I met such a girl and I want to write about her. Well, I really want to say that I don’t know how to write about her and I want to practice writing about her.
She and her brother were born in a very conservative immigrant family, which means almost nothing is allowed unless it is explicitly granted, or unless it is done to improve the family’s image or social status. This poses a serious problem since a child’s natural flow of emotion and expression is completely shut off. Or when one stray emotion is accidentally revealed, it is ridiculed or politely shamed to make sure it will not happen again.
And the observation of strict customs is inviolable in their daily life. However there has always been an ongoing battle about food. As you know, a child’s expression about food is spontaneous and very often hard to control. And in this aspect, the parents do their best to modulate. They would let out good-natured laugh at their children’s facial expressions when they are hungry; they would tell stories of their children’s eagerness for food while sacrificing a manner that they think a child should have; they compare their children’s immaturity to an adult’s maturity and feel the satisfaction of their own superiority, which are used to justify all the rules they have imposed on their children to help them “improve”.
“I am hungry” is considered an unpardonable remark.
“You don’t want to say ‘I am hungry’ when your mother is cooking. That’s very impolite and even rude.” The father would scold the kids gently.
“Can I have a snack?” The children would say.
“If you have a snack now, you won’t have appetite for the food your mother has spent more than an hour to cook.” The father would responds.
“Snacks are so expensive right now. A little packet of snack costs more than three dollars.” The mother says when she brings a cooked dish over from the kitchen.
The parents look at their kids, shaking their heads. Their children’s expression is usually considered an impolite request, an inconvenience, a little drain on family budget, or a childlike imperfection. And the parents are happy that they have their undisciplined children under control.
“Our kids are so well behaved. And look at those wild kids our friends have. Oh, they are a disgrace.” The parents congratulate each other on their successful effort of wiping out every single natural expression their kids ever have.
This is a typical narcissistic couple and I met the couple’s daughter. She’s a teenager now and she’s very sulky. There’s a little project involved and she is so frustrated because she can’t be perfect. She puts so much pressure on herself that I feel that she may break down any moment. I really want to give her not only advice on academic subjects, but also on life. She should not be so unhappy and she should know that she has many options and she should give up on her parents’ expectations and work for herself to get a life she loves.
However what should I do? I don’t want to be too obvious…