As a child, my father and I didn’t have a good relationship. I’d hardly get to see him due to him working all the time. Whenever I did get to see him he would be so tired he’d easily get irritated and usually scold me. But as I got older we spent more time together and we got to learn more about each other. I learned that we had many things in common. We both liked soccer and working on cars. I realized that what made our relationship work was spending time together and getting to know each other better. Of course not every parent-child relationship is great, some have bigger faults than mine did. But there are also those which have flourished into really meaningful relationships. In the book The Bedford Reader there are many short stories about all types of parent-child relationships, some good ones and some bad ones.
In “Arm Wrestling with My Father” by Brad Manning, Manning remembers always trying to beat his father at everything as a ...view middle of the document...
It was then that his father realized that his son was grown up and could provide for himself. His father then did something he had never done before; he gave his son a great, big, long hug. It was his way of saying ‘I love you’ to his son. What kept this relationship from being great for so long was lack of affection towards one another.
In “Shooting Dad” by Sarah Vowell, Vowell talks about how she had a hard time with her father. They both had different opinions on just about everything. She was a Democrat and he was a Republican. He liked to go hunting where as she didn’t. He loved guns and she hated them. They argued frequently, but it all turned around one day when they decided to spend some time together. They decided to go to a nearby hill and shoot a miniature homemade cannon her father had made. Her father brought the cannon and she brought her shotgun microphone to record the big blast. It was then that she realized they weren’t that different. They both had something similar, they like loud noises. All it took for her to realize this was to spend some time with her father without bickering.
Of course not all parent-child relationships that start off bad turn around and end up turning into something good. In ‘Girl’ by Jamaica Kincaid, Kincaid talks about all the things her mother instructs her to do in order to appease her. Her mother tells her some of the basic thing parents tell their kids, such as how to be polite and well behaved. Kincaid’s mother didn’t stop there though. Her mother was narcissistic. Her mother told her what to do, when to do it, and how to it to her liking. Kincaid just thought of this as motherly love and tried to do just about everything exactly how her mother wanted.
In conclusion, parent-child relationships aren’t easy to understand. Some start off well but in the long run don’t last, and the parent or child end up isolation themselves from one another. There are also those that start off good and turn into meaningful and lasting relationships. The kind of relationship where the child comes to the parent for just about anything because they know that they are there for them. The relationship between a parent and their child can be the most complicated relationship there is, but if they work at it it can turn into a really meaningful thing that can last for a lifetime.