Our expert says:
You don't need to emphasize that he is awfully ill, just nod and make sympathetic noises when he claims this, and sympathize with the specific problems he describes, and see if there's any clear way to help him deal with them. The more people tryn to insist that he's fine, the more he will feel he has to be sick and prove them wrong.
If one emphasizes how well he is coping and recovering, he may be encouraged to do just that.
He seems to view children less as adult individuals with their own rights and freedom, and more like insurance policies.
And though kids usually do want to help care for their parents, this isn't a license for the parents to be wantonly careles and expect you to indemnify them for their own errors.
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