I come from a religious household and my parents are on the conservative side when it comes to relationships.
While I’m thankful that they provide me with enough freedom in Singapore. Traveling overseas with a partner is vetoed. I have tried communicating this request to them in a hypothetical scenario but was outrightly rejected.
I was struggling to decide if I should put my foot down and tell them honestly that I will be traveling with my partner and the reasons why. Or to lie that I was traveling with a friend of the same sex instead.
Have you been in a similar situation before? How do you usually communicate with your parents? Let’s do a poll!
- Full honesty
- Honest but sprinkled with lies
- Unable to communicate honestly with parents
Hi @indomiegoreng !
This is a really good question and I’m going to share my POV from both ends (as a child and as a parent!)
As a child (ok I’m not really young anymore, mid-30s aunty here ) I have a pretty good relationship with my parents and I too come from a strict & religious household! My parents are the head of their religious community, so you can imagine the tense rules and whatnot in my household as me and my siblings had to uphold the “reputation” of being children of religious leaders. Anyway! I remember back when I was (much) younger, I would lie frequently to my parents because they were so strict about so many things - I couldn’t go out late, I couldn’t do many things, no romantic partners till 21 yo (not that their rules stopped me) but being a young rebellious teenager, I lied my way through everything just to have a taste of “freedom”. But eventually, (you guessed it) my parents found out about each lie and I had scoldings and punishments and etc, our relationship had become quite torn because of the lack of trust, I had even more curfews and restrictions. I grew bitter and angry at them all the time, and we became distant. Thankfully as I grew older, I also became mature (thankfully!) I realized the intentions behind my parents’ anxieties - that they were trying to keep me safe and protect me but they perhaps didn’t know how to balance carefully between letting me explore the world but still keeping me protected. Eventually I made amends with them and we’re on pretty good terms now, still very close.
Back to your question - On hindsight, I would really have wanted to be honest with them with the understanding that they just wanted to protect me. I would also want to try to sort out our misunderstandings by having an honest conversation with them, so that we can come to peace with a mutual agreement too. I’ve grown and learned that honesty and straightforwardness is always helpful.
At this point, I honestly wished I knew (or there was such thing back then) about this resource about having difficult conversations. Back in the 80s/90s, there wasn’t anything like forums or platforms to ask for advice, or even resources to look for help!
If you’re having a hard time speaking to your parents honestly, you can click on this and try this activity out: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg
It may be helpful for you as you learn how to resolve conflict and clear communication with others
Okay now for part 2!
I am a parent of 2 young children, and I can imagine when they grow older they’ll probably want the same kind of “freedom” that all young people want as well. I personally have learned from my experience that I shouldn’t “pull the kite” too hard and there must be a sense of balance of safety and freedom. As a mother, I would really want my children to be 101% honest with me and I would want them to share with me honestly about everything and ask me honestly about anything. Honesty is one of the best foundations for any relationship and I hope my children and I (and my partner) can have the same honesty for our relationships too! So I would also vote for “Full honesty” too
I look forward to reading others’ comments and checkin’ out their votes too!
Instead of traveling with just your partner, I think you can get a few more people to go together. This will make it look like you’re traveling in a big group instead of just alone with your partner. Standby some group photos too to show your parents when you come home haha.
Having said that, as we’re all responsible young adults here - I think we should exercise caution and stay safe when we travel.