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either living with or traveling to and from to go with you to care for your loved one? Or if they stay home, how does this affect them if at all? Do they understand and are they ok with it? How do get them to handle it? Should we?

I know "my group" sorry Im always there so Ill call you my group, say kids first gpa last, esp with mine having various mental issues/issues. Something has happened tonight, well, really not just tonight... and I just am confused.

As adults shouldn't we try to teach our kids with or without any issues to "help" family in need, and some things in life is a cycle, and they have to learn to accept that. As a friends says "your kids just need to be taught respect and concern, care for others and sacrifice etc" mine did and understands that we come together as family etc etc. Even then its not their choice where we live or who we care for, things are hard but life is hard. Its what a family is.

What do you all think? Stories? Concerns? Thoughts? No wars meant, just personal opinions, experiences, questions? Things to think about?

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pam,
unique situation ... h*llish sense of humor and ill bet you girls really did run the place .
my youngest a few years ago tried guilting me -- said he remembered me not being around much when he was little . i called BS on that . i was either building something in the garage or hangin on the side of the house laying brick . it was jake who was being scarce cause what i was doin was work . our liesure time in the summer was the whole family getting lost on the trike for hours on end . jake was just talkin out his a** .
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I was thinking about the large families. We have a lot of the big families in the counties around. In these families the mother homeschools and the older kids help to take care of the young ones while the parents make more babies at every opportunity. I don't understand the lifestyle, but it seems to work. The reason it seems to work is that the parents have such control over all the children, and the big kids have control over the little ones. The mother is always there and the father works like a dog, then comes home to what must seem a bit like a jungle of kids.

I was just running through all the huge families I know, and strangely enough, I can't think of a one who is caregiving an elder family member. I am going to have to ask some of them if there are examples that are working out. I know one family of 13 whose grandmother is in a nursing home -- she was very ill. She is the only elder I know about.
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me1000, my mother died and left behind four girls ages 15,13,11 and 9. She was 37 and my father was 45 and quite spoiled. All I can say looking back is that we raised him the best we could.
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Me1000, I think that as the adults in control of the situation, we are responsible for looking at the situation and determining whether it's best for our family. I don't think it's fair to expect kids to accept and understand a situation that we know is out of control. Traditions have had to adapt as life changed. It doesn't mean we're not still caring for our family, but now we add in other people to help us. This way, we can balance our caring time with spouses, kids, parents, jobs.

My dad was a big one on the old "walk a mile in someone else's shoes". You have a difficult and unique situation - I doubt your friend(s) have dealt with anything like it. Take what they say and then do what you believe best for your family and yourself.
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Thank you both and I agree its hard for any child. But Im not just talking about my situation, its an overall question what I meant it to be. I know my kids need me first , I agree.

Its just because my friend and others go on and on that its tradition, and the kids dont have a choice if the parent has to caregive they need to understand to a point etc, thats what I meant. Nothing is like where there is a family of 20 all living under the same roof( ok very few- 19 kids and counting etc) but on that I feel the kids are doing a lot of raising the other kids? Maybe Im wrong. See thats why I asked to get your views and situations. I appreciate it because your right- all of you. But some people( not you all) just cant get past saying" your kids need to grow up and understand and accept, and your the mom and etc " And even not just mine, others!
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We try to teach our kids that they are important from the time they are toddlers - think Horton Hears a Who. But words are just words unless they see the actions to back it up. That action is them being able to count on time with you everyday. I rearranged my schedule worked from home one day, only to have my then 10 yo son take off on his bike. When I asked him about it, he said "But I knew you were there". They need to see us CHOOSING to spend time with them. So if you're in the midst of family time, and you get a call and rush out to Gpa's on a continuous basis, you're not teaching them compassion. What they feel and see is that Gpa's needs will always come before theirs. But when they hear you say "that's not possible - I'm helping Billy with his homework", he sees you CHOOSE to be with him. When you're so pulled by duty to Gpa, you're not able to be present with the kids and they sense that. It's going to be hard to expect them to learn compassion and giving with someone who they see is responsible for their feeling like they're competing for your time and attention.

Does it affect them? Oh yes. My childhood situation was quite different except that my mom put herself, her friends and relatives ahead of us. We both became very independent, having to take care of ourselves and each other. And we emotionally pulled away from Mom, as we knew if someone else called, she'd drop us flat. Hard to explain but it's like this insecure feeling, not totally sure if she'll really be there for you if someone else calls her.

IMHO, it's Gpa who needs to understand, be ok with and handle that you have to be a mom. Not the kids having to accept that he expects you to be a granddaughter before a mother.
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Me, kids have certain stages. Most are narcissistic and it is normal to be that way. To expect children to embrace very adult concepts of extreme altruism, IMO, is asking too much of them. They are learning about the world and trying to find their place in their world. Parents provide support and encouragement to help them find their place.

Some degree of altruism is good. I am talking about the kind where church groups provide a meal to the poor or scout troops have a fundraiser for a charity. However, to expect an everyday sacrifice of important things is too much. Would we ask a child to donate all of his toys, so that he has nothing else to play with? Would we ask a teenager to totally fend for herself so Mom and Dad can work or tend to more important things? Of course not.

Probably the perfect model for multi-generational families would be the Waltons. Notice that everyone in the show is totally giving -- a bit unrealistic. Most people trying to live that way would be chopping a lot of wood to try to get rid of all the anger building up in them. Even the most giving people have needs for privacy and ownership of something.

The main point in too much attention to older generations is that kids need their parents. Kids need to be the focus of things until they find their place in the world. People with kids know this instinctively. The people who don't have their children as the focus are probably the ones that end up with children in "Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families" group. There does have to be balance between the needs of the children and the needs of the parents, but too much to the adult side of things can end up with children feeling neglected. I wouldn't be surprised if these neglected children are the ones we see running amok when they get to be teens. They are trying to find their place in the world, with no models to give them any clues.
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oops.. meant thank you after your name not you..! sorry . And I meant tried putting everyone first same time, uggh, I do not like losing sleep!
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Thank you captain ( I never make sense) true and some kids are.

littletonway you, and even if I didnt have kids it was just a question because my friend keeps saying that its normal just for kids to accept as hers had to etc. Its nothing new with my kids having issues, worse maybe because of this.


** I always knew/know to put my kids first, just tried putting everyone first and listening to other people that its an automatic for kids to accept and be fine with their family doing caregiving.
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Your primary responsibility is to your children. They need time alone with you, encouragement and accountability. When they see the "family" is pushed aside to always take care of a LO, it affects their sense of worth, self-esteem and place in the scheme of things. Children must know their feelings and needs matter and have value. It cannot always be "taking care of so and so" is more important than family. They are children for such a short period of their life; time enough for stress when they are grown.

You need to address whatever issues are popping up now. Might be time to bring in a family counselor.
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me1000,
what your asking is as unclear as my rambling reply . i just noticed that at the end of both of my visits the kids had no reply to " im going back to my town guys , see ya later " . there was nothing else remarkable about their behaviors' . that oddity really stuck out .
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my g kids are about 6 and 10 yrs old . they live in fla and just watched their g pa crappy off from something and i think their g ma is dying from lung cancer too . my son lives in chicago and they only see him each summer . i was tickled to see them twice last summer after not seeing them for 4 years . they seem really mature and exceptionally well mannered and i think it must be coming from hard life experiences already . what sticks in my mind is at the end of both my visits i just stopped by their bedroom for a jovial little wave goodbye and neither had anything to say. its like ' goodbye ' was something they just wanted to avoid . i visualize them as having experienced terminal caregiving at extremely young ages . im still rattled from my mothers final years and months so i stand in awe at the shocks that have been dumped on them and how well they seem to be managing . id like to stay well within their range of view because if their g ma dies i dont see what will keep their mother and total of 3 kids intact . their mom is rather flaky imo and has already divorced again . all these happenings have caused my son to reach out to me strongly after a few years of estrangement from him so he must find the future rather frightening too . i send them little notes with a 10 or 20 dollar bill in each of them every month or two . id like to be a " plan b or c " in their lives if possible . of course my son has been trounced by the seperation of his family but he dont realize that they are almost old enough to choose where they want to live . you cannot force a kid to stay with one particular parent . they will make the household a living hell till they get what they want . i know at least that much about divorce . my 12 yr old lived with me and all the court papers in the world wouldnt have practically forced him to stay with his mom . thats why custody battles are futile imo .
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Hi pamstegman :) Glad to be hearing form you! Thats a good point, I didnt think of that. But your right, the younger they are the harder it is. Thank you
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Depends on their age. That's why hospitals don't want kids under 14 to visit. Seeing sick and dying patients is emotionally overwhelming for them. They can really go to pieces.
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