I did not receive love and encouragement from my parents but that does not necessarily mean I will make the same mistake with my own children. On the contrary, I give my sons all my love and always let them know how proud I am of them.
Every child needs love and caring, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Unfortunately some parents are too ignorant to know what their child needs, and the problem is passed from generation to generation.
In some segments of the Latin American community, this is a real problem. Our parents believe respecting them is a priority above all else, while building a child’s self-esteem is seen as a ridiculous modern notion. Some parents put their needs above their child’s – worried only that they will be taken care of when they grow old. Some parents believe they must be first in your life, above all else – including your wife, children, or your own well being or desire for happiness.
It seems that this problem is taboo to talk about, and so nothing ever changes. If anyone suggests that maybe things shouldn’t be this way, they are called selfish, told that they are sinning and God will punish them, made to feel guilty or accused of being Americanized. (I have endured all these things.)
Hopefully things will change for future generations. At least I know that my children will never have to ask me why I didn’t love them or encourage them. My sons will never feel that I brought them into this world simply to make sure I’d have someone to take care of me.