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We are constantly told the importance of having
a good relationship with our family, respecting
our parents, our siblings and relatives. May it
be at school, at camps, at conferences, this element
has always been injected in the minds of the youths.
Talking about this, I have had the privilege to
be a keynote speaker at one of the National Youth
Seminar organized by one of the leading spiritual
groups in Malaysia in 2002. The topic of discussion
generated much controversial issues with adolescents.
However, what was eye opening was after the session,
I had a long queue of youths wanting to see me to
discuss their personal problems. What was more surprising
was 80% of them complained of their sore relationship
with their parents and they wanted to know the solutions.
Talking to these young people transported me back
in heydays when I was in the university!
I remember that day vividly in my mind when I went
back home for the weekend when I was in first year
in the university. After the weekend, my dad sent
me to the bus stop where I was to meet a few of
my friends to board the bus to Penang. Before the
bus left, I kissed my dad goodbye. I suddenly became
the center of mockery for my friends. They had a
good laugh. How can an undergraduate kiss goodbye
to his dad?? He’s a grown up!! Though, I was
very irritated with their mockery, I was kind of
humiliated with their constant mockery. But, it
was a good experience because only then did I discover
that many students hardly communicated with their
parents. They basically call their parent only 2-3
times a month – when they were short of cash!
Not all, but quite a handful.
For someone who comes from a close-knit family,
my old folks have always been my pillars of support.
After many semesters, many of my university friends
got to know my parents and the close rapport I have
with them. They always told me how they envied me
because I could relate issues with my parents. My
only advice to him or her, which I give to many
of the youths till today is that, someone has to
break the ice, and why don’t you be the one.
It won’t cost you anything. In fact, you’ll
find yourself more attached to the persons who are
most dearest to you – your family!
Recently, my mother had a stroke. It was an episode
I could not come in terms with. I was so “broken
and down”, and it was the hands of my dad
that reached out to his little boy that pulled this
professional young man together. He always told
me, to be strong, and face all tribulations. Though,
I have heard it many times from nursery to primary,
secondary to university, his constant encouragement
will always be an antidote to my “down”
moments. Though, I am a young professional sitting
in my corporate chair today, but in my dad’s
eyes, I will always be his little boy.
Good relationship with family members is just not
a principle that one advocates. It is a practice
that many should value. To have a good relationship
with your family, you can face many obstacles in
your day-to-day life. Many adolescents find themselves
entangled in a stressed lifestyle because there
are not able to communicate with their family members
and they find it not able to be having a close relationship
with their families. It is just not hype to relate
to your dad or mom!! Corrections…Social standards
are not set by your peers or your neighbors. So,
do not draw the line with your family because of
the fear of ridicule by peers. People do come in
terms with good family relationships. In fact, it
is very much looked up upon by society. Remember,
you will always be mom and dad’s little darling
at whatever age!!!
INTEYO Club Advisor