The Importance of Telling Children They Are Loved

Recently, my mum and I had a chat about some things that have been happening at home. As we chatted, my mum shared some facts with me about the past. The conversation went on and it somehow led to me sharing with her about something an elder has repeatedly told me when I was growing up. 

“She always told me she was my savior,” I told my mum.

“She did? Why is she your savior?” My mum was clueless.

“Well, she told me many times that when Pa and you found out that you were pregnant with me, you guys didn’t want to keep me because Kor (my older brother) was only a few months old. She said you wanted to abort the pregnancy but she was the one who stopped you, so she saved me,” I revealed to my mum.

“WHAT?! That is totally not true! Why would we not want to keep you? We only had your brother! It’s not like we had a lot of children and couldn’t manage,” my mum was shocked and told me what the truth was.

“REALLY?!” Now I was the one in shock. I had lived my life thinking that my parents didn’t want me at the beginning.

“Of course! Your father is not around anymore, otherwise you can ask him. We have never said we didn’t want to keep you. This is so wrong!” My mum said.

So both my mum and I had some shock that day. My mum found out that someone had put words in her mouth without her knowing, and I found out that I had been living a lie.

This lie affected me tremendously when I was growing up, especially in my adolescent years when I didn’t get along with my parents. It didn’t help that my parents are the traditional kind of Chinese that are not very good at showing their children love. My parents disciplined us using tough love and never verbally told us how much they loved us. During my years of rebellion, I didn’t get along with anyone in the family – not my parents nor my brothers. The statement that I was told by the elder, that my mum had wanted to abort me at first, rang repeatedly in my head and reinforced to me that my parents didn’t love me, or at least not more than they loved my brothers.

This statement I had heard from the elder many times probably wasn’t the only factor that caused damage to my emotional status as a teenager, but it certainly had detrimental effects on me. Whenever I didn’t feel loved by my parents, this thought that they had wanted to abort me made me feel worse about my parents. 

After the revelation, I came home and told my husband what I had found out. I told him how I had lived a lie, having thought that my parents didn’t want me. Even if the elder never had malicious intentions when she told me that, what she said to me took root in me and caused a lot of hurt when I was growing up. 

I can only thank God that I eventually did grow closer to my parents, though whenever we didn’t get along, the lie would ring in my head from time to time.

Because of this new revelation, I told my husband that no matter what happens or how old our children are, we must always remind them that we love them. Don’t let any lie others may say to them have a chance to take root. We must always remind our children that we love them very much and we are always here for them.

I can’t think of what intentions the elder may have had when she told me what she did. I can’t totally blame her for the poor relationship I had with my parents when I was growing up too, because my parents were never good at communicating love. At the same time, I can’t blame my parents for not communicating love because that was the way they grew up themselves and they didn’t know any better.

I can only say that, at least for me, I know the impact the lack of communicating love has on children and I will strive not to make the same mistakes with my children.

   
 Breyen and Phoebie, you are very very loved. Papa and Mama love you and are always here for you. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.

Pa and Ma, I’m sorry I believed and lived a lie. I never even thought of asking you to clarify. Now I know that you love me more than I ever knew.
  

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