Whoever said Parenthood is Easy
A thread appeared on my FB page asking personal inputs regarding parenthood – more specifically adult children/parent relationship.
I commented that it is never easy; that it is a womb to tomb job.
The author, brought up in a Western culture, thought my idea was incredulous. Perhaps, but anyone familiar with Asian culture, will know it has a grain of truth in it.
Asian familial ties are lifetime affairs.
Regardless of culture, however, any parent gets affected by anything a child says or does in the way that a pinch of salt or sugar affects a bowl of water.
Whatever the child turns out to be in the future always bounces back to the parents.
It’s kind of creepy, this parenthood thing, isn’t it?
No two peas are the same:
We are all born different, unique. You were born different from your other siblings. So was I. And my two children were born with completely different personalities.
You may take the features of your Mom or Dad, but inside you is something not anywhere near anyone of them. That’s because you are meant to be you; nobody in this whole wide world was meant to be exactly like you.
Your uniqueness may be weakened or reinforced depending on the parenting you grew up in. But it will never change.
Parenthood is simpler for a single-child family. It becomes a challenge if there are more than one because it requires distributing, in equal measure, the necessary love and affection among children with different perceptions on how much they got.
These perceptions, good or bad, are kept in check while they are dependent on their parents. They will start manifesting as they gain independence from parental supervision and control.
And parenthood will face a new challenge.
Parenthood: the changing paradigm:
I grew up in a generation when parental authority was unquestioned and talking back to one’s parents was immediately rewarded with a painful pinch of the ears or a loud thwack on the butt.
The Internet has changed all that. Corporal punishment has long been frowned upon, even outlawed, and parental authority and respect are treated peripherally, not substantially, by most children.
Children growing up under the influence of the Net, are more complex to understand and managed.
They want to be respected, yet are mostly disrespectful. They talk back to their parents like equals and want to be independent in all things except their upkeep.
Technology, despite its countless advantages, has created the “I, me, myself,” generation. “I want this and that,” occupy most children’s minds putting tremendous pressure on their parents.
And when their wants are not met, they mope and sulk, they run away from home or drop out of school. One or two go on a shooting rampage killing innocent people.
When all these happen, society is quick to blame the parents.
While there may be parents who are incapable of bringing up children, but this underscores the fact that when children become adults…
Parenthood is like Catch 22 – you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Parenthood: a one-sided job:
Parent/adult children squabbles are normal. They can happen to any family, no matter how close they are to each other.
They can start from the most innocent, innocuous reason to something that could damage relationships for a long time, if not forever.more serious and
Typically it boils down to two conflicting perspectives, i.e., the children thinking a parent is a pain in the butt, while the parent calling a child ungrateful for everything that’s been done for him/her.
It usually ends in a deadlock, with neither side giving an inch to the other and the only thing that can knock some sense into either side’s head (and heart), is time.
But while Time makes its miracle, the episode will leave lasting marks on an elderly parent.
And this feeling, if further eroded, can spell the difference between a long and happy life or an early death.
Please share so other seniors will realize that others, too, find parenthood difficult at times