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Why It's Okay to Not Be Close With Your Parents

We are told that we don't have a choice about this, but we do.
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From the very beginning, we've been taught to value our family. Teachers would ask us to draw our families with the classroom crayons, and to say what we like about them. We are encouraged to make cards for even the simplest of occasions, using whatever paper we can find and the best stickers in the box. Children's books and magazines write about how important it is to spend time and care for our family.

When we grow older and grow apart from our parents, we are made to feel guilty about our neglect, and asked how come we aren't thankful for all the years they have raised us and why can't we regard them with more love? We are told that we weren't raised like this, not giving in to every offer of a hug or every time they ask if you want to come with them to an outing. The thing is, not a lot of people have considered the possibility that some parents aren't as good with their children as most of us expect them to be.

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The thing is, not a lot of people have considered the possibility that some parents aren't as good with their children as most of us expect them to be.

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Some of them are too busy with their jobs, not even paying attention to their children, who in turn, isolate themselves or finding more comfort in friends. Some of them may be abusive, emotionally or physically, and their children close in on themselves and don't want to show vulnerability. Or perhaps the child has been involved in a traumatic experience and they feel as if it's difficult to trust the parents. It can also be caused by other factors such as favoritism in the family and rejection of their child's identity.

To some, it might be odd to think that there are people who hesitate when asked if they love their parents. After all, most of us owe our lives to them. Our food, shelter, clothes, education, and a lot of other things come from them. So why not love them and care about them every single day?

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We seem to be forgetting that being thankful and loving someone are two completely different things. You can be thankful for what they have done, but you should not force yourself to feel like you owe them love.

If it doesn't seem right to you, it probably isn't. Yes, you can still communicate with them, but you should never feel obligated to tell them everything if you feel that it's not comfortable to talk to them about certain things.

This isn't common, since we are so absorbed in the stories of a parent's undying love, and how we are who we are because of them. We see how they are there every step of the way, always fighting to give their children the best. But you see, this isn't always the case. However, that doesn't mean that your experience should not be valid because it doesn't happen that often.

Not every parent is the super-supportive, super-open person we see in so many books and shows. Some of them can be distant, or controlling, or not entirely caring.

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Not every parent is the super-supportive, super-open person we see in so many books and shows. Some of them can be distant, or controlling, or not entirely caring.

It's not weird to not be like those people who do not fail to give their parents a hug every day, or those people who would give up everything for their parents in just a blink of an eye. It's okay to feel the strain of your relationship and turn to others instead of them, even if you were taught to always go to your family first. It's not bad to think that you might be better without their control over you.

Not all of us are good with our blood family, and that's okay. Some of the stronger bonds can be formed outside of home, so don't ever feel ashamed of that.

Want to share your personal story? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @candymagdotcom! 

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About the author
Aleeza Abinuman
Candymag.com Correspondent
Aleeza is a business student, who enjoys crime shows, fantasy books, and occasionally, writing her heart out.
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Katherine Go 2 days ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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