The dynamics of family relationships constantly change with time, and many specifics appear or continue to develop. One of the trends that became relatively widespread among American families is the children turning into the caregivers for their parents. When the younger family members become adults and the parents start aging, they exchange their roles, and the children begin taking care of the elders. Thus, the paper’s primary goal is to analyze the historical background of this phenomenon and identify its influence on family dynamics.
The trend’s impact is usually complemented by the stress and pressure that eventually negatively affect the family relationships. First of all, it is always mentally tough for children to see their parents becoming older, more helpless, and realizing that their life cycle is ending (Dastagir, 2021). Secondly, taking care of a person, whether a child or an adult, requires additional time and financial resources. Therefore, becoming the caregivers of the parents leads to a change in the regular lifestyle, frustration from the additional responsibilities, and a more profound realization of parents’ morality.
The historical context underneath the trend is an eternal fear of death that has always been present in American culture and worldwide. Aging is commonly associated with poor health, low mental and physical abilities, untidiness, and a lack of independence (Dastagir, 2021). Although partially it is true sometimes children try to help and assist the elderly relatives when they are still capable of taking care of themselves. The tendency to care about parents’ well-being is coming not only from the terror or dying but also from the long-term custom of respecting the elderly of the family (Dastagir, 2021). They have always been considered wise and reasonable and should have been cherished and honored due to their status and physical fragility.
Overall, the children being the caregivers for their parents is a trend that the families have followed for many centuries. The instinct and urge to protect the weak and helpless motivate adults to care for their aging parents. Children strive to provide the elders with everything necessary to improve and extend their lives out of respect to them and the realization of the inevitable passing of loved ones. However, the process may be morally challenging and stressful due to the additional time and financial sacrifices.
Dastagir. A., E. (2021). Furious at your parents for aging? You’re not alone. USA Today. Web.