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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Parents, Adults and Teens » Older Parents

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Author Topic: Older Parents
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My mother will be 60 in a couple of months, and my father is 68. While I know it isn't so common for someone in their late teens or early twenties to have parents approaching or over the age of retirement, I know there are people my age who do, and I feel that this topic just doesn't get enough discussion. Those of you who have much older parents understand that it isn't always easy. For starters, I worry a good bit about my parents' health and safety. I also cannot help but feel a little sad when someone says their grandparents are the same age as my parents, and I do feel upset when someone refers to people in their sixties as "old" since my parents do not feel old to me. Quirky, yes; a little antiquated in their thinking, yes; but not old.

So those of you who also have parents that are much older, what are some issues you are facing with this? Are there any fears you have? Do you have trouble relating to your peers or feel offended by comments your peers make regarding age?

[ 11-13-2008, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Interesting topic.

My mother is 58 and my father is 71.

When I was younger I was always sort of bewildered by how young my friends' parents were. 38? You're fifteen years old and your mom is in her thirties? I grew up with the sense that getting pregnant in your late thirties was just what most women did.

My dad had children from a previous marriage and whenever we'd all go out to dinner or something people would always think my half-siblings were my parents and my parents were my grandparents. I was often embarrassed of my dad, and in retrospect it seems like his age was a part of that. At school functions he looked to me like a wacky, out of it grandparent--but that's also his personality. He's very athletic and people think he's younger than he is but even when I was growing up it was clear he was much older.

Sometimes my dad says things that make him seem like of an almost incomprehensible generation--like he's told me that when he went to medical school it cost like $250 a year and that was expensive, and he drove a car with a double clutch...I don't even know what that sounds like something a Model T would have.

Seventy seems old to me. My dad turning seventy definitely feels different than sixty. The only grandparent I knew died when she was in her seventies (that's another thing about having older parents, my dad's parents had been dead a long time before I was born).

I worry a lot about my parents dying. I find myself trying to figure out about how many more years they'll probably be alive. Surely they'll make it to their eighties. Nineties?

There was a lot of craziness in my childhood and I need time away from them, but I don't feel like I can relax into not talking to them for a while because my time with them is limited. I don't want to talk to them right now--I'm working out my own stuff and I'm angry at them and confused about how to have a relationship with them and I like talking to them infrequently, but I'm terrified of them dying any day. I know it's unlikely and I'd probably have similar feelings if my parents were a decade or two younger, but it does feel like people with younger parents have a certain luxury: Time to take space from their parents and know they'll still have plenty of time to create a new relationship.

With seventy the idea of my parents actually being senile has entered my consciousness, and that really frightens me. I'm supposed to deal with an eighty year old father when I'm still in my twenties? Will I have to support my parents? The state of the financial world right now is especially worrisome to me because I know my parents are losing a lot of money that they would be retiring on.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think about this.

[ 11-13-2008, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: bluejumprope ]

without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

Posts: 407 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 39519

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I am 21 and my mom is 60 and my dad is 66, or 67...i'm not actually 100% sure which haha. I worry a lot about my parents health, especially with hearing about people havng heart attacks in their 40s and 50's. My dad has also smoked since he was 12, so when I do not hear from him for awhile, I tend to panic and think he's dead. I know it's horrible, but it is a very real possiblity.

My parents ages effect me in other ways as well though. My mom had a daughter when she was 16, so I have a sister who is 43. She could be my mother, and I have a niece who is 19, and nephew who is 17. A lot of people find this weird, and I guess I do too. People often ask me to explain my family to them multiple times. I have friends I've known for years who still dont understand how my family is put together haha.

Also, my mothr had 4 other children before me, and at the age of 58, when I just graduated college, she decided to sell our house, and move to another country with her boyfriend, claiming that she "deserves the break she's been a mother for 43 years" Now that's all well and good, but I am the only person my age that I know that has no place to go home to. I ended up living with my sister after college because I had no money and no job and nowhere to live. I felt abandonned and incredibly upset. She doesn't understand why I'm upset and three of my siblings think i'm being selfish for being angry at her.

I do not feel I'm being selfish. None of my siblings were put out of their home after finishing college. They came home and stayed rent-free until they found jobs. It's not fair and I think that my mother is unfairly punishing me for having children so late in life. It's not my fault she had me so late in life and I dont think it's fair that I get treated differently than my siblings because of it.

Sorry for my rant, but that is my biggest upset in regards to having old parents. Once retirement age came around, kids were forgotten, relaxing became important.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom with all my heart, I'm just a little torn up that she left me out in the cold.

Posts: 28 | From: Aus | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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