This article is about who should be the responsible for taking caring of old parents, I, we, son, daughter (Married or unmarried), daughter in law, son in law, government, parents themselves or anyone else.
In my opinion in Indian society upbringing of children is quite good in this aspect. Leaving exceptions behind I think all children want to take care of their parents. I think the big problem occurs when it comes about their children’s spouse. Some parents especially parents of a son think that taking care of them is the responsibility or duty of their son and daughter in law. Really? I think only their own sons and daughter are liable to take care of them. The spouses of their children can only support them, which also depend on the relationship between husband and wife.
Question arises- are parents really a liability of us or somebody else? If children love them they will treat them as an asset not like a liability. Parents have given and are still doing a lot for their children then those children when capable of supporting their parents should do the same. But expecting from their spouse for whom the parents hardly did anything is very unjustified. Parents should also understand this thing that their daughter in law or son in law is equally responsible to take care of their own parents. It is their son’s and daughter’s own relationship with their spouses under which they support each other in taking care of each other’s parents.
Not only son of the family but daughters should also take the responsibilities of their parents. Our legal system also supports this. But in the society some daughters think this is the responsibility of their brothers only. Some daughters are not able to support their old parents even if they want, because of their in laws. Now our legal system also giving the responsibility to married daughters too. If her in laws expect she serves only them this is wrong and she can take strong steps against this. Parents in law should consider that she is the daughter of somebody else then obviously she should feel more concerned and attached towards her own parents and she is responsible for them too.
Similarly as much a daughter in law is liable to support her husband to take of her parents in law, a son in law is also liable for his parents in law.
Everyone after a certain age should take care of his/her parents, keeping in mind that he/she has his/her own family and their responsibilities. As well as all parents should also understand their sons and daughters have their own life. They should expect least from them.
Time is changing. There are parents who think that they will not interfere in their children’s life at all. They would have a life of their own. They don’t want to grow old to become a nagging old woman/man who cannot help breathing down their child’s neck only because they have nothing to do. In their opinion “We shall not take away our children’s right to live their own dreams. And one day when they finally become what they are destined to be, we shall not fall over to take away the credit or even expect them to call us their motivation, support or other fancy things, in our eyes that just defeats the purpose of loving someone unconditionally”. This is also a great beginning of change.
Point is if we have nurtured our children well, regardless the gender and their situations allow them that they should be doing something for us on their own, it is well appreciated and accepted but not by the norms of society. It is about not holding your children back. Every parent teaches good values to their children but at the same time we should stop promoting wrong values. Here I would like to mention the behavior of some parents who think that only son and daughter in law (not daughter) will look after them and they will do it only if the son is under their thumb. Those parents are dependent on children for their emotional satisfaction. The solution is parents should have a good relation with their spouse, taking good care of one another’s health, saving money for old age and keep minimal interference in children’s marital life. It is also equally important to keep good relationships with your children’s spouse too. Above all I believe Indian kids look after their parents very well.
One other point of view, see we live in a country where its citizens pay one of the highest percentage of taxes in their working years, and we are so brain trained by our government and culture that when a dependency age comes it is the kids who will take care and not the government. Take my point positively, I too will come in that old age and have old parents too, whom I love very much. Talking from a very practical point of view it is not that Europeans or other developed nations’ people don’t love their parents, in fact there old people have much better quality of life than in our Asian countries. So there is a need to change our mindset and we should tell our government to take the responsibility or give their right to live independently and taking care of parents should be out of love and not responsibility. It is not like that we want that government makes us free from our parents, it is about building an infrastructure where they can be supported and live happily as they were earlier. Taking care of old people should not depend on children, because otherwise what about those who don’t have any child.
Government shall take responsibility of the senior citizens of the country. Few steps have been taken to make them self reliant but lot more are needed. It’s not about freeing the youth from their responsibility but making the senior citizens financially independent. The concept of pension was introduced for the same reason but not every person comes in the purview of pension scheme. Hence it needs modifications and shall be applied to private sector employees too. Also, there’s a need to change the mindset of people who feel that after a certain age they need to depend on their kids with no thought about living an independent life after their retirement.
Taking care of parents in the thick and thins of life is not a liability but an opportunity for every kid which he/she wants to avail to express their love and care towards them. According to me, there’s no use of our success or achievements if we can’t help our parents in their need. Being a daughter or a son shall not be a constraint in this subject. They possess equal rights and affection for their parents, so no one can be held back from taking care of them on the basis of such shallow argument. Neither does marriage change anything in this respect. When you marry off your daughter you do not disown her. She does not lose any rights or affection for her family. Also, today daughters are taught and brought up to be self dependent, so the orthodox norms of the society about parents losing all rights on her daughter after her marriage is a matter of past. Gone are the days when girl’s parents do not eat or drink at her in law’s place. It’s her home, their daughter’s home and parents have equal rights as the son’s parents. So, who shall be liable to help the parents is not the question but how they will do it is the consideration.