In yet another example of how badly we need improved services, The New York Times, In Turnabout, Children Take Caregiver Role , reports that the number of children taking care of chronically ill parents is increasing.
We’re not talking about rural Pakistan. It’s happening here in the U.S.– and Britain and Australia.
As a chronically ill parent of two children, I know what it felt like to ask my kids to help me, when they were old enough. It was always difficult. I had no problem with my kids having assigned chores to do as part of the family.
But it’s different when they have to “help” you because you can’t do it on your own. It felt like I was taking a little bit of their childhood away each time I asked. I don’t know. Maybe it made them stronger, more resilient and more giving. But it also wasn’t a regular thing around here.
This article describes children performing physically and emotionally demanding care taking roles for their parents on a regular basis- not just occasional. Seems awful to me.
Do your children take care of you in your illness — or do you know someone whose children do? What is that like?