Over the years, I have observed what it is like for a parent to be a parent. I am not one myself, but I am a daughter and I have watched my parents strive for their children over and over again. It is not easy being a parent. It is a responsibility not even other parents can relate to, because each parent is different. “Do not raise your children the way your parents raised you, they were born for a different time” (Ali Bin Abi Thalib R.A.). 

Parents have the experience and stoicism to help their kids grow. Their parents have taught them substantial information that they can use to raise their kids. However, their parents might have been really strict with them and, for some of us, stern words are petrifying. My grandmother was strict with my mom, meaning she was unable to share her burden with anyone. My dad had a family that needed to work really hard to provide for each other, so naturally there wasn’t a lot of time to spend with children. Both my parents, and I’m sure I can speak for a lot of other parents, had to build themselves up emotionally on their own. 

In this generation, we need our parents to understand and support us in new ways. Especially with our mental health, which could be difficult to understand for parents. Even today, mental health isn’t something that’s openly talked about,  but we’re improving. Our grandparents didn’t know what mental health was, which is a by-product of the past. For instance, looking back to post-World War I, many soldiers had PTSD but they were told to “man up.” 

Naturally, our parents wouldn’t have a clear understanding of mental health now. That’s one of the major hardships that might arise for parents today. 

Parents have taken a long time to grasp the concept of mental health and, even when they don’t fully understand what it is, they try their best to. Back then, if someone was going through something emotionally, they wouldn’t know it, since there was no one to help them. Their parents probably found solutions like giving them work or saying things like “I didn’t even say anything to you, why are you so upset?” For them, understanding emotions wasn’t a priority, or so it seemed. 

It’s one of the things parents shouldn’t do with the kids of this generation. 

Emotional pain needs to be acknowledged for adolescents today to build a more knowledgeable future generation, but the hardships and hard work our parents have gone through can teach us how to deal with our own calamities. 

Our parents are aware of how destructive this world is, but standing with their children, creating happiness out of the smallest moments and just being there can be helpful. Past experiences paired with new realizations can be a better approach for parents to raise kids and form stronger bonds.