Mom, Leave Me Alone!

I apologize for not posting in a while! It has been a stressful time, but I am happy to say that my piano exams are done and out of the way! The dream of achieving my Associate Degree with the Royal Conservatory of Music is a little bit closer now!

As a seasoned exam taker, the rules and protocol of the exams are nothing new to me. I am now a teenager, able to enter the exam room myself and do everything on my own. I go, I write, and I leave.

Yesterday, as I arrived to write my final exam, I waited patiently for sign in to begin. I said my prayers and read over my book. I found that I could not concentrate on either, as I was greeted by the loud noise of arguing. The arguing was getting closer and closer.

The arguing between this young Chinese boy, who was about 14 or 15, and his mother was hushed but intense. My Mandarin is terrible, but I could make out a couple words during their exchanged. Mostly, I was drawing from the frustration on both of their faces.

Finally, the boy lashed out in clear English:

“Mom, leave me alone! I’m old enough to do this myself. I don’t need you.”

This took me aback. As they continued to argue, sign in had begun. I had to shake off this experience and focus on my exam.

Now, me being 18, I obviously do not know anything about being a parent. I do, however, know everything about being a teenager. I know that teenagers want to be independent. They want to stand on their own two feet and usually are not too worried about consequences. We all live by similar mantras: “Ride or die”; “Carpe diem”; “Young, wild and free”; and of course, “You only live once”.

But even as a teenager, I know that I would be nowhere without my parents. Granted, there are times where I wished that I would have more freedom than I have, but I realize that freedom is something that needs to be earned. FREEDOM goes hand in hand with TRUST.  The above situation may be a classic example of “helicopter parenting”, which I must admit seems to very popular among Chinese families. Does the boy’s mother not trust him enough, or is she just being overprotective? Is she being overprotective because he is worried that something could happen once she turns around? Or is that her way of showing that she loves him?

When does “love” become too overbearing?

I understand that the amount of freedom that I have goes hand in hand with the trust that I have built up between myself and my parents. What matters is not the quantity of freedom but what we choose to do within it. “Spreading my wings” to me does not include hard drinking and partying, and I hope my parents know that too.

Young ones, remember that the person you are is because of your parents. Parents, remember that you are allowed to let us fly once in a while. We get that we have major responsibilities in the world.  We want you to know that our goals in life is never to disappoint you or fail you. If anything, we want to make you proud.

Unfortunately I was not able to find out how the saga ends between the Chinese son and his mom, but I hope that they can strike a balance between themselves.

“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” – Colossians 3:20

 So show your parents that love! Hang out with them, tell them that you love them, and spill ink while you do.