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Mother and Approval

By jesslinab Nov 06, 2008 1032 Words
“A Chinese Banquet,” written by Kitty Tsui, portrays the impact that approval has over people, and how one can be broken down without it. From the start of our lives, we are in a constant battle to feel appreciated and approved of what we do. Approval is a key element in development, and is always needed for a child to feel worthy and loved. Even as adults, we continue to seek the approval from the people we love in order to maintain a sense of security and happiness. Many people feel satisfied without gaining approval from their loved ones, yet these people often feel alone and detached from their families. Without the support from our loved ones, we begin to feel secluded, disconnected, and invalidated. Although people often view approval from others as insignificant, the approval we obtain from our loved ones serves as a backbone to how we live, and the absence of approval will ultimately torment us. The approval that is needed in a child-parent relationship is essential for a strong lasting bond, and a child. As children grow, their actions are all somehow connected with seeking approval from the parents. They want to know that they have done a great job, and that mommy and daddy are proud of them. This makes for a secure child, and an enjoyable parenting experience. This aspect of development carries on through adulthood, and continues to hold the same level of importance. Kitty reveals her desperate attempt to connect with her mom when she states, “One day, wanting desperately to/ bridge the boundaries that separate us/ wanting desperately to touch her/ tell her; mother I’m gay and so happy with her” (27-31). Kitty’s yearn for the approval of her mother to be with this woman, demonstrates just how important the understanding and acknowledgement of her mother is. The tone Kitty portrays is depressing, and she paints a picture of her hopeless voice and her longing cry towards her mother. Kitty’s desire for the approval of her loved ones displays the value of her families support, and without it, she is left disconnected and secluded.

The feeling of seclusion is many times the result of parents dismissing the need for approval. Parents who ignore the importance of support and encouragement in their children’s lives are placing a lot of weight on their children’s backs. When children are neglected, there becomes a major separation and removal of understanding in the relationship. The absence of approval gives the child a sense of shame and leads to an unstable and distressing experience. Kitty’s mom is ignoring all attempts for Kitty to be able to reach out and confide in her own mother. “She will not listen/ she shakes her head…mother, I say/ you love a man/ I love a woman/ it is not what she wants to hear”(36-40). Here it is apparent that Kitty’s mom won’t even allow for explanation, and is disregarding everything she does not want to hear. Kitty is bombarded with questions from her mom about her career, but there is no such talk about what needs to be talked about. The questions Kitty’s mom asks are only the ones she thinks are relevant. “She no longer asks when I’m getting married” (21). She is avoiding the opportunity to unite with her daughter because it is a matter she doesn’t understand, or want to understand. As a result of Kitty’s mother disregarding her, Kitty’s character is being stepped on, and her connection and bond with her mother starts to fade, leaving Kitty feeling unimportant and invalidated. Parental expectations often result in disagreements among the children and parent, and create challenging obstacles to face. A parent’s love for a child is quite like no other. Because of this, parents often push their children toward the “best” opportunities, and expect the child to meet their desires. However, if the path the son or daughter might have chosen did not fall into the set category of their parents, there often becomes tension and disapproval. At times, the high expectations parents hold for their children are set in stone, and parents cease to acknowledge what the reality actually is. Kitty’s reality is that she is twenty six, in love with a woman, and lacks a “successful” job. Kitty’s mother takes no notice of what is real, and continues with her questions about how Kitty’s life should be. “You’re twenty six and not getting younger/ it’s about time you got a decent job…what are you doing with your life?/ why don’t you study computer programming? (19-22). Not only is Kitty’s mom disapproving of her love for another woman, but also mocks Kitty’s career choice. Not once does the question of what makes Kitty happy come up, it is only what the mother thinks is best for Kitty. The expectations of Kitty’s mother have only created a larger gap in their relationship, and developed neglect and hopelessness among Kitty. Instead of talking through these important matters, Kitty’s mom’s criticism of Kitty’s life overpowers any chance for approval, leaving her feeling underestimated. Our lives are guided with the opinions and feedback we receive from our loved ones. At any age, the approval we obtain from our loved ones holds the same level of importance. The view that our parents hold on us, shape the people we are today, and who we can become. For Kitty, although she wishes she could be strong without her mother’s approval, she still yearns for it, and ultimately her home, her settlement of happiness is in her mother’s approval and love. A child will always need the approval of their loved ones in order to feel worthy, appreciated, and complete. Without the approval we seek, we are distraught and ultimately disconnected from the people we should remain the most connected too. Gaining approval in our lives from the people we love provides us with a loving and stable environment to grow and succeed in a comforting and supportive way.

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