On Parents’ Expectation

Throughout our lives, our parents involve in the direction of our decisions. I still remember when I was graduating highschool, I got into arguments with my parents concerning the choices of colleges I wanted to apply.

However, my dilemma did not merely revolve around the act of choosing which awesome college I wanted to attend. I had to choose because I failed two times in attaining the options my parents conceded. Yeah, I failed two entrance exams.

Well, before that, I kinda did not have to choose because the decisions were set. My choice was in line with my parents’. So, everything was cool.

Hell broke loose when the opposite happened.

Not only I felt like a failure because I literally failed in exams but I felt it because I somewhat diverged from the path my parents expected me to follow. It hurt. Why did it hurt? Well, I think it was because I loved them. It hurt because I made them sad. But, I was sad as well if I did not follow my heart.

Therefore, is it our obligation to always follow our parents’ decisions or sometimes their soft coercion? In answering that let us go back to the usual parents-children relationships.

Most parents are role models for their children. They are the embodiment of love. We learn to be loved or to love from our parents. We depend on them and believe in them.

Most of us including me, of course, derive the motivations to achive something for our parents’ sake. To make them happy. Thus, they will love us more. We seek acceptance and recognition.

Well, it is okay if your values and interests are aligned with your parents. However, it becomes complicated if you differ from their views. If your choices, ideologies, sexual orientation, or even your beliefs are contradictory to theirs. You are challenged to handle this emotional turmoil in a more mature way.

Personally, I think it is unwise just to disregard their views. What is lacking is a level-headed and mature conversation to exchange ideas. As children, it is hard for us not to get defensive and hurt by our parents’ words. Deep down, we expect them to love us unconditionally despite our choices.We long to be understood without saying much.

That’s why it is important to voice out your views in a more mature way. You need to make them see that your choice is not an act of rebellion or belittling their views: your choice is a part of your long term deliberation. It is easier said than done I know.

Have a talk over dinner in your home or in a brief phone call you have every other week. Explain your decisions, your views, or even your plans to make it work.

What if they still don’t get it?

I will say follow your heart realistically. What I mean is you have to know the consequences of your decision and be responsible. Show your parents that this choice makes you happy.

Work hard, live fully to say to them that it is not a worthless path. It may take a while. You don’t have to completely follow them but be respectful and considerate on their views.

Our parents base their decisions from their past experiences — what worked for them. They just need to see that your path works too. It just needs time.

I know this does not magically fix a toxic or abusive relationship between parents and children. However, this bundle of thoughts is an act of sharing: that may be we can give each other stories to contemplate and connect with one another.

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