You Are Never Enough for Your Parents

No matter what you do, your parents still think you are not there yet?

You are making 50K a month (Parents: our neighbor’s kid makes 200K)

You just received an A in class (Parents: your cousins always gets an A+)

You got a new dress (Parents: anything to wear that makes you look less fat than that?)

You got her a gift from your trip (Parents: why did you buy this stupid thing?)

And the list goes on.

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I grew up with a single mom, who thinks I am nothing like her. Instead, she keeps reminding me how I’m a clone version of my dad, who of course, is a loser gambler that ruined this family.

I graduated from a top-tier university with a scholarship while supporting both of us since 18, my second class honor was embarrassing, she has always expected a golden first-class honor.

No matter how much my weight is, I’m always too fat. All my life decisions suck. My voice is annoying. And I’m too naive to survive life.

If you want to go back further, she didn’t pick me up for 2 weeks when I was born, because she was dissatisfied that I’m not a boy (yes, we are half Chinese). I’ve always been a mistake since day one and continue to be.


The feeling of being a disappointment to your parents is not easy to deal with. Everyone wants to be loved, adored, and cared for, especially from your parents who brought you to this big messy world. But why is it so hard to feel those from your own family where “love” was supposed to be unconditional?

Let me tell you the truth:

Your parents are just human beings. They are not born to be your superheroes. They have their own fears and secrets. They have things that they are not proud of. And maybe, they might just feel as messed up as how they treat you.

The way people express themselves and treat others is the reflection of how they see themselves. If they say you are poor, stupid, or not successful, that’s probably because they are feeling that way about themselves too. A lot of times, your parents might think of you like a second chance for themselves. You are a little version of them with all the chances to do better, be better. Or maybe they see you as an investment, with all the time and effort being put into raising you up, they should get something better in return.

At the end of the day, you can’t change the way other people think, especially not your parents. But you know what you can do? Manage your own thought and feeling. Here some tips that I’ve learned in the past few years:

Understand it’s not about you, it’s them.

What people say about you is just what they say to themselves every day. It is sad to think that those mean people can’t even escape those thoughts in their head, and it’s so overwhelming they need to let it out on you. The same concept applies to anyone from your parents, colleagues, or even those people on the internet.

You don’t need to be enough to be loved.

The people who love you will never judge you for not being enough. They would appreciate the effort of your action, not the result. You will be supported for trying to study, no matter if you get an A or D. The conditional love is not real, and will never be given from people who set that condition.

It’s okay to fail your parents.

The fact that you are living your life today is a gift. That’s why they call it present. Take this time to live as the human that you want to be. Try not to be that adult you hated as a kid. Don’t turn into that mean jerk you always complain about. And don’t live to prove that you are worth it to your parents. Your life is yours and there are much better ways to live it than trying not to fail someone, even mom or dad.

Have compassion

After all, they are just like you. They have their own life that they want to live. They have all the pains and histories that they are not proud to share. They have disappointment in life and they might be sitting every day wishing they had a second chance. You cannot help them change their life, no one can. But you can have compassion for them. Understand and listen to their stories. Make them know you care. Show them that unconditional love as much as you can. I know it’s hard to do that when someone is so mean to you. But having compassion is not a reward for mean people, it’s giving your own heart a big warm hug and giving your mind a rest. Learn more about that here.


I hope today, after reading this article, you can look in the mirror and know that you are not too fat, too poor, or too stupid. That it’s okay to just be you. That someone does or will love you as you are.

That you ARE ENOUGH, maybe not for your parents, but for yourself and people who love you. ❤

Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk to someone about your parents, I’m here to listen, no matter who you are 🙂

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