Sunday, January 12, 2020

Are Parents Perfect?


This question simply came across my mind while I was on my Instagram, spamming my Insta Story like most of the time, without feeling guilty but you will see me expressing how sorry I am from time to time just because of courtesy-kind-of-thing hehew. I made a poll on this and most who participated it voted for "Nope". That surprised me. I thought many people would say "Yes" simply because they are being a good kid to their parents kehkeh. My answer would definitely be a NO because I stick to the ground and be realistic.

DISCLAIMER: This is only my personal opinion and how do I feel. This is basically my perspective and no one is bound to follow. Honestly saying, I cannot understand those who said Yes, their parents are perfect. Wow, good for you I guess. I might be able to relate with those who are in the same mind as me. hahah. However, along this writing journey, I might TRY to see the-Yes-perspective. Will see how.


Enough of mukadimah. Like I said, my parents are not perfect. What do I expect? They are just a human like me, like each of us. They are also tend to make mistakes as a parent. Parenting is a lifetime learning. The more number of children you have, the more challenging it is as each kid has his or her own character/personality. With such certain personality then comes towards a different way or approach to teach and bringing them up healthily. 

If I were going to say my parents are perfect, I would expect them to not make mistakes in any way. I would expect them to know me very well in and out. I would expect them to understand me in every aspect. I would expect them not to hurt me in any way. I would expect them to be an ideal parents like I have in mind. However, at the end of the day with those expectations, I would definitely get hurt. Thus, I avoid thinking and viewing them as perfect parents to me. I would hurt myself and I would hurt them more if I were going to say they are perfect parents. 

The reality is very contrary to those expectations I have just mentioned. I am not sure how and what is the reason or some people be able to see and view their parents as perfect parents. Guess, their parents might really did a great job in parenting or maybe some people are just too wayyyyy positive. Hahaha. Weh, until now my parents selalu mistaken my likes and dislikes. Like my favourite foods, foods that I cannot eat due to eczema and etc. 

But let me say something. Despite my parents' imperfections, I know they already tried their best in raising me and my two elder brothers. I know they are always trying their best to give us comfort. But that does not mean they are perfect. Tiada manusia sempurna, tetapi tidak salah mengejar kesempurnaan. That is what they are doing and that is why they are trying their best being a parent. By that reasons, I prefer to use "good" and "the best" parents. My parents are the best parents for me despite their imperfections. Me too, and my brothers, we are not perfect children. We are just humans. I do not like spitting out sweet words and forget my ground lol. Me being their only daughter I admit that I am very lacking in so many ways and aspects. hahaha. But I seek for improvements and so do my parents. 

I see and I accept my parents' imperfections. Another kind of acceptance in any relationship. Family, friendship and spouses. The imperfections that can only be accepted by the TRUE and RIGHT people in our lives. Hahaha.

You see, I do not always speak up my mind. It depends. I ve been taught to share how was my day to my parents and my late granddaddy. So I would share what I learned, what did I have for my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Did teacher or friends say anything (good or bad). Like telling them stories. But, it is different by asking how I felt on that day. Or how I felt learning the subjects or having them as teachers. How I felt meeting new friends. I ve never been asked by my parents about my feelings and thoughts. Only my late granddaddy could see straight in my eyes what I felt and what kind of problem did I have. Honestly, when I was a kid, I had a lot of questions in my mind. I had a lot of things to speak up from my mind and heart. But I did not manage to spit them out as I thought I would be rude. As I thought I would hurt my parents' feeling. As I thought I was too young to even speak up. That was truly sad, I must say. Thus, since I was a kid I could not wait to reach a certain age where I can speak up my mind and heart.

When I was a kid, I felt like I was an unhappy kid. Too much to handle but I could not even say it out loud my likes and dislikes. I waited for my parents to ask me certain things but at the end of the day, I just wasted my time. That deeply hurt my feeling. I felt lonely and all I have was Allah. Fuh, kecil-kecil dah drama macam ni. Sendiri-sendiri punya drama, tak involved orang lain. I bottled up everything. Dikala malam yang sepi, air mata basahi pipi dan lenaku bersama bantal yang dibanjiri. Hahahaha. Belum lagi nak hadap segala persepsi masyarakat ke atas anak bongsu which was truly not happening to me, in my family. Hahaha. My own drama continued with me thinking I might be an adopted child lmao. Gambar abang-abang I masa kecil lagi banyak daripada I. Padahal zaman I lahir lagi maju daripada diorang. I ni satu-satunya anak perempuan, like no excitement ke?! Hahahahaha! That is one of the reasons why bila I semakin meningkat dewasa, I suka bergambar. Kind of revenge and self-comfort lol! My parents were so strict by the way. I also waited for the day where I can break their rules. LOL.

A little bit of my 'history' to show that I ve never been taught to speak up. To share my thoughts and feelings. Having someone to listen to me. To focus on me. I mostly bottled up everything. However, somehow... when I was in standard four I guess...somehow, I had been 'guided' on how to deal with my inner-self conflict. I somehow, (lepas ni banyak somehow okay. Sebab entahlah macam mana terjadi. Like simply happened uh hm) learned to be understanding---by any means. I stopped asking questions, I give a reason instead. Long short story, I came into a conclusion that I must see my parents as a human. Yes, they are my parents. There is a very long list of what-a-good-parent-should-do & how-to-bring-up-your-child kind of things that exist in this world. But those are only guidelines in which my parents would tend to make mistakes and overlook (if they had any). When they did something wrong in my eyes, or hurt my feelings ke apa... I would just brush it off and said to myself, "they are just a human". Poof, I felt good. Because I understood them being my parents but at the same time they are just a human. Human makes mistakes. So okay, I am good. Hahaha. I could not speak up to make myself felt good so another way was this way. Which I still practise until today. I do not have any expectation on them for being perfect parents that won't hurt my feeling, or won't misunderstand me and sorts. What did I achieve? The result of being understanding and realising my parents are not perfect because they are just a human is that I feel at peace. My mind and my heart. No emo kid. No rebellious kid. Haha.

I ve grown up now, and when I almost reached my 20s, I tend to be more open (not totally op though) especially to my parents. I speak up my mind and tell them about my feelings (without waiting them asking obviously) when I feel I must to. There are things I let them know. There are times I will correct them, explain to them so that they can treat and understand me better. I cannot expect them to know everything and like I said, they tend to forget things too. Hence, I need to keep telling and reminding them.

I felt grateful because I started to learn these when I entered into law school (foundation and degree). I enhanced my communication skills especially towards my parents. My point here is communication. This is the age I have been waiting for, wuuuhuuuu. Where I can speak up and be blunt, be honest of every single thing with condition, it brings good to everyone. How to speak up? I speak up plus with examples or reasonings/explanation. I don't simply speak up sahaja. Dia macam ni, hang tak suka something tu or nak kata benda tu salah mesti ada sebab dia. Hang kena habaq. Kalau hang tak habaq, hang ni macam sejenis biadap main cakap lepas pakai lutut. Macam tu. If you have good communication skills, you can easily speak up. You must learn. No one was born with good communication skills. They are good because the way their parents brought them up or they just learned it anywhere, practising it everyday. I am still learning and improving my communication skills too.

Last but not least, intention & sincerity. This is important. At the end of it, what I want is for them not to misunderstand me. So my intention must be good and I must have the sincerity in delivering it so that benda tu sampai. In syaa Allah.

The turning point in my inner-self conflict and daily life is when I started to speak up. No longer bottled up things. I let all out through writings or speaking or sharings. Some might say, it is mature when you hold some things, not to speak up. It depends on the individual. That does not define maturity. Rasa matang sangat eh bila pendam macam-macam. Wait until you feel like you want to explode. Wait until you feel sesak kat dada, serabut fikiran. So is that matang? No, tu self-destruction. Self-destruction tidak menunjukkan kematangan but just decisions failure or to know yourself. Orang yang matang is someone who knows how to handle things correctly. Yang tak membawa kepada self-destruction. You are wise and you have a high focus in guiding yourself towards a betterment. I was in a position yang suka pendam until I felt (kind of) depressed and worthless. Pendam eats you slowly inside. Sakit.

When I started to view my parents as a human, it helped me a little bit away from mental illness. How? No expectation from them. If they did great, good. If they made something wrong, I tell. That is how a home should be. Correcting and completing each other. Together make improvements. Less pressure and rasa tak puas hati tu when I try and understand why my parents did such and such. You know, usually they thought that they made it right with good intention. Let's be honest, even us, NOT all things we did as we thought they were the right things to do, were actually right. We flawed guys. All of us.

Another way round, you might feel the burden from your parents' expectation. The all typical Asian parents do. That can lead to mental illness. Some might take it as a motivation and some might take it as a burden. Not all kids be able to have a positive and strong mindset regardless how excel they are in school. Sebab tu ada budak yang bunuh diri even they got great result but you know, they just felt it was still not enough to reach their parents' expectation, they felt worthless and had enough of it. Hm. This is for our futures, when we have our own family. Or to those who just started a family. For Muslims, be a Muslim parent. Not an Asian parent. Islam taught us well in treating the children from phase to phase. How should the parents be when their children below seven, then after seven, next during teenager/young adult and adult. Being a parent for me is to ASK and LISTEN more, than to tell. Guide them, not order them.

My parents' expectation sometimes are still burdening to me. As if I need to live for them. No, I need to live for myself. Kalau ikut dulu, I lantakkan my parents' expectation. I did my best for myself improvements/achievements. Not to feed in my parents' expectation. I memang dari dulu tak fikir pasal orang lain but myself. Haha. I tadah telinga je kalau parents puji anak orang lain ke. Banding-bandingkan ke apa. Typical Asian parents lah. Haha but I just brush it off. I somehow have the ability to do like that LOL. But now, instead of tadah, I speak up. I explain myself. Not wrong to explain myself to my parents. They have the right to know and to understand us. The thing is us as children do not always give them chances to do so. Because we bottled up and they thought what they did was right. Hahahaha. C'mon we are all adults now. Slow talks. Communication again. But in case, kalau ada budak bawah 20 baca ni, I am suggesting you to start open up slowly with your family if you find yourself suffocating. My relationship with my parents are way better now than I see myself when I was a kid. Hahaha. I think for them was always okay since then. They never knew I felt like this kot. I tak pernah share what I felt when I was a kid. So for me, I just started to feel right. Uh hm. ^_^

So , do not limit your children's activity and their ability to express. Ask their days and feelings and thoughts. Let them 'examine' you being their parents. Let them correct you. Leave your ego the all-parents-do-are-right-and-the-best-for-their-children. No, sometimes you just thought it would be the best but it was not. You did not even ask. Say sorry when needed. You as parents also need to realise that you are a human that will definitely make mistakes. IFFFF, ifff you really thought and confirmed what you did was correct, then TALK & EXPLAIN. Let your children see through you. And ASK them again whether they understand and whether they are okay. Home is where love is. Love comes in all forms.That is family. For me. 

For some people, a negative, stressful, or unhappy family atmosphere can lead to mental illness, commonly depression. That is why in my view the major role in bringing a healthy, bright child starts from a family. Parents have their own roles and responsibilities and we the children too with good assistance from our parents, will have control over how we see situations and how we can cope. Try to make efforts in thinking positive. In my case, ouh my parents are just a human. It's okay for them to make mistakes. I acknowledged it. This help to build resilience where the ability to help us bounce back and do well even in difficult or confused situations. 

So family plays the most important role in making us away from mental illness. Family is said to be the strongest support system. Parents and children (family) need to understand each other's responsibilities. Parents and children need to acknowledge that all of us are not perfect and will make mistakes. Forgive and learn. What I can see, to those saying their parents are perfect might saying them perfect out of courtesy hahah and they acknowledged their parents' efforts in being the best parents for them. So they view them as perfect parents. Or, maybe their parents are almost perfect in the sense that they have high intelligence and parenting skills. Their understanding in psychology is high too. Good for them, happy for them! We can see too when the children are mentally healthy and emotionally stable. When their communication skills since young are high. Must come from HOME.

All in all, I feel grateful that I do not lose faith and keep being patient. There are so many other things I keep inside which only me and Allah know. Because for me, that is enough. But some other things when I feel I need to voice out, so I will. So long my mind and heart is at peace. I feel mentally strong and healthy. I feel emotionally stable. Alhamdulillah. Still not too late to change little by little. Get to know yourself. When you have a family of your own later, start a fresh. Improve whatever needs to be improved so that your children will be better than you in the sense of mental health and emotional health. 

Emotional health is an important part of overall health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They are able to cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you are happy all the time. It means you are aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they are positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings. They can tell when a problem is more than they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor.
It is hence a skill. A skill that can be polished from home. Till then. Fi hifzillah wa fi amanillah.

 :: NN :: 

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