Ok, here's a question--When does your obligation to your child end? When are you officially "done" with them? When are you RID of them?

Here's the scenario. Your adult child(which you share with an ex-spouse) has a debilitating illness. She is incapacitated. She can not care for herself. She needs constant care. This illness struck her as an adult, after she had started on a career path in another state. Your ex-spouse moves to that state to care for the child. They manage. Suddenly, that ex-spouse passes away. Your adult child is left with no one to care for her. She can not afford funeral expenses, much less the fabulous home that her other parent has provided for her. While she is surrounded by friends, she really has no family within thousands of miles to help her with funeral arrangements, decisions, finances, etc.

Before you respond, let me tell you how this would work in MY family, as dysfunctional as we are. In my family, if the adult child in the scenario were ME, this is what would happen. After I made the call that my parent had passed away suddenly, my living parent would rally the troops. There would be a convoy of planes, trains, trucks, cars, bicycles, and skateboards coming out of the Washington, DC area (and other places), headed to me. I wouldn't care if I was in the North Pole. I have family members that would set out walking, if there was no other way. Neither of my parents would say, "Look, you are an adult. I have fulfilled my obligation to you. I'm sorry about your mother passing-let me know when the funeral is and I will try to make it. But please understand, my obligation now is to my new wife. I hope everything works out for you."

What the heck?????? Again, I can't imagine either of my parents saying this to me. This is so far fetched in my world, that it may as well be a cartoon. I also have an adult child. I can't imagine turning my back on her. Of course she makes me angry at times, but simply to wash my hands of her and not look back is unthinkable. But after thinking about it, I've decided that perhaps my family is the exception and not the rule. So I ask again, "When does your "obligation" to your child run out?

Your comments--priceless!!

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4 Responses
  1. lifeisfantastic embrace it Says:

    Your obligations to your children "NEVER" repeating "NEVER" end in my opinion you brought them here, and you raised and nurtured them to be healthy productive contributing people in society. However, we "NEVER" know when tragedy may strike and put us in circumstances we never expected to be in - that's where prayer, beliefs and the desire to take on the unexpected should "kick in". I know my family would do it for me and I'm willing to do it for them. No questions asked.... just stepping up to the plate and going for it....


  2. Katz Scratch Says:

    Never, as long as there is breath in my body, would I leave my child in that condition. But let me add, I wouldn't leave my stepchildren in that condition, my mother, my father, my sister, my brother...not some friends.

    Yet, sadly, more and more, I've seen men turn a 'blind' eye to the needs of family. I can't believe that the spouse would have encouraged the father to abandon the child. What he does to his child, he'll do to his spouse and any other children.

    While we are appalled, they are not in the least bit concerned about our reaction. Tragic!


  3. nursetuck Says:

    I saw the theme and gulped. I would have to 3rd the NEVER emotion. I'm always giving thanks for the LOVING and supportive family GOD has bestowed upon us. My family is similar to yours, we go far out to help. But I have learned family dynamics are so varied. I could tell you some stories from work experience. It has taught me to keep an open heart and mind.


  4. LUVA Says:

    Never never never!!!! My baby is my baby, I don't care how old she gets. God blessed me with her and I'll always be there for her. I think all of our families are similar. No family is perfect. But we do stick together when we need to.


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