Do kids owe their parents everything?

<p>Recently, I've been thinking about this because my parents keep telling me that I owe them everything and that I will always have to listen to them no matter how old I am. I understand that, since they ARE my parents. However, one of my teachers recently told me her viewpoint and I thought that it made a lot of sense. She said that kids didn't choose their parents, so they don't owe their parents anything; it was the parents' decision to have kids so therefore its completely the parents' responsibility to take care of their kids. What do you parents think, do you think that kids owe their parents everything?</p>

<p>All my kids owe me is to pay it forward.</p>

<p>No, not everything. Just a little respect is all I ask. (No way they're ever gonna pay me back for childbirth. . .)
I'll give my adult children advice, but I don't try to control them or make decisions for them.
I don't feel that I own them or have to take responsibility for their choices.</p>

<p>Your parents gave you life, and you should thank them for that gift.<br>
You should listen to your parents, and, when you're an adult, you can respectfully disagree with them and do as you please-- as long as you are supporting yourself.</p>

<p>When parents are old/sick, I do think it is their children's duty to help them out and see that they are not neglected.</p>

<p>^ totally agree with the above.</p>

<p>^ Word up on the above. They should help you become a grown adult with your own moral and ethical values and the ability to make decisions based off those values. No good parent raises a parrot.</p>

<p>I agree with the comments above with the addition that they do deserve your respect and consideration. Be open to what they have to say because they do have experience and your best interest in mind.</p>

<p>You've received some well thought out answers and I tend to agree with them. I think some of this may be cultural (your user name suggests you are asian). I am making a broad generalization, however some cultures treat parents differently well into adulthood then in western culture. This is something you will have to come to terms with your parents personally. </p>

<p>I will say that as my kids have gone through the age appropriate stage of pushing back/you know nothing Mom, now at 20yo my oldest seems to think I'm smarter than ever. ;) He now realizes I will never intentionally steer him wrong and many of the mistakes he may be headed into I've either made or have seen friends make when I was his age. Not every lesson must be learned by experiencing it is okay to listen to the wisdom of your parents. Recently my oldest suggested a tshirt that says "Mom Was Right, Again". While flattered, I will always settle for "Thanks for the good advise Mom." weather or not he chooses to go that route.</p>

<p>I like Mini's idea. Pay it forward. Even if you don't have children of your own, you can do it in other ways.</p>

<p>I also think that children have an obligation to listen to their parents, regardless of age. But parents also have an obligation to listen to their children, too. And when both are adults, neither is obligated to take the other's advice. We should at least accept the input, though, because it's coming from a person with a true interest in our lives.</p>

<p>Great tshirt suggestion, I would wear that myself! My mom was so much smarter about so many things than I will ever be.</p>

<p>Once you turn 18 in this country, legally you are an independent adult. Meaning, your parents no longer have the legal responsibility to care for you, and you are no longer subject to their legal right to make decisions concerning your life.</p>

<p>That said, whether you "owe" them anything is a moral question, and each person has the right to determine his/her own answer to that question (within the confines of the law).</p>

<p>I would like my children to do more than "pay it forward." My morals expect offspring to respect and help their family members in times of need, assuming that the parents have done the same and not been abusive toward the child. Beyond that, I have no expectations.</p>

<p>My kids have agreed to file an annual reverse FAFSA until we kick the bucket. Their EFC will be collected at the annual Christmas dinner :-)</p>

<p>Seriously, tho, as a parent of two rather expensive-to-raise children keep in mind some of us don't do what we do because we expect to be paid back. Life is all about the little rewards. </p>

<p>Yesterday we visited DD1 in college and she proudly showed us her latest studio work piece that involved some very serious wood joining (architecture I studio). I am a long time woodworker but DD1 never showed any interest (she is into visual arts). Yet here she was, using complex wood joint techniques and skilfully operating a variety of pro-grade power tools. She could have chosen to use easier techniques. Yet she learned all these the fast and hard way to get her work done at the highest quality level which is her own personal standard.</p>

<p>To me, as a parent, that's all the payback I ever want to see.</p>

<p>As someone who is growing up in two cultures - the one at home and the majority culture outside - you are going to discover many values that are in conflict with your parents' as you go along. Filial obediance and the nature of duty, especially with reference to adults for their parents, are just the start.</p>

<p>The fact that you are questioning your values is a sign of maturity and intellectual independence. Choosing the values that you will live by is a life-long process, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don't have answers right now, or feel torn for a long time, or guilty that you aren't living up to your parents' expectations, or 'caught in the middle.' Many adults spend their lives refining the values they want to live by. My advice would be to find friends, teachers and mentors who understand what you are experiencing and who are doing their own questioning: It's always good to have companions on a long journey. Talking to your teacher to get another point of view was a great step in the right direction.</p>

<p>I would agree with the observations above, but add one more important thing: When your parents become unable to care for themselves, you should feel obligated to make sure they are getting the best care that it reasonably possible. And if they are struggling financially as they get older, you have a moral obligation to help them to the best of your ability. </p>

<p>The exception would be parents who abandoned you or were horribly abusive throughout your life. But I am saddened to see cases where adult offspring are employed and living very comfortably, yet too selfish to help their financially struggling elderly parents.</p>

<p>Hard to expound upon whats already been said. This seems to be a cultural difference. You do indeed reach an age where you get to choose your own values and beliefs; almost all of us carry much of those into adulthood from our birth families, but also add our own that are unique, as well as adopt those of the friends and family we create and choose for ourselves (significant others, close friends, etc.)</p>

<p>You are at an age where you are supposed to question and pull away; this is a natural tension. It will get better with time. Your parents are also likely stressed with having a legally "adult child." (What an oxymoron it is in words, but it is so descriptive about the psychology of the situation.) Love and respect them; honor them; give their input the consideration it deserves....serious consideration. Then choose for yourself. But choose wisely, not out of -or just to- spite to them. They may actually be right.</p>

<p>Your parents sound like my FIL, who believes he is owed everything. My favorite? Being handed a bill (years in arrears) for the flight to the US back when the family were refugees and H was a minor? I've coped by keeping contact with him to a minimum. There's cultural norms, and theres stubborn clinging to what one wants, damn the consequences. There's also a tendency to play the "culture" card whenever FIL isn't getting his way.</p>

<p>Bottom line, you decide what you owe your parents and how best to deliver that. It may be easiest to distance yourself for a while if you feel like the demands are too great.</p>

<p>To turn it around, do parents owe their children everything? My life has been so enriched and filled with love by my children. While I've sacrificed for them, it's been well worth the effort and I think I've come out far ahead. So, do I owe them?</p>

<p>I agree with parentoftwo. I hesitate to say this to my kids, but I really think I owe them. My kids, and even their friends, constantly inspire me. I've learned, and am learning, so much from them and with them.</p>

<p>But yes, I think kids should appreciate and respect their parents. It should be mutual. Normally, when parents do that to their kids, the kids can feel and learn from that.</p>

<p>nerdykid - worry about your college applications. These philosophical questions will haunt you for the rest of your life.</p>

<p>Our 19 year old S recently told us that we do more for him & his sister than any other parents he knows (and he thanked us). We explained that we feel that when we decided to have children, we accepted the responsibility that goes along with that decision. We believe that we should help our kids to the extent we are able. That includes assisting them with college costs, although we will not borrow to do so. It has worked well for us.</p>

<p>Our kids appreciate what we do for them. Our D graduated from an elite school in May and still has not been able to land a "real" job ... but she works 40+ hours a week at Starbucks, lives on her own, and doesn't ask us for money. We remind her that we are willing to help if she needs it, but she tells us we have already done so much for her.</p>

<p>We don't feel our kids owe us anything, but we are pleased that they appreciate us!</p>