To Grandma’s We Go

Beginning July, in China, parents can sue kids who don’t visit often enough. This law enforces the Chinese tradition that the young care for their elders. The law does not specify how often the kids must visit, but it does require employers to grant leave.

I want to know if this law is based on a verbal or written agreement stating a certain number of visits per year. What if the adult child refuses to be pressured into visiting his parents stating the reason, “I do not like you. I will not visit.” Does this clear him from any obligation or can he be taken to court? These questions must be asked.

Growing up we lived in an apartment building with my grandmother right next door. We didn’t have an agreement (verbal or written) as to number
of weekly visits. The visits were daily and multiple. We were in and out of each other’s apartment. There was no, ‘let’s clean before Grandma gets here; ‘Grandma was always here. There was no invitation Grandma had to RSVP to. Grandma issued her own invitation.

With relatives living in such close quarters the question becomes – how close is to close? Do private family squabbles (not posted on FB) become extended family squabbles? When adult children move back home the situation may become sticky. When your son is going out for the night you refrain from giving him a curfew as he’s 40. When your daughter gets a tattoo to show support for her boyfriend just released from prison, you remain silent as after all, she is 50. When your unemployed, sloppy kids throw a party while you’re on vacation you refrain from taking away their car as you wish they’d get in their car and drive. You wish they’d drive far, far away to a place far from you. This living situation was a little too close for comfort.

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