
    In ancient China, the neglect of elderly parents was treated as criminal, that's exactly how the decision made by the current courts is based upon. At that time, some of the "children" lived and were supported during their entire life by their 'parents" who could afford pay all their living expenses. At these times, the reciprocity was, of course, reasonable if the parents became too old and needed assistance. Of course the situation is different nowadays.
    Currently, maybe this kind of decision would cause serious difficulties for some adult children, but I don't think there would be too much objections among the Chinese people to this court decision.
    We must also understand that the pension or social security system does not yet cover most of the people in China. Anything resembles that started in the 1980's, so most elderly parents do not have money or assets for their later life. In addition, the emotional connection between the family members is certainly a very important component of such decisions. Even in modern China, they still consider the elderly (grand)parents as members of the families with their grandchildren.
    • Jul 8 2013: You bring out some very important points Bart.

      Thank you for your fine contribution.

      As the world's population grows, and through technology, we start to learn more about each other, I think there will be many issues that will need exploration and discussion.

      I believe the majority of families do care for their elderly, regardless of where in the world they live.
      Don't you think so?
      • Jul 8 2013: Thank you for your response. Even though I am not a sociologist, I still think about the problem of the trend of the lives of the elderly here in the U. S. Even as early as 50 years ago, there were many elderly living alone in their houses or apartments There were quite a few cases that some elderly passed away in the houses and were not discovered by their neighbors several days or a week later. I certainly understand the difficulties of the parents-children relationship to maintain constant communication, as well as sometimes the parents would prefer to live alone even if they were invited to live closer to or with their children. Of course, the problem is not only about the undiscovered death, but also the day-to-day lack of social contact with their friends or relatives.
        Since the problem of the aging of the population as a whole, I can see that the problem would increase in size and severity in the future.
        I have posted a couple of TED discussions about a dual solution of alleviating the problem of the increase in the elderly population and the unemployment of employable adults with their families to live together in government sponsored condominiums with many automation and robotic care assistance to the elderly and managed by the adult family with children to form an extended large families so that the younger families would provide social services, with pay, to the elderly And also let the children to interact with the elderly resembling adopted grannies and adopted grandchildren. This would benefit both groups, because nowadays the children in many families are without companions or supervision after school from their working parents.
        There are more details in several of my TED posts. You can click my name to find my recent post, if you are interested.
        A footnote, My wife and I had visited our parents (mine in Taiwan and hers in Hongkong) every 3-5 years, with our children. Now, our children visit us once a year without our urging.
        • Jul 8 2013: Bart, your ideas seem wonderful.
          I had not read them before.....I will go to your profile and read further. Thank you.

          I think that there are so many diverse issues and circumstances surrounding the elderly.
          It is not "one size fits all".

          Some elderly never had children, others riddled with dementias that are not diagnosed, drive their family away. And then, there are the dysfunctional families, where there is drug abuse, alcohol abuse, molestations, domestic violence, emotional abuse, etc......

          There are so very many circumstances. There are many programs in place to help the elderly in this country.

          But the best help, the one whose motivation is love, can only come from those near and dear to us.

          I love that you and your wife led by example.
          Now you are seeing your own children show the same kindness to you.

          Family is a beautiful thing.
          Somewhere along the line, some never learned the definition of the word.
          This is sad.

          P.S. I have missionary friends who live in Taiwan. They love it there.

          I
  • Jul 7 2013: Mary, thank you. I feel as you do.
    But there are many adults whose abilities to love do not extend to responsibility.

    Example -- Maybe a bit off-topic.
    I took a small apartment in the down-town area of our community, where I could
    get to and fro only having to walk 2 blocks for my needs.

    Within the apt complex there are several welfare adults who do not appear to have
    the abilities needed to care for their parents in any way. None of them seem able
    to express their parents in conversation. I never enquire, only note.
    Most are on some medication. Many have been addicted to drugs in the past.

    One new neighbor, buys and sells hard drugs from his apartment. His elderly mother
    begged my friend, the landlord, to rent to him. She explained that her son was being
    evicted and only had 2 days to find a new home. My friend, the landlord gave way,
    and rented to him, provided the elderly mother would pay a premium deposit.

    I had advised against renting to him. That was last month. This month I served him
    with a 90 day notice to move. Since he is on a Housing Welfare he gets a 90 day delay
    in eviction. Stupid law, in this case. I am considering notifying the Welfare Dept.
    If his deportment becomes worse, I may need to do so.

    Obviously an addicted drug user/dealer is nothing we all wanted in this complex.
    His elderly mother has been notified, and refuses so far, to answer the landlord's calls.

    My friend, the landlord let money buy us all a problem.
    Such is what you find living down-town. Ugly.
    But, only 2 blocks to walk anywhere.
    Trade offs - Trade offs. Life is full of them.
    • Jul 8 2013: Frank, that is some experience you got there.
      I would hate to be in your shoes.

      I am sure it is not mutually exclusive to your building, town, state, or country......
      • Jul 9 2013: Mary, thank you for your support.
        I wrote another bit today on this conversation.
        I hope it doesn't offend you.

        I took the outlook of a Dead-beat Dad.
        I have watched those circumstances and wanted
        a platform to express my feelings.

        I believe our family society in the US has changed and morphed into
        something really different. ..It is a bit too early in the game to figure
        out whether or not the changes are going to benefit us or not.

        We do need to provide for our elderly parents in their time of need
        because of failing health that comes with aging. But as you can see in
        my prior dispatch about Dead-beat Dads, Government is intrusive when
        trying to help one segment by the destruction of another segment.

        I would relish your thoughts if after you read my prior dispatch you
        might write me. Thank you Mary.
        • Jul 9 2013: Thanks for the additional contribution.
          I have answered above.
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    Jul 6 2013: It seems worth saying there is some enjoyment in visiting your parents, you can learn from them about life.
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    Jul 6 2013: Strong parents care for vulnerable children.Same principle applies to this situation,adult children care for their vulnerable aging parents.
    • Jul 6 2013: Yes, this is the way it should be.
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    Jul 6 2013: It is the right thing to do, there is no way you can legislate (enforce) this.
    • Jul 6 2013: So do you think that the law will just be brushed aside and things will continue as always?
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        Jul 6 2013: Yes.
        • Jul 7 2013: Me too. I just don't know how they can enforce it.

          If it's a matter of a fine. Then the children with money will pay.
          But the problem will still persist.........abandonment of the elderly. :(
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        Jul 7 2013: It is a cultural thing, that will change. When one has to make decisions about survival you sometimes get pushed to a Sophie's choice scenario.

        I thought Jaden Ye's comments were telling.

        I think that situation would be quite different without the government meddling. I'm not sure the Party organizing committee is as great as the speaker made it out to be the other day?
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    Jul 6 2013: We might upset a lot of older folks if we make their kids visit them more often. I say defend senior's rights to peace and quiet.
    • Jul 6 2013: Now Edward, I know you don't mean that.

      What do you honestly think of this situation?
      Isn't it sad that a government has had to step in to deal with this abandonment issue?

      Today I spoke to a local couple who owns a restaurant, they are of Chinese descent, by way of Panama, and they are really saddened by what they are reading, and what they are hearing from family members back home.

      What I found really interesting, is that their two children, who have always worked in the restaurant with them, have decided to work somewhere else, and eat somewhere else too.

      Now they are there alone all day to care for the business.

      I wonder what will happen 10-20 years from now when the kids have a family of their own, and mom and dad are old?

      Do you think this issue of abandonment in mutually exclusive to China?
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        Jul 7 2013: My original response was the sum total of my feelings on this matter. I cannot imagine making government mandated visits to your parents. If people are not visiting their parents it is because one or the other, or both, want it that way. How is that possibly a government matter?
        • Jul 8 2013: Fair enough Ed. I do agree with you.
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    • Jul 6 2013: Are you in China? Or are you Chinese?
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    Jul 6 2013: So I'm sitting on the fence looking at both sides. Children would not exist if it wasn't for the parents who created them. Children should respect that and at least visit and reconnect with their parents. However if they've chosen not to it pulls into question why? Parents and children who have quality relationships generally stay in pretty close contact so there's no feeling of abandonment. Then again there are environmental influences that can change your children into something you never raised them to be in which case the parent may look on with helplessness and develop a feeling of disconnection and abandonment. These are the situations where it becomes understandable to a degree why a parent would sue for visitation, especially if their desertion is preventing the grandparent from developing a relationship with their grandchildren.
    • Jul 6 2013: Ang, I agree with your expression...."parents and children who have quality relationships generally stay in pretty close contact so there's no feeling of abandonment."

      Do you think that perhaps the way we bring up our children is an important factor in whether or not they will care for us in our old age?

      Should parents have conversations with their children about what they want when they are old?
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        Jul 8 2013: Absolutely on both counts. Children become who their parents raise them to be. There are exceptions to every rule but children pick up and generally adopt the same morals and values as their parents. Another very obvious factor is whether or not the adult children have the means to care for their parents.
        • Jul 8 2013: Yes, money is needed to care for the elderly.
          Sadly, because of reliance of family, many countries do not have eldercare facilities in place for such times as when a child is not present.

          They say it takes a village to raise a child.

          Now perhaps, we will have to use the village to care for the child when he grows old?
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    Jul 5 2013: How ominous, Mary M! Given the reality of my birthday just past, I have come to terms with the reality that my dotage has arrived. Senility is upon us. And Alzheimer's can only be weeks away. After all, the clock runs ONLY in one direction. Given this, why not make those little vermin offspring I sired (& you mothered - independently of course!) come to see us; & pay attention to us; & dote upon us; & appreciate us! After all, we EARNED IT didn't we!

    After all, they would not exist at all w/out us! We wiped their bottoms & cleaned their spittle! And some of the females among us actually BREAST-FED them! [The wretched little-beasts!] And what man has wrought, mankind may yet destroy? Children are the future? NO! They are OUR future. We the aging have that right; & we must act now to Lord that power over them before they discover mandatory euthenasia at age 64 for all those deemed unworthy of continued existence!

    After all, isn't it the Rosicrucians who want to reduce the world's population to 500 million? Maybe they want to start their population control program with US - the aging & the elderly!

    Check out my profile & see How the Marilyn Monroe photo changes into a photo of another well-known celebrity! Really, it does!
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      Jul 6 2013: Yea I see that Marilyn/Albert.
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        Jul 6 2013: That, in memory of my good friend, Roland Knoop. I heard a rumor that he was an actor. Also, he had been chauffeur @ Princeton, NJ to the REAL Albert E. for a brief period. The most I knew of him was as a very private, & good neighbor. I miss him (& his dog Max). In respectful memory of a departed friend. Mostly, I admired his courage. He would not give up, ever!

        He had a twin brother . . .
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      Jul 6 2013: Hi juan I agree with you!!

      According to middle eastern teaching. Paradise lies under the feet of the mother
      Its customary and a judiciary law that is ordered and implemented in practice to care for your parents.
      Like they cared for you when you were young.

      Life is filled with Karma. what goes around comes around
      How you treat your young will be the formula with which they will treat you.
      "You sow what you reap"
      its been narrated that we can never pay a mother for a droplet of milk or the drop of perspiration during labour.
      These are all wise words, they give generations the obligation to care and treat the elderly and aging parents with the dignity they deserve.
      The formula will never be out dated and is passed on from generation to generation
      so Yes some religious laws have ethical value and substance

      China is only implementing something that have been accepted as a norm but through modernism have been lacking in our society. With the influx of homes and old ages. Resting grounds for those , who have passed their age of usefulness. Predetermined by society, but what is not being promoted is the wisdom and character that disappeared with that generation.

      In our eagerness to attain education we lost our humanity, In our bid to achieving greatness and popularity we lost our compassion. We have harvested a generation of selfish, obnoxious, egotistical, self centered goal orientated, greedy over achievers with no morals or ethics. Respecting your parents and looking after their well being is caring for your heritage and nurturing your roots.

      That is something our modernist have lacked and have neglected. We believe we fell from the sky, because science testify that we are a mistake a fluke of nature or a n evolved talking monkey.But even monkey's in troops care for their elderly.

      how low has humanity been sucked by the influences of negativity.
      our purpose is to learn and discover this reality but we need Roots to grow
      Our Parents are our Roots
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        Jul 6 2013: Thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom. My comment here was undertaken in English w/the voice of 'modern irony.' I was being comedic & sarcastic. And (I hope) that I was also expressing some of my own regret for those moments when I failed, as a dutiful son, to give proper honor, respect, and deference to my parents & grandparents. And that, only for the way the nurtured me as a child.

        They were not perfect. But they were there for me. And that, by the Grand Design, is enough.

        ". . . but we need Roots to grow. Our Parents are our Roots!"
        Yes, and Amen!
      • Jul 6 2013: "We believe we fell from the sky, because science testify that we are a mistake a fluke of nature or a n evolved talking monkey.But even monkey's in troops care for their elderly."

        So Yusuf, do you think that belief in evolution has something to do with what is happening?
    • Jul 6 2013: Juan, thank you for your reflections on appreciating ones parents.

      And Juan, for what it's worth, I do not think senility is anywhere near you......continue exercising your brain, and you will keep in top mental shape.
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    • Jul 16 2013: Detachment is something that many people use to cope Deepak.

      You have mentioned it before.

      I can see why this strategy is very helpful to you and others.

      Thank you for participating in this conversation.

      Enjoy your golden years!!!!
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    • Jul 16 2013: Hello Deepak,

      Yes, I believe this is the second time we have a conversation.

      I, like you, think the same way.

      Our giving love to our children, is contagious.
      I think many times parents love their children, but do not say it.
      They provide food, clothing, and shelter.......which of course if obligation and responsibility, but they fail to make their love noticeable.....that is, they do not have deep conversations with them, they do not become intimate, no exchange of emotions, of compassion..........

      Do you think that some children, devoid of such an intimate relationship with their parents, lack appreciation for the roles their parents played in the upbringing, and then find it easy to cast their aged parents aside?

      And, I also agree with your statement....."as a parent if I give love to my children then I should not expect the same from them". I feel that we should never expect something from others........especially when it comes to the matter of love. But it hurts Deepak, it hurts very much when you love someone else, especially children, and they walk out of your life and leave you to die alone. This is a terrible ending to one's life, isn't it?
  • Jul 10 2013: Ok Mary hang on tight...

    I think it's a great idea. Economically the strain of social services in most countries is growing, this is one way to alleviate it. Why because people who are happy, and obviously the parents reunited with the children will be happy, dont get as ill. It's the very same reason why other countries also and additionally promote pets for the elderly, you can see the difference it makes in their emotional well being. And like placebos emotional well being makes a significant impact on one's physical well being.

    Further, it's a sad reflection that today that if your not economically active, you're less of a citizen, and treated accordingly.

    I for one am glad China has taken this seriously, because I remember a time when my friends from Hong Kong, had large families, and respected their elders and they had an active, yet differing, role to play in the family, which gave it balance. To marginalize or ignore these people, is only setting yourself (ie society) for a fall.

    That may be the fall of, dumping old people into old age homes, or creating a larger and larger part of the population that is complete not interested in society as a reflection of the way they are treated, which could severely impact on elections and the voice of experience and unfettered thought. Or the costs of increased care and medical attention placed on the state and thus the tax-payers, and ironically their own children, simply due to physiological and psychological effects of being abandoned.

    Personally, I always admire, be it, Chinese, Muslim, catholic or any other religion, and be it from any continent, Africa, China, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, and the US, that puts the value on the family and the support that it can bring to all members, be it young or old, working or not, that is; the true care of a loving concerned family member.

    That's something that the state, even with all the best wishes and heartfelt intent, can never really provide.
    • Jul 11 2013: Wonderful contribution.

      I think bottom line is, if you have a loving family, you do not have to worry about your elder care.

      However, there exists exceptions.....as in the case of serious chronic diseases, which may require the intensive attention of a health care professional, and perhaps your family has limitations.
      I think we have to try to plan ahead as much as possible.....but expect the unexpected, because we really do not know what tomorrow will bring. Some parents outlive their children.....and then what?

      This issue has many side issues with it....like alot of conversations.
      It is not one size fits all, like someone else commented.

      BTW.....Did you read Pabitra's link about the man who took his parents to India?
      • Jul 12 2013: did read the India url, but know that there is a large Indian population in Africa as well as British, as well as African, as well as Muslim, as well as Christian, as well as Buddhist, as well as Hindu, as well as ...well we are the rainbow nation :).

        It's always been a scourge of the west particularly since Nixon and the privatization of healthcare, that non-economic peoples, generally the least able, have been marginalized. That was a sad outcome, and one I feel has never really been addressed.

        With regard to the bigger question posted....
        Maybe the law can serve here a purpose to change society back to what China was, and if it's used like this to 'remind' people what's important, then I'm for it. Because in some ways you might see it becoming invalid as it's success grows. Witch in someways is really a good example of a positive law, one that eventually erases it's own existence, I think we should have many more like that, as the can define a shape a society to become better, rather than the punitive type which ever go away.

        With regard to...
        However, there exists exceptions.....as in the case of serious chronic diseases, which may require the intensive attention of a health care professional, and perhaps your family has limitations.

        You'd think that would be the case wouldn't you... but it isn't. In fact just the opposite is true, even with the help of a doctor, as it's only a small amount of time that's given to you, needed - yes, but limited to an immediate need. But the serious condition does not temporarily vanish until the next visit.

        It stays with you. Every waking moment, every day. Some days are better than others, some are worse.

        But a warm embrace, a friendly smile, from someone you love and someone who loves you... goes a real long way - a lot further than most would think or thankfully know.
        • Jul 12 2013: Although the law has good intentions, I will be looking forward to seeing what it's effects will be in the long run.

          Humans, for the most part, do not do as they're told..........free will and all that jazz.....

          Parents deserve our respect, most have tried to do what is best for us.

          China is changing.......we will have to see how their society adapts to all the changes, and what solutions are put in place, AND, if they learn from other countries as to their elder care.

          Thanks for all your contributions Tify.
  • Jul 9 2013: Mary, It is no wonder that you would be a great teacher.
    As long as we have the emotional connections with our loved ones,
    our parents, our siblings, the government cannot control feelings.
    And governments should not try.

    I look forward to reading this conversation again soon.
    • Jul 9 2013: Thank you for your participation thus far Frank!!!
  • Jul 8 2013: Love me 'Or Else' !!! A bit off topic, but close.
    Today, we have half-families. The elderly parents are kind of forgotten in the mess.

    Being a good son or daughter would mean more to their Dad if he could justify the
    loss of not having been able to be in their youthful lives and participate in their raising.

    It doesn't work well in this country. Our social structure is rapidly changing
    from one of monogamy to who knows what.

    Families started to fall apart after the 1950's.
    About the time women had found a shoulder to cry on, in the form of psychologists.
    Miltown became the number one "forget your troubles, and just be happy" drug of
    women's choice.
    We guys just didn't see the axe falling.
    The threat by governments to try and eliminate welfare waste.

    I don't blame the women. They had put up with abuse since caveman days.
    But in women's zeal to free themselves, they left the baby maker in working condition.
    Hormones were driving them nuts.

    Someone coined the phrase. "Dead-beat Dads". (Probably a District Attorney somewhere.)
    The local county DA chasing them for recapture of the monies paid out to their ex-wives for
    the supposed welfare of their children. ..Avoidance of the DA's by the Dads just meant that
    society lost it's momentum. To survive, Dead-beat Dads hide from the DA's super-sophisticated
    collection agency - run by Dastardly Men DA's and usually staffed by eager women collectors.

    While women on welfare get great school loans and college degrees.. The Dead-beat Dads
    suffer a lifetime with another women, or two, or three, and her kids. It is hard for a Dead-beat Dad
    to keep a job with the unending weekly garnishments of his wages. Harder still when the DMV
    suspends his driver's license at the request of the DA collector. And the never ending threat
    held-over-his-head of jail time doesn't spark enthusiasm.

    And we guys never learn. Never. .. While the nation's productivity suffers greatly.
    • Jul 9 2013: Oh Frank, we bring so much misery into our lives.
      The never ending need for love and understanding.
      The jumping from one relationship into another.

      I can't say that I am oblivious to it, because, being a teacher, I have seen so much.

      I have seen the small kids being raised by grandparents who can barely keep up with what day of the week it is.
      I have seen moms wage emotional warfare on their x-husbands, and vice versa by using their children.

      Frank, I just cannot imagine what these families that you mention must go through on a daily basis.
      I really can't.

      And for what it's worth, I think some guys do learn.....some women too.
      But it takes a special kind of mindfulness and awareness to learn.

      One must truly want to change from within.

      Not everybody reaches that point during their lifetime.....

      I'm not sure I've helped you any Frank.
      But I do hear you, and I am very sorry for the distraught you must feel at seeing others suffer due to errors in judgment.

      I am glad you felt comfortable to share this here.
      There are many factors that affect the care of the elderly.....what you bring out is one of these factors.
      Thank you.
      • Jul 9 2013: Mary, I am glad you feel the way you do.
        This topic is a wonderful one. There are ten days remaining, and
        I only hope that others will fill the pages with remarks.

        I've traveled Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Tibet, Philippines' and the northern borders
        of Australia. The elderly for the most part are treated with dignity by their children.
        The same is found in much of the world.

        When I was 4 or 5, I recall climbing into my parent's bed in the mornings and my
        Father's back always smelled nice. My Mother's purse, left on a chair or floor,
        when opened smelled like Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. But, by the time I had
        reached 8 or 9, my parents argued and fought day and night. His back smelled of
        rank alcohol, and her purse of icky cigarettes. ..they divorced. .. Shortly thereafter,
        he came to visit me one morning, and my grandmother ran him off with a broom.
        .. He was 68 when I next saw him. He was 69 when he died. ..
        I had become successful and was able to give him anything his heart would desire.
        ..He wanted nothing. ..I took him to visit a desert property he owned, He walked the
        boundaries, told me why he had bought it, and reminisced. ..After he died, he left a
        second wife and 3 children. ..She was 19 years his junior, and the kids were teens.
        ..I thought that they treated him with less respect than he deserved. (only my opine)

        My Mother, a thorn in my wife's side, came to live with us for 8 years before
        our divorce after some 20 years of marriage. She lived with my sister in Arizona
        for 1 whole year. That was my sister's limit. Seems she would forget to turn off
        the stove. ..I then had her live with me for another 4 years before her death.
        ..She suffered from dementia.

        Dealing with our parents can be tough.

        Now it is my turn to be elderly. I am liken to an old moose. ..Solitary,
        But luckily surrounded by my family, and my x-wife.

        I shoot pool/snooker, and handicap the horse races.
        Being old can be pretty good.
        • Jul 9 2013: Frank, I love that you reminisced..........each of us have so much in our bag of life experiences.

          I love to hear my own mom talk about her grandparent.
          Mostly her grandmothers.
          One was a servant in a rich home for many years, until she married.
          The other, went crazy after giving birth to her first child.
          And wouldn't you know? Her husband continued to impregnate her, eventually she had to be kept in room locked up, so she wouldn't wonder about. That was my great-grandma.
          My grandma, then, really did not enjoy the benefits of having a sane mom, who could look after her. She ended up looking after all her siblings. Being the only girl....in a family of all boys, she was expected to do this. She continued to be the caretaker of all the family members even after she married and had my mom.

          She neglected my mom.....emotionally. My mom was pretty much raised by her uncles on her father's side, and the one aunt......they all lived together in one house.

          My mom enjoyed a normal life, and I use "normal" liberally, after she married.

          She broke the cycle of child neglect with me and my siblings.

          But, still, her past affected the person she is.
          It is hard for her to show emotions.
          She does not say please, or thank you, or I love you.
          No spontaneous hugs, or kisses.
          No personal interest in me or my kids, or my siblings or their kids.
          No phone calls, or cards.

          I love her to death. And I pity the fact that she had the childhood she did.
          If I had only really known of her past.......if she had been open with me and been my friend as I grew up, then perhaps we would have emotionally supported one another, and she would have felt my deep love for her, and would have been able to open up and actually
          'show' her love for me. Because I do know that she loves me. She just can't show it.

          Now, as the years wear on, I sit and enjoy listening to her tell these intimate stories, which I was oblivious to throughout my life.

          My parents are still alive and married.
          I love them!!
      • Comment deleted

        • Jul 9 2013: Kate, thank you.

          I thought a lot before writing my feelings, and this tidbit from my life.
          I think that young people sometimes need to know that their parents might be carrying with them lots and lots of sadness, and resentment from their own childhood.

          If young and old alike would really sit and meditate and give themselves the benefit of the doubt, then perhaps there would not be so many lonely people in our world.

          This conversation has brought out a lot of feelings in me.
          And I just hope that any young person, whose parents are still alive, may take something away from our candid responses.......and maybe, just maybe, we would have helped someone, somewhere.

          Brene Brown's talk on vulnerability helped me to write what I did.

          And Kate, I don't mind you eavesdropping on my conversations ever.

          Hey, are you all settled in your new abode?
          Here's a housewarming gift for you:

          http://lightlycrunchy.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/035.jpg
      • Comment deleted

        • Jul 10 2013: Why are some of our mothers "sad vulnerable and manipulative"?
          A lot of my friends have this same issue Kate.......it is not mutually exclusive to one culture.

          I think it also has to do with oppression.
          Women of my mom's generation were expected to be submissive no matter what.

          I have tried so hard the last three years of my life to have some in depth conversations with mine, to see if purging some of her feelings will help her. But I cannot really get her to open up.

          I don't think I'll ever be able to have an honest conversation with her.
          This really used to affect me a lot......lots of shed tears Kate.
          But not anymore. Now all I have left is compassion and patience, and love....lots of love.

          I do not know what kind of an elderly lady I will be.
          I am always telling my kids to be on the look out for unreasonable behavior, and to call me out on it. I do not want to be manipulative when I grow old.....I want to age "gracefully".
          If there even is such a thing my friend.

          Look at this cartoon.......what do you think?

          http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1C2jD9BrLbk/UVdvKTD-TwI/AAAAAAAACrA/nWV_oSslXeg/s1600/old%20lady.jpg

          Which of the two do you want to be?

          p.s...glad you enjoyed the basket of goodies.
      • Comment deleted

        • Jul 10 2013: Kate, you know, yes, it is "just their manner".....with no insight.

          My main dilemma, or what I am always trying to really understand, is at what point do they get into this mode of behaving?

          And, how can they not see how harmful it is to themselves, and those around them that love them.

          I have an acquaintance whose mom is also like this, the mom has been under psychiatric help for many years. The psychiatrists told the daughter that there is just no changing her mom. To just accept that she will be like this the rest of her life.

          She has such a hard time with it. She also is aware and keeps her distance. But when I have spoken to the daughter, you can see the pain in her face, wanting to have an intimate relationship with her mother, and not being able to do it.

          At a certain point in ones life Kate, all any elderly person needs is love and a listening ear.

          Thanks so much for all the feedback!
  • Jul 8 2013: God no, it's every Americans god given right to put their old age family members into care, and have their last days be one of torment, neglect and fear, while the children go about enjoying their life.

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm

    Hell who am i kidding it happens everywhere - not just America.
    • Jul 8 2013: This conversation is mostly about what is happening in China.

      What do you think of the legislation Tify?
      Any Chinese friends that you can poll to get their insight?
      • Jul 9 2013: I dont think you can legislate ...

        ...love, concern, respect, nor gratitude.



        For what it's worth my friends from HK agree with that.
        • Jul 9 2013: That is pretty much the consensus of everyone who has contributed to this conversation.
      • Jul 10 2013: Well sorry maybe you expect too much of me, or maybe it was an off day :)
        • Jul 10 2013: Nah.....I don't expect too much.
          I really enjoy reading your contributions.

          Thanks Tify!!
  • Jul 7 2013: If you haven't read Jaden's comments below, please do so.

    His explanations and insights help shed light on this topic.

    I do hope some more commenters from China join this conversation.