updated 17 Jul 2012, 10:19
user id password
Sun, Jul 15, 2012
The Star/ANN
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Ungrateful son

My beloved wife passed away six years ago and I've been staying with my eldest son and his family since then. Although financially stable, I have to depend on my son for certain things.

But whenever I approach him, he never responds. Sometimes he shouts at me, saying he is too stressed out or tensed up. He even shouts at me in front of his wife and children.

How come he is good with or approachable to everyone else even though he is stressed or tensed? Fortunately I have my pension, otherwise he would have chased me out.

Children depend on parents for everything when they're young, but they forget how their parents had toiled day and night to give them a good education and all the necessities for their well-being. Wasn't it stressful for these parents too?

I could find a home which can accommodate me. Of course, I won't be a parasite. But nowadays, I am a cook and babysitter for my son. I am happy to render my service, but is it fair if this has been taken for granted?

All parents, do be careful in your golden years. Never stay with a son who is selfish and ungrateful. A daughter is always yours, but some sons want only your service and money, and give their attention only to others.

Sad dad

It is sad to see an adult child treat his parent this way. It must be difficult for you, especially when you have lost your partner and have to turn to other family members for support. It is not fair that your son shouts at you. Whether he does it when you're alone, or in front of his wife and children, it is unacceptable.

No one can speak for his behaviour. Maybe he is nasty to you and not others because he thinks you can take it. Or, maybe he takes you and your feelings for granted. And this is not right at all.

You are not a parasite - you seem to be doing your part in your son's household as well. Looking after his children surely counts for something.

Contributing financially is not the only way you can do your part. It is important for you to realise this and not be ashamed of the fact that you are living under your son's roof.

Yes, you could perhaps live in a home. But the conditions may not be as comfortable as what you have now. Also, you risk not seeing your grandchildren as often as you do now and you could end up being lonelier than you are now. Besides, living in a home also brings its fair share of problems.

And, you don't know if a daughter would have been any different. She may have her share of responsibilities as well and that would bring its own problems and stress.

It is pointless to speculate on how things could be different as you will be relying on your imagination and ruminating on half-truths, and that can be far more stressful for you.

You cannot change your son's behaviour, but you can change your expectations of him. Changing your perception of what and how you expect him to behave will help you manage your feelings. You know that this how he behaves. As awful as it may be, it will help a great deal if you accept it. Stop expecting him to treat you differently, and you will probably feel less disappointed.

You should not stop having your own life. I hope you are maintaining friendships and relationships with other people. Try and fill your days with activities that do not involve the household or your son.

One of the things that many people assume is that you have to give up your independence when you grow older. This is absolutely not true.

Financial stability is not the same as independence. There are still plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy life, and this is your chance to take advantage of them.

readers' comments

Posted by lao.leeky on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 23:03 PM

Jin funny leh
Posted by lotteworld on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 13:29 PM
In Singapore ... raising a SON is no different from raising half-SON for the future in-law family .... raising a DOTTER on the other hand will earn a free half-SON (more filial somemore) next time .... :p :D

I see many Sg men take care of their wive's parents (many let them live in too) more then their own parents in term of $$$, attention and affections .... :(

Posted by Small Fly on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 13:27 PM
This is very common in Singapore. Dont know why alot of men so scared of the wives. The wife can do anything for her own family but when the man wanted to do things for his own family, the wife would object. I am not saying every chabor is like that but alot are like that. I thought everyone, whether you chabor or men are supposed to look after their parents. Sad to know that is not at all true. Still, we dont know others family matter. You see me good, I see you good, when things happen, we need to know both sides story.
Posted by Emily Elizabeth on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 12:36 PM
When the son grows up, it will take the role of the father. Thus, the father has to give way.

Posted by Hello Name on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 11:15 AM
Super sticky, Smickno :D Don't like that leh. I will be shy ... Buahahahaha
Posted by mystrawberry on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 10:48 AM

A Form Four student at a boarding school in Kampung Gajah was allegedly assaulted by 18 schoolmates for about four hours at their hostel.
The attack on Saturday left him with a limp, a swollen face and bruises all over his body.
The 16-year-old claimed that he was unable to walk for several days after the attack.
When met at his home in Kampung Sungai Tapah Tambahan in Manjoi, the teenager claimed the group had kicked and punched him after accusing him of stealing RM100 from a student in a different dormitory.
He said some students even used broomsticks and slippers to beat him in the incident that occurred between 1.30am and 5.45am.
"I pleaded for them to stop but they continued assaulting me," he said, adding that the attack only stopped when it was time for morning prayers.
The .....
Posted by smickno on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 08:53 AM
I think the father may already be regretting saying he has an ungrateful son. A harsh comment in a moment of anger. I am not acquainted with their family or financial circumstances but I believe the daily stresses of trying to earn a living and providing for one's loved ones is becoming more difficult by the day. Perhaps the father had overlooked that and the son assumes the father knows and understands the difficulties he faces every day. Best wishes to everyone for a happy day.
Posted by privatesinbad on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 05:17 AM

From what I read,

you are very..very..very..blur leh.

First you blamed his granfather.

Then, you blamed his wife.

I thout the moral of this story is directed at that unfilial son??????

Posted by xiao.lee on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 00:51 AM
Of all things, never shout at your parents in front of your children. Children are fast learner, you know the retributions? or maybe his father ever shouted at his late grandfather years ago and the cycle continues...

From the story, it looks like the wife was the instigator.
Posted by HoldItThere on Mon, 16 Jul 2012 at 00:44 AM

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.