Western vs Chinese parents
Honestly, I have to admit that my parents do not really take a big part in my life. In the end, it comes down to the fact they have their own life, I have mine and we are very respectful of each other’s life choices. My parents would not tell me what to wear, where to spend my vacation, not to drink alcohol or which car to buy. In their eyes, these are all decisions I have to make for myself.
Sometimes, I find this distance a little bit disappointing because I would like some support and advice from them.
At the same time, I sometimes listen to my Chinese friend’s conversations with their parents, and I am glad that my parents do not intervene in my life as much. It is not uncommon for my friends from China who live in Europe to be sent on blind dates by their parents. Something that would be unthinkable in my own family. Actually, it is quite the contrary. They have never met my boyfriend, and a meeting is not scheduled anytime soon.
Certainly, my family might be a bit extreme, even by West- ern standards. But generally speaking, I think that Europeans grant their children more freedom to make their own decisions. It is believed that if a child is happy with their parents, they will naturally come back to them whenever they need their parents again. Therefore, parents should try to intrude less.
As far as I’ve heard, in China, the family is much more involved in the lives of their children. It always seems much more like a family decision rather than one done by the child individually. Also, a lot of my friends live with their parents, so the parents’ involvement is naturally much higher.
I have met people in China who broke up with a partner because their parents didn’t like them. Certainly this can happen in any family, but I believe that many children in China seek advice from their family and listen more to what they say.
Of course, the differences in parenting and parent-children relationships are a cultural thing. Often on social media, the question of whether we owe something to our parents is raised. Most people in Germany I know would argue that we don’t. I think this question would be answered differently in China.