Gransnet forums

Parents of grown up children

(50 Posts)
Lisalou Wed 18-Apr-18 07:06:28

Hi, I dont start threads often, but read a lot. In so many cases, adult children really do not treat their parents very well, are demanding of their time for childcare, unsympathetic to the parent's needs and downright unpleasant if they don't get what they want.
I am in my fifties and would never have dreamed of treating my parents or my IL as these people do, and if I have asked for support where childcare was concerned, I have always tried to be grateful, etc. What is it with these people? Why do they treat their elders like this?
I am sure some will come back and say it is a generational thing, to wait until my adult children start demanding...not really the case, we have our ups and downs, but in general, they are respectful. This week I have a bug and DS was happy to spoil me yesterday (not working at present) and make me cups of tea, and just generally be sweet. He offered to cook, and although I really didnt want to eat, it was kind of him to offer. I realise I am lucky, but wonder why this is no longer the norm?

Situpstraight Wed 18-Apr-18 07:30:30

Hopefully what you have ^ is ^ the norm and GN isn’t representative of the rest of mankind!

I’m sure that some people only come onto social media because they have a particular problem and are seeking help

there are many like you, who sit and read other posts and are thankful that our families aren’t having problems, but may be able to help in some way.

For some it’s a place to chat and air their views.

Something for everybody.

M0nica Wed 18-Apr-18 07:34:16

I think the presence of so many pleas for help with adult children on Gransnet is deceptive. If you have a happy relationship with your children you do not need help - and I think that that probably applies to most GN members and the majority of people generally.

Tolstoy said All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. I am not sure that is true, but happy families do not feel a need to constantly examine and analyse their happiness so they all seem similar.

Unhappiness in families doesn't start when children become adult, it has its roots in the whole family from the birth of the child onwards. One cause that seems to occur regularly on GN are parents, usually mothers, who have loved their children, not wisely but too well. They have given their children everything. Bought them everything, given them everything, paid their debts, run round them like skivvies and then are amazed that what they end up with is not loving caring generous children, but huge greedy selfish cuckoos who get upset when their every demand isn't met, for the simple reason that they have been brought up expecting to have their every demand and want met without any return. When their parents cannot do that anymore it is seen as rejection and the withdrawal of love and respond accordingly.

MawBroon Wed 18-Apr-18 07:36:28

Summed up perfectly M0nica.

BlueBelle Wed 18-Apr-18 07:42:42

Please don’t forget we only hear the one side of the story I wonder how different it would be if written from the other person
Also remember like all news you only hear the bad stuff the other 99% don’t find it necessary to say ‘all is well in our family’ or even more likely we have plenty of ups and downs but we still all love and care for each other

Nannarose Wed 18-Apr-18 07:50:43

I broadly agree M0nica, and I'd also say that if we look back to our young adult days, or our own childhoods, we can probably remember families who were quite demanding of different members. I certainly can; from farmers who demanded that all the children & spouses worked on the farm for nothing because they would one day inherit, to young women emotionally blackmailed into looking after aging relatives (also for nothing!)
In some cases as well, the expectation is ingrained - where I grew up, nans often stopped work when the grandchildren were born, to enable the mums to work. My mum told me she didn't want to give up her job - but I was quite independent, and happy to sort out our own little family without her help. Our relationship was fine, but I can imagine some where it would have been a shock!
Whatever the expectation or need, there are families who deal with it as a team, with love and understanding, and those who are not fortunate enough to have that.

SpanielNanny Wed 18-Apr-18 08:15:31

There is a well known business statistic, “if a customer has a bad experience they tell 15 people, but if they receive good service they tell only 4” I think this very much applies here. The majority of people have happy, healthy, loving relationships with their families, they just have no need to discuss them. Gransnet is full of people asking advice, those who are happy don’t need that advice.

I also think it’s worth bearing in mind that we only hear one side of the story on gransnet, and when people are hurt they sometimes don’t think clearly or consider the side of the other party. All we can do is offer advice on what we read.

Finally I think it has become quite ‘fashionable’ for our generation to speak quite disrespectfully of their children to others, whilst complaining that they have no respect for us. I am reminded of one friend who frequently complains that she has to be up and ready for her grandchildren to arrive at 730am 3 days a week. She doesn’t mention that she actually asked her dil to remove them from their nursery and childminder places so she could spend more time with them.

maryhoffman37 Wed 18-Apr-18 10:04:06

I have wondered about this too. And not just ungrateful children but the most appalling-sounding husbands/partners, who take them for granted, do nothing about the house, are mean about money, demand control of the TV, never want to go out, say mean things about the posters' appearance etc. etc. As you say, it might be that GNetters start threads only when there is a problem but I do wonder if it is common to be so downtrodden and unwilling to stick up for oneself.

radicalnan Wed 18-Apr-18 10:15:11

To each is given the defeat they will accept. If you let eople take liberties they will.

Coconut Wed 18-Apr-18 10:41:44

MOnica ... I have often thought exactly the same as you and have seen the over indulgence, resulting in selfish adults, that tear the family apart with their demands and expectations. And as maryhoffman37 adds, they then go on to make selfish, controlling spouses. Am sure there are the exceptions to the rule, but so often kids are bought up to just expect everything handed on a plate and that parents will always pick up any pieces ... and resort to verbal abuse when they don’t get their own way. One of my friends who I love dearly, has finally admitted that she feels responsible for the way her AC have turned out ... they had everything and now at age 40 they have nothing, as they have never been made to stand on their own feet, so spent faster than they earned. .. and their Mum is now cleaned out financially and emotionally. I feel reluctant to mention my 3 as it almost feels that I am rubbing salt into her wound. I struggled as a single Mum, but my 3 are all successful because they knew they had to work hard to be so. None of us are perfect parents as we all know, but I know I got something right, love and respect.

nanasam Wed 18-Apr-18 10:44:06

BlueBelle If you head over to MumsNet you'll see the other side of the coin.

It makes me feel so blessed and lucky to have a loving and happy family.

damewithaname Wed 18-Apr-18 10:49:31

Ephesians 5:22 onwards.

NemosMum Wed 18-Apr-18 10:54:22

Here's another vote for MOnica's well-expressed explanation!

Tessa101 Wed 18-Apr-18 11:01:59

Another vote for Monica’s post. Children of entitlement.

David1968 Wed 18-Apr-18 11:33:00

Well put, MOnica!

newnanny Wed 18-Apr-18 11:47:18

I definitely agree with MOnica. Unfortunately some parents do not see the difference between teaching children how to look after themselves and simply doing it all for them. My grown up children are respectful and show gratitude if I do something for them as I am sure is still true for most children. My daughter sends us a photo thank you postcard if we send dgc a gift. When I was unwell with flu virus in January my two sons went to chemist to collect my prescription, made me drinks, bought me magazines and fussed over me. My daughter sent money for my sons to get me flowers. I am afraid I believe it is how you bring children up and I was always a strict parent and insisted they learned how to send thank you cards if they were given gifts and to repay kindness whenever they could.

Pamaga Wed 18-Apr-18 12:03:02

I think one does get a skewed impression from some of the posts because, as a previous GNer commented, people get in touch because of difficult issues. I have two wonderful children. My DS was especially kind to my late mother and often visited her at home and sat and watched sports on TV with her. My DD was similarly good to her late grandfather when he was in a care home: she would regularly visit and do washing for him. They are now very supportive of me and their stepfather with whom they have a great relationship. I think my ex husband and I were fairly strict parents: he was a teacher and knew how unruly and badly behaved some secondary school age children could be! If they were not my children, I would still like DS and DD and I think you can't say fairer than that.

M0nica Wed 18-Apr-18 12:12:06

I can only say thank you to all who have supported my post.

I think one reason those of us who have successfully navigated the shoals of parenthood do not talk much about it is because we, understandably, do not wish to appear as if we are crowing over those who have come a cropper and there is also the fear that it could, unexpectedly blow up in our faces if we are too self-congratulatory.

Farmor15 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:18:22

Another agreeing with M0nica! I think it’s always been like that- children who have everything done for them tend to become ungrateful adults. I can remember listening to my mother’s friends complaining how little their adult children helped them, “after all I did for them”. Others who did less for their children growing up tended to get more appreciation from them as adults.
Also, I agree that those who have problems tend to post. I used to have a thyroid issue and used a support forum for a while. I was convinced that there were huge numbers of people being mistreated by doctors, judging from posts and was quite fearful for my own treatment. In fact it worked out fine for me and I realized I was only hearing the bad stories on the forum.

GrannyParker Wed 18-Apr-18 12:28:52

I read some posts horrified at how some parents are being treated, but is it a case of some folk making a rod for their own back by indulging the kids, then feeling hurt when they get taken for granted. I know I am blessed with my son and his partner, and the kids, if I had a complaint it’s that I don’t want to be treated like an old woman, I am only 67, and perfectly capable of getting up a ladder to decorate etc. But I appreciate that they care enough to offer help. (Probably breathe a sigh of relief when I say I can manage)

Let’s hope most families do treat each other with respect, and we come here to let off steam on the odd occasion we get irritated

BarbaraOsborne60 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:47:28

Recently joined & struggling with some of the abbreviations, is there a list somewhere on here to explain them. TIA BGO60 x

BAGGYGRANNY Wed 18-Apr-18 12:52:51

My sentiments exactly MOnica !

Farmor15 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:54:22

At top and bottom of page is a list of abbreviations but they’re called Acronyms. You don’t have to use them but might help to understand posts. I think a few people often use aren’t included. AC is adult child, for example.

I used to think OP was “other person” and got confused about who was being discussed!

Farmor15 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:55:46

My previous post was in response to Barbara

Peardrop50 Wed 18-Apr-18 12:56:37

Very well put Monica. I agree.