THERE IS a saying that describes the parent-child relationship very well: “all his geese are swans.” What it means is that children are always perfect to their parents. Almost all parents think that their children are good-natured and can do everything well.
Parents give infinite love to their children throughout their whole life. They support their children unconditionally, always encouraging them in times of joy and sorrow. Yet how much do children appreciate their parents’ love and try to be good sons or daughters? Some students think they have fulfilled their filial duty if they give their parents a red carnation on parents’ Day. With parents’ Day around the corner, the Yonsei Annals asked Yonseians what they think of their parents.
What do you do for your parents on special days like Parents’ Day?
There are many special days for celebrating parents --- birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Parents’ Day in May. Those days have a very important meaning for both parents and children. On these days, you may want to prepare something for your parents. About half of Yonseians (46%) replied that they have arranged a celebration or given presents to their parents whenever their parents have an anniversary. Indeed, even though arranging a party or buying presents requires both money and effort, only 4% of the respondents said that they have never done anything for their parents’ anniversaries. Most Yonseians (28%) replied they usually give clothing as a gift. There were some students who gave flowers, cake, or the like. But no matter what you give to your parents, your parents will be pleased with your faithful heart.
Do you live with your parents now?
Quite a large number of students moved away from their parents when they went to university, since their home is far away. Living alone, they often feel emptiness because there is nobody who cares and supports them as their parents did. Yet even those students who are now living with their parents will eventually confront these feelings, since they will leave their parents when they get a job or get married. According to the survey, more than half of the respondents (59%) said that they are not living with their parents now. Perhaps they can learn how to live alone, but it will be hard for them without parents to take care of them. Of those who are not living with their parents, 19% replied that they miss their parents most when they are sick. When we are sick, we need our parents’ care more than at any other time. So it is very sad that our parents cannot be near us.
What is your major problem with your parents?
When the students were children, parents were everything to them. Parents affected their thoughts and behavior the most and they learned how to love and how to live from their parents. Yet as children grow older, other people, such as friends, teachers and neighbors, also start to influence their personality and character. Accordingly, their values become different from their parents in some ways. This can cause arguments between parents and children over many things. A total of 20% of respondents said they usually get in trouble with their parents because of their hobbies. For example, when the students really want to learn a unique genre of music, parents may not understand them, thinking it is just a waste of time. And when they first enter the university, they might want to do something unique and new. Sometimes parents worry that their children will neglect their studies and spend all their time drinking. As university students usually enjoy drinking alcohol, they often stay out all night, without thinking that their parents’ will worry about their safety. Sometimes they even lie to their parents over the phone, telling them that they will be coming home right away even when they have no intention to do so.
How do you make up with your parents?
When you get angry at your parents, you can argue with them with an angry voice and harsh language. Yet you will soon regret your attitude. You will realize that your parents scolded you because they really worried about you. Thus you will want to apologize for being rude to your parents. However, you often feel awkward apologizing and saying “I’m really sorry.” What can you then do?
A total of 20% of the respondents replied that they come back home bringing something like food for their parents as a gift. Yet surprisingly, a total of 19% of the respondents said that they just pretend that nothing happened. When you pretend that nothing happened, you avoid conflict like a coward. And this does not help deal with the underlying conflict. Giving a present to your parents may be a good solution.
When do you feel sorry for your parents?
When children reach the age of puberty, they begin to turn on their parents. Baek In-jun (Jr., Dept. of Library & Info. science) says that he did not listen to his mother’s advice to prepare something for his father’s birthday. When the birthday came, he felt really sorry for his parents. About a third of the respondents (33%) said that they felt the most sorry for their parents when they got in trouble after ignoring their parents’ advice. Also, a total of 25% said that they feel sorry for their parents when their parents have to pay the tuition fee. With tuition fee going up and up, this is every more of a worry for students. They want to return their parents’ love because they feel sorry for their parents’ sacrifice.
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No matter how much you love your parents, your love cannot be bigger than your parents’. There is even a common saying that parents live just for their children. But many students seem to forget their parents’ love and sacrifice. Some of them hardly even say “I love you, dad and mom.” There are lots of ways to express your love for parents. You can hug them, or write them letters. On this coming Parents’ Day, the Annals hopes you will try to show your love to your parents. Even a short text message will make your parents really happy.
What is your major problem with your parents?
Curfew hour (18)
School work (14)
When do you miss your parents the most?
When I am sick (19)
When I am alone (18)
When I don’t have enough money (8)
When I see my friend getting a call from his/her parent (8)
When I don’t feel like doing housework (6)
*The total is 59, since 41 Yonseians said that they are living with their parents now.
What kind of present do you usually give to your parents?
Homemade food (6)
Play or theater ticket (2)
*The total is 96 because 4 Yonseians said that they have never prepared for parents’ anniversaries.