Sweet, Sweet Irony

September 7, 2008

IRONY just loves to barge in when we least expect it. It just seems to walk hand-in-hand with Murphy’s Law. It feeds off the thoughts of the pessimists as it craves attention from everything and everyone else until we’re all walking around with dark clouds over our heads.

“God, what did I do wrong?!

I, for one, would like to focus on these particular scenarios:

  • A teenager going through a difficult time in his/her life says, “My parents are never there. They don’t know anything. I wish they’d pay a bit more attention to me.”
  • Teenager gets in trouble. He’s failing a subject. She’s the laughing stock of the whole school. He got into a fight.
  • Parent finds out. Parent lectures him for hours. “When I was your age…”. Mother tells her to ignore the taunts. Father yells at him which makes him even madder.
  • They’re FINALLY paying attention to the teenager.

But did he/she want his/her parents knowing and intervening? -most of the time, they don’t. Whatever happened to “I wish they’d pay a bit more attention to me.“?

  • How ironic is it that when kids need the most attention, the most care and comforting, they push away the ones who can actually give the care and comfort they need -the parents?
  • How ironic is it that when the parents actually start paying attention to the kid, that’s when the kid doesn’t want the attention?

Whose fault is it? The parents’? or the kid’s?

There are many reasons why kids never tell their parents anything. The reasons, in a nutshell, usually mean, “They’ll never understand. So why bother?”. See, that’s the thing. For parents TO UNDERSTAND, you have to TELL THEM. You have to explain to them the severity of whatever tragedy you might be going through. They wouldn’t know. Times have changed. Drastically so, I might add.

How do you expect them to understand when they don’t know what they’re supposed to be understanding?

But then, the problem doesn’t always lie with the child.

Many parents have a one-track mind. I don’t want to assume anything. I’m just guessing from what I’ve observed. When a child gets a low grade in the report card, he is immediately terrified of showing it to his parents. Why? Because most parents think that:

Report Card=Ultima My-Child’s-School-Status-Report.

Although the report card is a very accurate way of knowing what is going on when your kid is at school, it’s not JUST THAT. Your child is failing math. The end. That’s it. He needs a tutor because he just doesn’t get it. NO. WAIT. ASK FIRST. WHY are you failing math?

This is the second thing I’d like to point out from my observations. Many adults seem to like to assume things. I’m not saying that they always jump into conclusions it’s just that sometimes, because of their age, because of their authority, because they’re our parents, almost EVERYTHING they say is right and final.

It’s already become a classic to hear the line, “…Because I’m an ADULT.

When your head is constantly hurting and you’re a bookworm, parents say, “You need glasses.” and they rant on how you just LOVE to read in dark places/under dim lighting or read while lying down, but then you never do. You don’t tell them that you lie awake every night in your bed. You can’t get to sleep, thinking about something that’s deeply troubling you. You’re afraid to tell them because you think they’re going to ask, “What’s troubling you?”. You’d rather you go all the way to buy a pair of glasses for someone with 20/20 vision.

This is another problem with kids. They’re always afraid to say something, always afraid to confess what’s really happening in their lives. They just have to be tragically misunderstood even if they bring it upon themselves -unintentionally or not. They just don’t trust parents with the secrets of modern teenhood because parents are the most influential of all adults. They have the power to alter reality for kids and shape the world in a way that they’d like their children to live in. That is what the kids are afraid of. It’s either:

They say something and a dramatic change happens.


They say something and nothing happens. The fact that they know anyway just creates this barrier of total awkwardness between them.

And the reason kids are afraid is because parents just don’t get it. Many members of the adult population just don’t understand. I’ve already said it. They even point it out themselves.

When I was your age...”

That’s it. They just don’t want to listen. They don’t want to understand. They just don’t comprehend the fact that it’s different now. Just because they’ve gone through the kid stage doesn’t mean they’ve got it all figured out. Just because the adults have been kids before doesn’t mean they’ve experienced all there is to being a kid because face it -you’re not kids anymore. You’ve got the wisdom that comes with age, we know that but just think about how limited that wisdom still is. Have you ever seen a teenager rant to his parents? Have you ever seen a kid and his parents watch anime together?

Embrace the differences. You don’t have to like it but you could at least experience it for the sake of getting closer with your kids. There’s nothing to lose. Stop living in the past. Hold on to it but not so much that you forget that there’s a future.

IRONY just loves to barge in when we least expect it, but that’s what makes life just a little bit more interesting. Just think about how you can take something that creates such a negative effect and turn it into something you can laugh at not only with friends but both as parents with your children and as children with your parents. Loosen up. Learn to accept. LIVE.