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COMMUNITY VOICES: When adult children disrespect their parents

It’s common to see some little children act up or throw temper tantrums in public when they can’t get their way. However, when an adult child (18 years and over) tells their elderly parent(s) off with rude and insulting remarks, such verbiage is disrespectful. A mean and disrespectful son or daughter may explode with anger at a parent and talk down at them. An elderly parent will feel helpless in their own defense. Such situations should never occur, but sadly do.

Every parent, regardless of their age, wants to stay connected with their adult children. There must be genuine love and a healthy respect for parents who are especially elderly. An impatient adult child may become impatient with their aging parent. However, no reason is good enough to use profanity at their parent. Verbal abuse should never occur. Unfortunately it does and is a silent problem where an elderly parent is robbed of their dignity.

A verbal assault, intimidation, harassment or threat toward an elderly parent by an adult child can cause emotional or mental distress. Such abuse can negatively affect the blood pressure and overall health of an aging parent to a dangerous level. Such elderly abuse is seldom reported, and the parent suffers silently.

An adult child may struggle with alcoholism or drug addiction. Perhaps the adult child may have financial, marital, health or other issues. They then take it out on their parent(s).

If you are that adult child who continues to verbally abuse your parent, get immediate help.

Speak with a trusted family member, friend or minister. I also encourage you to speak with a professional therapist.

Perhaps an elderly parent may not comprehend as they used to. This does not give an adult child the right to speak down to their parent. Adult children need to think before they speak. Adult children may not have much time with an ailing parent. Learn to be patient and understand your parent. If you’re going through problems of your own, don’t take out your frustration on your parent.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone. You can also contact myself and make a phone appointment at 661-721-0111, and I will point you in the right direction. This offer is both to the elderly being abused and the abuser.

You can follow me on my Facebook page at

David Vivas Jr. is the pastor at World Harvest International Church in Delano.

David Vivas Jr. is the pastor at World Harvest International Church in Delano.

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  • Positive Cases Among Kern Residents: 158,270

  • Deaths: 1,828

  • Recovered and Presumed Recovered Residents: 150,950 

  • Percentage of all cases that are unvaccinated: 92.04

  • Percentage of all hospitalizations that are unvaccinated: 92.62 Updated: 12/3/2021.

  • Source: Kern County Public Health Services Department

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