Thankless Children

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Aging and its Consequences


The Commandment  which states that you shall honor thy mother and thy father has  the reward which promises:  “That thou shall live long on earth” (if you follow this commandment).  No other of the ten commandments comes with a promise.  Fewer and fewer offspring are grateful to those who came before them, raised them, loved them, and coddled them with gentleness and consideration and adoration.  In today’s world you rarely find grateful offspring who truly love, honor and respect their parents and grandparents, unless of course they can get help, assistance, and much more from the parents and grandparents who have sacrificed so much to make life comfortable and happy.  When the giving stops, the children do very little for their old parents who have sacrificed so much for them.

The selfish adult, once child, feels no respect or reciprocity to and for their parents and grandparents.  When the latter can no longer give, they ignore the old person, they become critical if questioned, and readily suppress all the knowledge that they have in order to not repay in the slightest fashion all that they have gained from the parents who were there, helped and loved them so much.  They will find some reason why the older person is not worthy of reciprocity.  Faults and excuses can always be found. Gratitude is something the psychopathic individual of the younger generation does not have. The are always “right”and convince their surroundings of this.  They know that their parents/grandparents have rarely refused them, have included them in trips, bought some needed items for their offspring, and have often deprived themselves of things that they wanted and needed.  They will often go “without” so that their offspring are happy.  Gratitude for these children does not exist.  As long as they can use the parents they will be their “friend;” when the older generation is no longer capable they are discarded like weeds in a garden.

When questioned, they become angry and have reasons for all of their ingratitude, their stinginess, and all of their “reasons” for the debts that they owe.  The debts are frequently money spent for them and their offspring, “babysitting,” vacations afforded them from parents/grandparents, attention to birthdays, holidays and more, giving of time which the giver could have utilized for him or herself and much more.  All that is forgotten and flaws are found in the older generation to make all of the adults' caring “no big deal.”  The parent figures become mistreated and forgotten when they are no longer needed or have little more to give.  The ungrateful son or daughter always finds “reasons” to reject the older parent and in a psychopathic fashion has no feelings about his or her acts. They are narcissistic to the “nth degree” and only can feel for their needs, their pleasures, themselves. They have no “Derach Eretz.”  They are usually very skilled in convincing their “friends” that their victims, the grandparents and old parents, are the people who created their own demise.  They always accuse the victims of bearing responsibility for their fate.

As rejected elderly parents, remember all of the good things you have done for your offspring, that other wonderful and thoughtful parents have had a similar misfortune as you, and that someday their children will mimic their parents' narcissistic behavior.


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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