Tigers or helicopters: parents aren’t really trying to ruin our lives
I refer to the article, “My daughter has an unkind, controlling friend. Should I interfere, asks parent” (November 17). The article offered several suggestions for parents on what to do when they have issues with their children’s friend choices. I have a few thoughts on this.
As a member of Generation Z [born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s], I grew up under the iron fist of my helicopter parents. It was not unusual to have my parents selecting friends for me and judging my own friend choices when I was little.
Parents always tend to be protective of their children, afraid that they will be negatively influenced by their friends. “Tiger mother”, “helicopter parents”, there are many names for parenting styles now. I was forced to end a couple of friendships because my parents deemed they were a “bad influence”. It turns out the decisions my parents made were not actually as bad as they seemed at the time. Those friends grew up to be juvenile delinquents. Perhaps my parents’ decision actually made a drastic change in my life. “Mother knows best” does hold meaning after all.
To all my fellow Generation Zs and the even younger Gen Alphas out there, parents may make a lot of decisions for you. At first, you may feel like they are trying to dominate your life. However, parents are older and they have more experience. They want the best for us and have no reason to ruin our lives. You have to believe in your parents. If you really feel sad and distressed because of their decisions, tell them about it.
As for parents, they have to be a guide and a shield, but not an interfering figure. It is equally important for parents to let their children go, allow them to grow up and make their own decisions without causing themselves harm.
Icelyn Choy, Kwai Tsing