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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