Do We Have To Love Our Parents? The Answer Is No, Here's Why

Last updated by Rosie Harlow

When we’re little, we love them unconditionally and do anything to seek their affection. Our parents are our role models, our inspiration, our protection. Then, when puberty kicks in, and we become teenagers, war sometimes breaks out. This is all very normal, but once the period of hormones and braces has passed, it’s not always a given to love your parents, and that’s okay, plus admitting it feels fantastic!

Do We Have To Love Our Parents? The Answer Is No, Here's Why

Not loving your parents is a massive taboo in today's society

How can you not love those who brought you into the world? For everyone, for society, for the norm, love between children and their parents is self-evident, but a family is a web of relationships between different individuals. As in any group, these relationships can range from crazy love to respect, to indifference, or even to hatred.

Love, misunderstanding, deception…

To reach adulthood as independent and fulfilled as possible, we need to feel ambivalent feelings for our parents. Even if going from tenderness, complicity, and confidence to aggression, rejection, and disappointment may fill us with guilt, these feelings are nevertheless necessary, and I’d even say natural. No relationship, and I mean no relationship, is based solely on positive feelings, but knowing when to put a stop to things that make us feel bad is essential.

Rid yourself of a toxic weight

My memory boxes are full of parental pride, fulfilled desires, hysterical laughter, and Wednesday movies, but they’re also full of little stones that weigh heavily on the heart: insults, slaps, and humiliation. A whole load of things that prevent self-confidence from blossoming, and give the impression that you’ll never be good enough for your parents. What do you do first? You try to be a better daughter and carry on loving them unconditionally because otherwise what would you become? And then what happens?

After repeatedly hearing that I’d just got the bad sides of my father and mother, I finally understood that my parents weren’t superior beings, just humans with flaws, emotional baggage, and wounds. I decided that my good sides were my own and that respect was the essential condition of love. So, no more giving love to my parents if I don’t get their respect in return.

>>> Discover how to effectively punish your children

Everyone has their own wake-up call and should listen to their heart

I was about to become a mother when I realized how different from my parents I wanted to be. I’m aware of and cherish what I owe them: life, experiences, values, so I’ve never cut ties with them, even when I realized that I resented them for having been a fearful, fragile and anxious child, even when I realized that I didn’t love them so much anymore, even when I realized that I didn’t really have to love them anymore. Some choose absence, distance, or indifference towards parents they don’t love anymore.

I choose to forgive their mistakes and protect my heart. Whether you love your parents is a very personal issue, but the important thing is to be able to look yourself in the mirror and learn to say sorry also and above all to the child you once were.

Is arguing with your parents disrespectful?

Most parents and children argue from time to time. Arguments can create a tense family atmosphere and bring up unpleasant emotions such as anger, disappointment and sadness, but they are totally normal too. Although, at points, they can be interpreted as disrespectful, they are to be expected. However, on a more serious note, they can also damage the parent-child relationship if they are intense and frequent. 

Fortunately, bickering can be resolved, so here’s how.

  • Write down how you feel after an argument with your parents:
    Instead of exploding, get out a notebook, and pour your emotions onto the pages. You can always rip them up if you find, in hindsight, that it was too violent: no one will ever know.

  • Take a step back after a fight with your parents:
    Take a step back from the situation. Is the subject of the argument really worth spending so much time and energy on? Probably not.

  • Talk to someone about your fight with your parents:
    Explain what just happened to a sibling or someone you trust who will understand and support you.

Are children biologically wired to love their parents?

The love between parents and children generally develops over time, but there is a certain innate disposition to bond with parents from birth. Babies are biologically programmed to seek proximity, attention, and care from their parents. This initial bond between parent and child is often referred to as "attachment" and is essential to the child's emotional and social development.

However, it's important to note that every child is unique, and individual experiences can vary. Some children may be more demonstrative in their affection from the start, while others may take longer to develop and express their love for their parents. The development of love between parent and child depends on many factors, including the quality of early interactions between parent and child, care, attention, and responsiveness to the child's needs. Parents who provide a foundation of emotional security, respond to their child's needs in a sensitive and loving way, and establish strong emotional bonds with their child generally foster the development of mutual love.

How does not being hugged as a child affect you?

The lack of cuddles and affectionate contact can have an impact on children's emotional well-being and development. Cuddles and affectionate physical contact are important for children, as they strengthen the emotional bond with their parents and contribute to their development.

Cuddling and affectionate physical contact trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone linked to social bonding and feelings of well-being. They help reinforce a child's sense of security, reduce stress, foster trust, and promote emotional development. When children don't receive enough cuddles and affectionate physical contact, they can feel emotionally deprived. This can lead to a lack of trust in others, low self-esteem, difficulty managing emotions, increased stress and anxiety, and problems with emotional regulation.

Children who grow up in an environment where hugs and affectionate contact are rare or non-existent may also have difficulty establishing healthy relationships with others, expressing and receiving affection appropriately, and developing emotional and empathic understanding.

Editor’s note: Every story is unique

The relationship with your parents is complex. Every story, every experience, is unique. If you feel that your story is complicated, that it weighs you down, gets in the way of your relationships, or prevents you from feeling fulfilled, it’s time to make an appointment with a psychologist to take stock of your story in order to understand it, accept it and move forward.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Rosie Harlow

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always used paper as a punching bag. Get to know me, I am Rosie Harlow.

Anonyme a year ago

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
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  4. Beautiful DayU2
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  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:15
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:19
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

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