It’s interesting how the relationship between parents and children change over time. It begins with children as dependants on their parents. And as they grow older, the relationship evolves into mutual respect and even interdependence. The pastor conducting our Marriage Enrichment Course says that interdependence between parents and children can only come when children gain their own independence first. I am grateful that my parents have the grace and openness to release us children to gain our own independence… I realise this is actually not an easy thing for parents to do. Many parents try to hold on to their children’s independence through emotional blackmail and manipulation.
The transition to independence is also not easy for children. I personally felt I faced an inner conflict to gain independence yet at the same time I was still relying on my parents for many things… and this can be confusing as I am learning how to handle myself as a growing independent person as well as how to handle my relationship with my parents.
I remember one especially distinct episode with my dad which must have hurt his feelings greatly at that time. It was during one of my summer holidays when I was back in KK for vacation from uni. I was going through a lot of issues at that time… including trying to establish a very serious relationship with my boyfriend back then. It must have been awkward for my parents as well but they tried to lighten things by joking and teasing (especially my dad, who is a very jolly person at heart).
Somehow a seemingly small joke turned things around suddenly and I had said something very hurtful to my dad. Even now I cannot remember the exact word exchanged or why it happened. But it did. I had never seen my dad so hurt before. Yet I held on to my pride and did not apologise immediately. Even so, the damage was already done.
Thankfully, we had mom the peacemaker to help us make amends. But that incident remains in my mind today. Although the issue has been resolved and sought forgiveness from my dad, I still want to tell my dad how sorry I am for my hardheartedness and insolence that day.
That incidence always reminds me how important it is to guard not only my tongue but my non-verbal communication. Looks literally can kill. Although I still make mistakes in not keeping myself in check, I truly hope such an incidence will never happen again.