DEAR ABBY: I am a widow and the mother of 10 children. I live in an older house that occasionally needs repairs. My children refuse to do work around my house and suggest I sell it or hire a handyman. Handymen are not easy to find for small jobs, and I like where I live and do not want to move.
I was very good to my own mother and did her every bidding. My children say children don't do that anymore. All I ask is that each one give me one or two days a year. They are good to me in many other ways, but as long as I'm on a roll, I wish they'd ask me out to dinner more often.
Do children have any responsibility toward older parents? I promise to abide by your reply. If I am wrong, I'll never mention it again. -- "SIS" THE NAG, HICKORY HILLS, ILL.
DEAR "SIS": Of course children have a responsibility toward their parents. However, what that means may differ from family to family, and should be mutually agreed upon by everyone concerned. It appears that your children are living busy, complicated lives. If they won't listen to you, Sis, they're not likely to listen to me either. That means you may have to solve this problem without their help.
You would be wise to listen more closely to what your children are trying to say to you. Since you are unable to keep your house in good repair by yourself, perhaps it IS time to sell it and move to a condominium or an assisted-living facility for active seniors. It would solve BOTH of your problems because a staff maintains the premises, and there is also a pool of people with whom to socialize without having to depend on your children. Please don't nix it until you have thoroughly checked out what is available in your area.