MELISSA’S LETTERS: Dear parents, please chill out

Dear Parents,

Finals and SATs are coming up, and the pressure is on. The rest of our lives depends upon these scores, our grades, and the college we attend.

Your child seems to be slacking in school a bit this year, and you want to make sure he/she does the best he can on these upcoming exams.

“Are you studying, Bobby?”

“LEAVE ME ALONE, MOM.” (Secretly watching Netflix.)

It’s only because you love us, right? Yes, we all know you love us very much. However, although love is known for its selflessness, part of love is also selfish.

A small part of you is trying to live through us. As much as you want to see us succeed and be happy for our sake, you also take personal pride in our success. You can’t help it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We love to make you proud. However, sometimes you guys get carried away, “See that Harvard graduate doctor over there? He came out of MY vagina.”

To call someone a brat in Spanish it is said they are “mal creado.” The literal translation is “badly created.” I’ve always hated this saying. We all know that when we do something wrong and you guys get mad or sad about it, you’re not just mad or sad at us. More accurately, you are mad or sad at yourselves for raising us badly, or not enforcing the rules strongly enough. You may be our parents, and although it’s all out of love, sometimes you make us feel as if you see us as some kind of sculpture or painting you made, instead of human beings.

Of course you are one of the biggest factors that affect who we grow to be, but there are so many other things that affect the development of our identity and personality that you should really try not to take everything we do to personally.

With about half your life gone, death is closer than it has ever been before. The grey hairs are starting to appear. Obviously, being a parent has been a big part of your life, so of course your kids are really important to you. A whole living, breathing being that you created yourself obviously holds a lot of meaning. Through us, a part of you will live on after your death. However, your genes need to be passed on to make your life feel meaningful. You are much more than just a parent.

Even many parents who are doctors who save lives every day or lawyers and scientists who change the world believe that their children are their most important contribution to the world and the future of humanity! We’re flattered, but sometimes it can be a lot of pressure to live up to that.

So relax a bit! If you’re more stressed out about our scores than we already are, there’s something wrong. We’re all going to be just fine.




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