Chinese parents and saying “I Love You”

I have noticed that there are lots of ‘asian stereotypes’ on Chinese families, however I feel like my parents have tried not to conform to the stereotypes and instead raised my brother and I the way that they would have wanted to be raised instead.

Both of my parents were brought up as the middle children in big but poor families and so they were never given any affection or had any experience of love in the way that they gave us.

There is a stereotype that asian parents use tough love on their children. They rarely use the L word, and instead use methods such as being “tiger mum/dad” to ensure their children grow up as successful as possible.

My parents used the tough love method too, but not to the extent of being “tiger parents”. They were strict and obviously had high hopes and expectations for us but they also showed us that they loved us and we knew that no matter what, ultimately, they loved us unconditionally.

When we were younger, I remember my mum always called me “my love” which is very sweet, and I used to hug my parents all the time. I was always the one that initiated the hugs, but they always received it warmly.

Lately, they’ve been even more expressive in their love for my brother and I, they will initiate contact and hug us and dad even kisses me on the cheek (which he never used to do before!). Our family whatsapp chats are always full of heart and kisses emoticons- just to show our love for each other when we’re all miles apart.

Love needs no words
Love needs no words

Watching this video made me realise just how much I love my parents and the way that they brought my bro and I up was really really great. We’ve been exposed to so much love and affection that we don’t hesitate to tell each other our feelings and I feel that we can tell each other anything. Some of the people in the video didn’t have very warm responses to their confession of love, even though I’m sure the parents loved them back- they just didn’t know how to say it back.

It’s awkward to say I love you to your family when you have never said it to each other before, even though you might think they know it already, it doesn’t hurt to tell them your love for them.

Some of the most touching responses at the end of the video where the parents told their kids how much they loved them back actually made me cry. For those parents, they probably never got told that they were loved by their own parents and so they brought up their kids in the same way. To hear the words “I love you” from your children first must have given them so much joy.

If you’ve never ever said the words “I love you” to your parents, then you should try your best to do it. Even if you tell yourself that they already know it so theres no need to put it into words- there is also no reason not to. The act of you telling your parents you love them can give them so much happiness, even though all you are doing is saying three words that are used all the time in life.


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