Many of us go through ups and downs with our parents growing up. As we decide on the type of individual we want to be and the path in life we want to take, it doesn’t always line up with what our parents had planned for our lives. Resentment and anger can grow and linger for years. Some may even develop the disposition where they convince themselves that they could care less about what their parents think. For the most part this is a lie because once we finally do hear the words, “I’m proud of you,” from our parents it means more to us than any honor we could ever receive.

The love and praise that children receive from their parents does hold a certain level of importance. Yes, there are those who are so successful because they used the negative energy that they received from their parents to feed their ambition. They secretly needed to succeed, not only for themselves, but just to prove their parents wrong. Every time they want to give up they just see their parents disapproving looks in their heads and that’s gives them all of the motivation that they need to reach their goals.

At times it is not just our parents approval that we yearn for, but rather to hear the words, “I love you.” On the last episode of VH1’s “Couples Therapy,” rapper DMX broke down because his mother finally said she loved him. It was something he was waiting to hear his entire life. I am sure she showed her love through her actions, but sometimes you just need to hear those words. With all the success he had as a rapper, his heart still ached to hear his mother admit her love and show how happy she was for him.

I remember when I told my parents I wanted to be a journalist in high school I was met with negativity and disapproval. Journalism wasn’t considered a real career to them and all through college I always came home to the welcoming question of, “Did you change your major yet?” They wanted me to be a doctor or some other career that they viewed as stable. I always brushed it off like I didn’t care and it was my life and blah blah blah. Deep down I did want them to see my talent and be proud of me. That day finally came when a friend of my mother showed her one of my published articles from my college paper. My mother was actually impressed with my piece and even more so that people took notice of it. The day she told me she was proud of me and was bragging to all of her friends about my writing filled a void inside of me that I never knew was there – or rather I ignored it.

We can be admired by people all over the world, but if our loved ones don’t support and encourage then us all of that other stuff doesn’t mean as much. I understand that some of our parents weren’t shown much affection from their own parent when they were younger, but we should acknowledge that it does hurt us to a certain extent. I learned that the best thing to do is to express those feelings sooner rather than later to your parents. You may be surprised at what they have to say. The discussion may actually bring the three of you closer than you ever thought possible.

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  • jamesfrmphilly

    i am 69 years old and i do not seek my parents approval…..

  • This is a GROSS generalization. I don’t give a single f— about what my parents think about me or my career or the choices I made in my life, nor do I put any stock AT ALL in their opinion or approval of me or anything that I do.

    I think the point is that some people succeed TO SPITE, their “loved ones”, while others are successful because of the support they received from loved ones. But I don’t believe that to be true for everyone.

    But then there are others who are successful IN SPITE OF those same “loved ones”.

    Everybody isn’t seeking approval from their parents or families. And, you’re wholly misinformed to suggest that accomplishments don’t “mean as much” due to lack of encouragement from family or other “loved ones”. My mother recently congratulated me on a huge event I put on, and it rolled right off my back — it didn’t make me feel proud. I’d rather have her write me a check.

    • Dreaming

      I agree with you here. As I stated above, I do not yearn for the approval of my parents, nor do their opinions matter to me either. I think both of my parents did a poor job of being a parent to me. I want to be successful, not to spite them, but because I want to be as far removed from them as possible. I don’t seek their approval because there is none to be given.

      I don’t care what my parents or family thinks of my accomplishments. They mean something to me, because I accomplished them in despite of my adverse childhood.

      The times that my own my mother has congratulated me on something came off more as a criticism. I don’t care what she thinks, because what she thinks is always negative anyway.

      Seeking approval from those who didn’t seem to give a damn is futile.

  • down south belle

    From a loving father ” do you always as long as you are on the right path & checked yourself, me and you mama will have to get on board at some point but don’t hold that train for us keep on moving”.

    This after having made it my life mission to disappoint my parents i am always surprised when they are impressed with one of my antics to burst their bubbles turns out to be a praise worthy moment.

    They also gave up on me being the perfect Daughter a long long time ago we love who we have as our daughter unconditionally not who we had hoped for they say.

  • I agree to your article because even we are old enough to decide for our selves we still somehow ask their opinion because they already been through that from their experiences. And it’s very nice thing if you have your parents blessings!

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  • Ashleigh McLean

    Thank you so much for your article on this topic. I wanted to added some information that I know about DMX’s story pertaining his relationship with his mother. From what I remember watching VH1, his mother basically sent him to a home for “troubled” kids. And didn’t want to deal with him. That can create abandonment issues and naturally people that feel unwanted, feel unloved. So when his mom said ” I love you” to him. It was huge for him. And I’m sure she did things before and afterwards to show her affection but when you make a choice that is going to affect another human being, No one can choose how they are going to think and feel about the decision, and how they will carry it with them through life, even a parent. I just hope that it will help him go on the path of recovery, so he can find peace and happiness just being who he is.