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Letters to parents | Feelings I have never expressed to you

Hi CandleXers! Here’s the second in our “Letter to my parents” series written by highschoolers in Beijing – the letters they have always wanted to write. We hope you find it interesting. If you want to contribute to the CandleX Wechat account, just let us know in the comments, by email or via Wechat. Thanks!

Hi, Mom,

Since I was in elementary school, our communication hasn’t been very well. I still remember the time when I was 8, you wanted me to practice algebra, but I didn’t want to. We argued for hours before you forced me to sit by the desk and complete the problems. The algebra questions weren’t hard, and it only took about 30 minutes to finish them. However, I just didn’t want to do it. I don’t know the psychology or logic behind it, but I find it so hard to just do what I’m told. Especially when you are the one who gives the order, Mom. I know that everything you have planned is for my future, my life, and myself as a person, but the way you pass those messages along really discourages me. I always feel stressed when I am with you, when I hear your voice, see your face… sometimes, I’m even scared of your presence.

I tried to talk it out with you, but you said I feel this way because I feel afraid and intimidated to be in the presence of someone better than me. This might be true, but I’m not with some random person who have better grades or higher intelligence, I’m with my mother. Shouldn’t I feel a sense of caring and love from her? I know, everyone has different approaches to expressing their love for other people. Maybe your approach is just comparatively rational and harsh.

I do appreciate everything you have given me. You taught me to speak English fluently, to have good manners, and to treat people with kindness and respect. I also know that you expect a lot more from me, but I just want you to be proud, Mom.

I recall that our last argument was about preparing for the SAT exam. That day, when you walked through the doorway, seeing me with the cell phone in my hands, you were furious. You yelled at me, saying that I wasted my life and all the resources you have offered. I understood that your intention was just to remind me not to waste time on the screen. I, however, didn’t take it mildly. I shouted back, and we had a severe argument that lasted for almost 2 hours.

Studying for a whole day, every day, from morning to noon, might be the most direct way to enter a Top-20 university in the US, but is that normal life for a teenager? You always say getting into a good college is the key to success, to wealth, and to a high quality of life. Even when I praise the good taste of the breakfast you have made, you remind me that I won’t eat the same type of food in the future, if I don’t put enough hard work into my studies.

Mom, I really want you to see some of my positive qualities, rather than focusing on the time not following your instruction to memorize vocabulary and studying for the SAT. You have said that I rejected all your advices, but that’s not true at all mom. I have always observed and learned from you, your financial management skills, your character, and your life experience. Not following your guidance to study doesn’t mean I have blocked out everything about I love about you, and there should be a lot more connection between you and me, Mom.

I love you,

Your son,


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