Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Kelly's World | You shouldn't always run to Mom (but you can)

Published:Monday | May 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM

You ever hear people say that someone has a face that only a mother could love? Well, it goes for everything, not just looks.

Parenting is like your clothing style. Every parent is different, and what works for you might not work for other people. How parents react to revelations from their children also differs greatly. For instance, when you're telling your parents that you pinged the car after you took it for a joyride, Mom might immediately take the "Oh my God, are you all right?" approach. Meanwhile, Dad might be a tad more unhappy with the decision-making on your part. He'll still be happy you're alive but you're likely to get more of a sympathetic response if the damage was more severe.

There's no hard and fast rule that moms are more gentle than fathers. In fact, I know some couples where Mom is the dictator and Dad is the softie. One thing I've always wondered about is how parents react to their children 'coming out'. Like, what's the reaction of a devout Christian couple when their baby girl says she prefers girls or their son says he likes other people's sons.

When I was in university, a lecturer asked a classmate of mine if he would react with violence if his child told him they were gay or lesbian (not sure how we got to that topic in the session, but anyway). The classmate said he wasn't sure. Thing is, that was early 2000 or thereabouts. Much has changed since then. I think parents generally are more accepting of 'different' lifestyles, at least in some parts of the world.

But it feels like there is always something different that parents have to be getting used to. A popular US artiste recently said she's pansexual. From what I've read, it basically means her attraction is "not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity". So basically, she has been attracted to men and women who don't consider themselves definitively men or women in the 'normal' sense. To each his own.

Thing is, even in this day and age, where acceptance is higher (for example, even TV commercials are showing same-sex couples now), not everyone who is 'different' gets welcomed with open arms. But if there's one place they should be, it's home. You should always be able to run home to Mom (and Dad) when the world has turned its back on you. I understand if the wider society doesn't take to your 'revelation' because, let's face it, some people 'dark'. But one should never be afraid to tell one's parents, especially Mom (the one who literally brought you here) anything.

Let's be honest though. Parents are human beings, and if they had certain expectations of their children, whether professionally or personally, it's OK in my view for them to feel some disappointment. But those children are still their flesh and blood. Never turn your back on them. It's just not the motherly (or fatherly) thing to do.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com