Anytime a person gets into some type of argument with their parents it is inevitable the parent will say something in the vein of, “After all I’ve done for you.” It is a common weapon that parents wield over their kids to guilt them into behaving properly. But this statement that parents use is often made with the assumption that the children owe the parents for having been taken care of.
But the thing is, you don’t owe your parents anything.
Yes, they took care of you but it was their responsibility to do so. It was not a gift to you that your parents kept you from dying from starvation or homelessness. These were their parental duties which they chose for themselves when they decided to have kids. Feeding you, clothing you and educating you; these are not gifts. They’re your human rights.
The fact is that there is no one who has children for the benefit of the child. That is not possible. There are no unborn children who beg for the privilege of being born into the world.
Having you was not your parent’s gift to you. It was a gift to themselves. They were trying to fulfill some type of need for themselves. Maybe they wanted a child so they could have someone to love them unconditionally. Maybe they wanted a child to have someone to care for them in their old age or to carry on a legacy. Perhaps they wanted a child to pour affection onto. None of these needs have anything to do with giving to the child; these decisions are made before the child is even born.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you shouldn’t care for your parents, behave well with them or take care of them in their old age. I’m simply saying it’s misguided to do these things out of the sense of owing someone. Because you owe nothing to someone who fulfills their responsibilities to you. Be good to your parents because you want to and you care for them. Not because they did their job as a parent.
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