Opinion | Speak Your Mind

Focus: Caring for parents

This week, we debate whether children should be legally obliged to take care of their parents after adulthood

  • Compiled By Huda Tabrez, Community Web Editor
  • Published: 17:46 April 12, 2013
  • Gulf News

We live in a world where parents are always expected to provide the best care to their children. But is that kindness and care reciprocated by children once they grow older? And in cases where children choose to not care for their parents once they turn into adults, should the be legally obliged to do so? This week, we debate whether a law should be enforced to ensure parents are taken care of by children after adulthood.

  • Share your views on any of the statements being put up for debate.
  • Children should be legally obliged to care for parents after adulthood.
  • Elders are being abandoned by children who feel their parents haven’t done a ‘good job’.
  • Such a law would be unfair to poorer families.
  • Those who don’t have children would be neglected.

Comments (4)

  1. Added 21:06 April 15, 2013

    I am a 14 year old student under the nice care of my most loving parents. I can not imagine me not caring for them when they need me the most, when they grow old. Shame on those who discard off their parents, this is so inhuman. When our parents become old, dependent on us doesn't mean that we should feel burden about them. One should not forget that "today we are at this stage is just because of their blood and sweat and efforts and blessings." I swear wholeheartedly that I would take care of my parents with huge amount of love and affection at their old age time. They have been taking care of me so nicely, I know I am the apple of their eyes. My mother forgets her day long exertion when she sees me. She loves me so much. I cant imagine in my wildest dreams to leave them on their own when they get old. I am considered in my neighbourhood an ideal child/student and this is all because of my parents’s upbringing. I owe them so much, how can I not care for them when its my time to pay them back. Yes, only an evil person wouldn't care for his needy parents! Laws in this respect would be good support for aged parents but actually it should come naturally from the children.

    Arushi Madan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:29 April 15, 2013

    This is a topic that needs attention because old age is becoming a nightmare for many. We need to find a way to end the sufferings of all people who are old. Parents strive hard to give their best to their children and there are instances when they forget to live their lives only to provide the best for their children. In such cases the children have the moral responsibility to take care of their parents. I am of the opinion that there should be a legal system to support all the parents who are looking for support in their old age. Legal support comes as a blessing in disguise if the children deliberately forget their duty and put their parents in dire circumstances. The government can play a major role in helping the people who don’t have children also as they will have no one to depend on during their old age. All children should be aware of the need to look after their ageing parents and they should find a way out to ensure that their parents are safe and secure. Everyone will realize during the phase of their life as it is a cycle and should not forget that one day they will also have to play the role of a parent. In spite of all these realizations we can see lot many still neglect their parents is really a concern. Giving support to old people is not only the responsibility of their respective children but the government also should ensure that the welfare of all the senior citizens is taken care of. There may be genuine people who wanted to take care of their parents but if they themselves are struggling to take care of their basic needs we cannot expect them to provide shelter to the parents also. This is the time the government can be very effective in providing the support. So a collective effort is required to have a better living for our senior citizens.

    Shivshankar K.T., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 07:08 April 15, 2013

    with all the love, care and attentation given to kids which is that bond of parents/children, i believe parents should be prepaired to take care of themselves or make provisions for old age. Simply kids will need to do exactly what was done for them by their parents, now for their kids. This is the modern world it is not what it was 40 or 50 years ago, its just too competative and challenging.

    hugo, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:52 April 14, 2013

    In the old days, ie, approximately 50 to 70 years ago, people were giving importance to family relationships. One family consisted of 10 to 15 members stayed in one big compound house and each member was sharing and helping each other with all circumstances, including house cleaning, gardening, etc. Children had respect for their parents and also for the eldest members of the house. The eldest would command and children would obey. Now the situation is totally changed due to nuclear family. Children are getting good education and parents are supporting them well. When they become adults they think they can stand on their own feet. This attitude should be removed from their minds. Once children enter the job market they do not think about their parents. Even if chidren feel they will go abroad leaving their parents alone in a big mansion, parents will say you go ahead and you have to take care of your future and don't think about us. So naturally they go their own way. Even in marriage also, they don't require parents' advice. They marry nationally or internationally without looking at caste or religion. The maximum they help parents for getting a home nurse and sending some money. Once in a year or two they make a flying visit to their parents. This makes a wide relationship gap between parents and children. There is no need to enforce a law for children taking care of their parents. Chidren should understand the difficulties of life and how to face them boldly. This can be achieved only through counselling and advice by teachers and friends. Children should think one day they also will have these problems when then they become adults. If every growing child thinks like this then there would be no problem for parents. It is the responsiblity of children to look after their parents bearing in mind they have been looked after by their parents.

    Mr Thottikamath Balaraman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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