Has anyone else noticed the epidemic of adult children abandoning their parents? I personally know a number of parents aged 50 and up who rarely or never hear from their children; and there are more and more web sites and online forums addressing the problem.
In some cases, the kids are just super busy, don’t need yet another obligation, and so rank “call the folks” low on their To Do lists. Is this simply payback of the sort Harry Chapin sang about decades ago in “Cat’s in the Cradle”?
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it,
and as he grew He'd say
"I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you" ...
I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
Maybe that usually is the problem, although I certainly see once-neglectful parents -- those who had little time for their young children – being lavished with attention now that those children have grown up. “What goes around comes around” doesn’t seem to apply in these cases.
But is there something more insidious going on? For instance, are we seeing adult kids rejecting parents just because they’re no longer cool? The good Lord knows that there’s not a lot of respect left for the aging – those that we Baby Boomers defined as anyone over 30, back in the day.
There was a time when the fear of God, and respect for the Ten Commandments, were major influences in the western world. Not so today. One by one, those Commandments have been torn down and stomped on until only a faithful remnant is left to obey.
Are we now seeing the destruction of the last one standing – the 5th?
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).
I’m afraid that this may indeed be the case.
Fortunately, there's a great solution. Whatever your personal circumstances may be, go out and be a friend to someone who has been abandoned by his or her kids, and is without resources; you'll find lots of them in the nearest nursing home. And if you haven't done so already, get right with God; in the end, the only thing that really matters is where you'll be spending eternity.