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Our parents or our caretakers are the first people we ever look up to. They are also the first people we ever put on a pedestal and expect them to get everything right. We cannot bear the idea of these authority figures getting anything wrong as they’re given the responsibility of looking after us, and if someone who is capable of making any mistakes at all is responsible for looking after an entire person then how can they ever be trusted?
Moreover, growing up our parents make all the major and minor decisions for us. They almost always get the final word. So when we are taught to listen to these people since infancy like every sentence that comes out of their mouth and every action they take is right, then it is quite inevitable not to put them on a pedestal. This might often make us lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, they are also just people.
For instance, often in our friendships, we’re aware of the insecurities our friends might have. Sometimes, these can be physical insecurities like their weight, so we avoid bringing those topics up in front of them- simply because we’re being mindful and considerate of their feelings, insecurities, and struggles. Almost everyone has their fair share of insecurities, be it, physical or emotional or even both.
But how often do we go far enough to think that our parents might have them too? How often do we consider that when at times our parents lash out or overreact, it can have nothing to do with us but only with their own fears?
Being in the ages 16-17, the talk around going off to college or your future starts to increase. I remember asking one of my friends if they’re going to stay in the country for their higher studies or if they’re considering a foreign university- he responded “I do want to go, however, my mom is completely opposed to the idea of me leaving. I don’t understand why and it stresses me out because I want to gain new experiences and really live my life you know”
There can be a plethora of reasons as to why a parent might oppose the idea of sending their child to a foreign country, these reasons can be as simple as financial restraints or even as complicated as the fear of being abandoned and left behind- which is something we never consider.
Plenty of teenagers suffer from self-esteem issues but do we ever stop to think if our parents suffer from those too? If they constantly question their worth, maybe at their workplace or even in their interpersonal relationships such as being a good parent for that matter?
Eating disorders are very common during adolescence but what if our parents suffer from them too? They’re more common amongst women so what if our mothers struggle with looking at themselves in the mirror every morning just as much as an emotional teenager?
Now the purpose of all this talk behind insecurities that our parents might suffer from isn’t to justify their actions but it is to understand them better. Because at the end of the day, the decisions our parents make can also be emotionally driven. It is not always possible to know whether these decisions are actually right for us. After all, they’re also JUST people trying to get through the day.