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Thread: Taking Care of Parents

  1. #1
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน jontymate's Avatar
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    Taking Care of Parents

    We all know that in Thai society it is accepted and expected (socially conditioned) that the children will take care of their parents into the twilight years both physically and financially.

    The discussion I wish to open up is on a number of thoughts and observations.

    • Generally speaking family size is getting smaller. That is having fewer children than in past generations and therefore greater responsibility falls on fewer. Is the pressure so much greater than in years past?

    • In larger families than my wife’s (only to 2 children) how is that shared? What is considered equitable? Or is it simply who ever does the best gives more for Nam Jai.

    • Gender equality in giving back to the parents. What factor does that play between male and female children?

    • Those who have accepted and embraced the financial aspect of taking care of their partners parents. You can both easily working to in a western country accommodated that. What are your thoughts when it comes time to physically take care of them in old age? Can you do that from abroad?
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  2. #2
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Arliss Michaels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontymate View Post
    We all know that in Thai society it is accepted and expected (socially conditioned) that the children will take care of their parents into the twilight years both physically and financially.

    The discussion I wish to open up is on a number of thoughts and observations.

    • Generally speaking family size is getting smaller. That is having fewer children than in past generations and therefore greater responsibility falls on fewer. Is the pressure so much greater than in years past?

    • In larger families than my wife’s (only to 2 children) how is that shared? What is considered equitable? Or is it simply who ever does the best gives more for Nam Jai.

    • Gender equality in giving back to the parents. What factor does that play between male and female children?

    • Those who have accepted and embraced the financial aspect of taking care of their partners parents. You can both easily working to in a western country accommodated that. What are your thoughts when it comes time to physically take care of them in old age? Can you do that from abroad?

    Interesting topic JM, the bolded comment can work both ways too if you move to LOS, and is something that has crossed my mind with my parents here if I was to shift camp, and they were in need of assistance.

    Point 2 . in TG's family there is many children but the onus has now passed onto the last 2 single daughters, after the older children were primary supporters when younger siblongs were growing up. From the outside looking in all the children are doing it on a tight budget, so not a lot of reddies available. other than one brother (the only one I have not met) who seems to have a very good paying job, but no one seems to see any of it ( Maybe in the past, but not currently that I am aware of)

    Point 3 - Seems to be primarily the females as the supporters as the boys all married are looking after their In-Laws to some degree as well as there own immeadiate family.
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  3. #3
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I'm out of depth on this one.

    From what I have seen, been told, it seems to fall to the females of the family to look after the parents.

    Now, phisicaly, emotioanily I can understand that, but I find it odd the financial part. Carn't the boys hold a better paying job and then contribute?

    Obviously the girls are sent from the village to bars, being told they have an asset, their body's that farang will pay for , whereas boys dont have the same chance.

    It seems the same
    Last edited by justcruzing1; 15th March 2012 at 05:10.
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  4. #4
    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Isn't it the youngest daughter that also inherits the family house/wealth etc when the parents die? That may be part of why the girls look after the parents too?
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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Some accurate points above.

    Seems it might go down like this:

    1:Girls are relied upon, as boys just don't take care.
    2:Whoever provides the money, calls the shots.
    3:After that in terms of taking care, whoever can, does.
    4:Usually the one who stays in the village looks after the elderly.
    5:Youngest daughter gets the house.... but only until she has to sell it to the other daughter who is making all the money, to repay accumulated debt.
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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread and one thats been getting some discussion at my place atm....
    My Grandmother has recently been moved to a highcare facility close to the family home, she had a self contained unit in a retirement village and due to her health issues my parents didn't really have any choice... With my kids Thip and I visit her regularly, I find the place quite creepy as there are a lot of dementia patients in there wandering around like zombies...
    Thip made the comment after one visit "Why falang put old people in this place?... please dont put me in there when I'm old, I want to go home and have my son look after me".... This then opened up discussion about her having to go care for her mother when she is old.... I suppose this will motivate me to get my 3mth on 3mth off plan in place and set myself up as an expat in LOS....
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  7. #7
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน jontymate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    This is an interesting thread and one thats been getting some discussion at my place atm....
    My Grandmother has recently been moved to a highcare facility close to the family home, she had a self contained unit in a retirement village and due to her health issues my parents didn't really have any choice... With my kids Thip and I visit her regularly, I find the place quite creepy as there are a lot of dementia patients in there wandering around like zombies...
    Thip made the comment after one visit "Why falang put old people in this place?... please dont put me in there when I'm old, I want to go home and have my son look after me".... This then opened up discussion about her having to go care for her mother when she is old.... I suppose this will motivate me to get my 3mth on 3mth off plan in place and set myself up as an expat in LOS....
    It is something that most do not think about. Most are caught up in the money side of things early on.

    Just to through a spanner in for you PBB what if her son could come and live with you guys here? He would then become western. Would he want to take care of his mother in old age.

    Then for me as for you (although my children are older) they will always draw me back to Australia especially the grandchildren that will come. Dao is a mother figure to my children and she hopes to be a grandmother (in the correct time). I can see our hearts and responsibilities being drawn both ways unless we have enough funds to do both.
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  8. #8
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน jontymate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justcruzing1 View Post
    I'm out of depth on this one.

    From what I have seen, been told, it seems to fall to the females of the family to look after the parents.

    Now, phisicaly, emotioanily I can understand that, but I find it odd the financial part. Carn't the boys hold a better paying job and then contribute?

    Obviously the girls are sent from the village to bars, being told they have an asset, their body's that farang will pay for , whereas boys dont have the same chance.

    It seems the same
    Not out of your depth JC. Valid comment. Our condo in BKK is on the border of Silom and Ban Rak. If I go out the door and turn left I am in silver town and jewellery. If I turn right it is gay bar town (where a bloke I know drinks sometimes) but guys are selling the same as the girls. Just supply and demand. 2 more blocks and I am at Patpong No1 and 2. Sure some of these guys are gay and looking for a husband but some just sell butt. None though give me the story of taking care of the parents.
    "Man cannot discover New Oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore" 
      
       
       
         
       
      
     

  9. #9
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Interesting looking back as well as forward, my uncle never married and looked after my Grandmother well into her old age.
    He ended up dying well before she ever did. We all expect to live even longer now and that means an even bigger issue even for our generation and the one following. Its going to need a lot more time and effort spent preparing for it that I ever thought.

    I was talking to Nut the other day about how we both were fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by family Aunties Uncles etc. We saw how they looked after Grandma as best they could in the family home without giving it another thought. We also agree that for today's children it's rarely the case that they get to see all this in action, so how can we expect that they will even know how to take care. My mum lives semi independently next door to my brothers house, but even so Nut has asked if we can have her come to live with us so she can care for her.

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    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

  10. #10
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontymate View Post
    It is something that most do not think about. Most are caught up in the money side of things early on.

    Just to through a spanner in for you PBB what if her son could come and live with you guys here? He would then become western. Would he want to take care of his mother in old age.

    Then for me as for you (although my children are older) they will always draw me back to Australia especially the grandchildren that will come. Dao is a mother figure to my children and she hopes to be a grandmother (in the correct time). I can see our hearts and responsibilities being drawn both ways unless we have enough funds to do both.
    I don't want to sound heartless with this but I really don't want to look after either of my parents in old age, just as I would hate for my kids to be burdened with me... I see the strain my Grandmother puts on the family or I should say put when she was living independently, she was forgetting her medication and falling out of bed through the middle of the night... we would have rosters so that someone was always around for the just in-case moments...
    As to your question JM on Thips son living here and looking after his mum.... not a chance once westernized!

    A friend once said to me that there are 3 businesses to get into.. 1.Storage 2.Childcare and 3.Aged care..... with the help of the Babyboomers all three are viable businesses in this day and age....
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  11. #11
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน jontymate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changone View Post
    Interesting looking back as well as forward, my uncle never married and looked after my Grandmother well into her old age.
    He ended up dying well before she ever did. We all expect to live even longer now and that means an even bigger issue even for our generation and the one following. Its going to need a lot more time and effort spent preparing for it that I ever thought.

    I was talking to Nut the other day about how we both were fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by family Aunties Uncles etc. We saw how they looked after Grandma as best they could in the family home without giving it another thought. We also agree that for today's children it's rarely the case that they get to see all this in action, so how can we expect that they will even know how to take care. My mum lives semi independently next door to my brothers house, but even so Nut has asked if we can have her come to live with us so she can care for her.

    People ask why a Thai girl. This goes a huge way for me. Same same for me.
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  12. #12
    Cadet Gold NamTanMot's Avatar
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    From a sample of one, oldest daughter takes the lead and provides mum "salary" every month, even though mum works, but slightly younger daughter also does her bit and contributes. My best way of explaining it is that it is part of buddhist culture/belief to be forever thankful for your mum bringing you into the world and for making sacrifices, although I may have this wrong.

    Son (pre-teenage) too young to contribute financially, and needs a bit of prompting to help out. However, when he has done the wrong thing (e.g. home late), then very helpful to his mum and stays clear of his big sister...555...typically boy, regardless of nationality.

    Also, I think in some instances the "village" looks after the elderly parents, not necessarily the children
    Last edited by NamTanMot; 16th March 2012 at 21:45.
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  13. #13
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    I'm sure your right Nam about looking after mum... And the boys become monks for merit for their mums also.
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  14. #14
    Platinum Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontymate View Post
    We all know that in Thai society it is accepted and expected (socially conditioned) that the children will take care of their parents into the twilight years both physically and financially.

    The discussion I wish to open up is on a number of thoughts and observations.

    • Generally speaking family size is getting smaller. That is having fewer children than in past generations and therefore greater responsibility falls on fewer. Is the pressure so much greater than in years past?

    • In larger families than my wife’s (only to 2 children) how is that shared? What is considered equitable? Or is it simply who ever does the best gives more for Nam Jai.

    • Gender equality in giving back to the parents. What factor does that play between male and female children?

    • Those who have accepted and embraced the financial aspect of taking care of their partners parents. You can both easily working to in a western country accommodated that. What are your thoughts when it comes time to physically take care of them in old age? Can you do that from abroad?
    1 - It seems to vary, depending on the family situation and socio-economic status. I know of some from families where the parents expect little from their off spring, and are happy to see them develop their own lives, similar to modern western style. Most of them would be from more middle class families. I know of others where (some of) the off-spring are expected to provide for the parents from the time they are able to earn, and sometimes come under great pressure to do so.

    Some years ago, when people didn't tend to move far from home, it was a case of an extended family looking after each other, with shared responsibilities and benefits. Now with Thai families living and working in different places that model has broken down, and it can all get a bit confused. For some families, who have sort of planned it that way, the pressure is less. For others the pressure can be more and, I feel, family loyalty can be open to abuse.

    2 - In my observation responsibility is not shared equally, and probably never was. Traditionally responsibility for looking after age parents fell to the youngest daughter, if only because her older siblings had young families of their own to look after. Now it often seems that if someone does ok they are expected to front for the family.

    In the case of my ex-TGF (from a Muslim family), she was the second youngest daughter, and one of seven siblings. The youngest was pregnant at fifteen, and married off. Most of her older siblings were married with families, except for one, a lesbian (Tom type), who pulled a foreign husband, and a couple of sponsors, but no kids. All that was overlooked because she provided quite a bit for the family, who were not rich, but not poor. They have a couple of rubber plantations, which could have provided a decent living for the parents if they were properly managed.... but they weren't.

    The sister with the foreign husband sort of went off the rails mentally, shacked up with a girlfriend and lost the husband and frittered away her spoils. My ex got her certified as a nutter so she would not have to pay off her half million baht student loan. Responsibility fell on my ex to provide. Because I was looking after her basic living expenses and a bit more, much of what she earned got sent the to the family, to whom I did not exist. (Met the mother once before she moved in with me and we became "a couple", but my greeting was not reciprocated. Never met the father or any of the others, though used to see the nutty sister around a bit)

    It was something that certainly put pressure on the relationship from my point of view..... no matter what I did or provided, and what sacrifices I made, there would never be any benefit for me/us. She was being used, and it was coming back to me.

    3 - It falls on the girls to provide for the parents, and always has. Traditionally a man would marry and go to live with in the wife's household or compound. They would therefore be expected to provide more for the wife's family than their own. Although Thai people don't live in their family compound, or even home town so much now, that principle still seems to operate.

    4 - I can only guess here that from abroad off-spring would be expected to provide more financially than physically.
    Last edited by Mick; 4th April 2012 at 17:10.
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