Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => General Off-Topic Board => Topic started by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:04:05 AM

Title: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:04:05 AM
ive been wrestling with this dilemma for quite some time now.  some of you know that i have a kid on the way.  i am the jang-nam (oldest son; actually, only son and oldest out of all my cousins on my dads side...koreans will understand what this means much better) in my family, so my parents looked to me for a ton of *&^%. 

after i got married, i practically disowned them for the lack of respect they showed me, my wife, and my wife's family.  i havent spoken to them in over a year now. 

now, with a kid on the way, ive been going back and forth on whether i should tell my parents about this kid.  i know if i tell them, theyre going to want to be a part of the child's life. i dont want that at all.  on the other hand, if i dont tell them, i will bring shame on them forever, among my other family members (i have 5 uncles and 8 aunts, all of whom will be disgraced for having a nephew who has disowned his own family...and having a child and not telling them about it). 

what would you do in this situation?
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Ginatio on August 17, 2004, 08:05:43 AM
@#!* em. they took your wedding cash.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: thechoson on August 17, 2004, 08:07:07 AM
Totally agree. @#!* em.  They disrespected their only child and his wife and new family, what makes you think they'd show your child any respect?

Let them make the first move and contact you, otherwise the hell with them
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: NYKnicks on August 17, 2004, 08:10:26 AM
Leave em, I mean if they couldnt' respect you then, what makes you think they can do it at this juncture? Let em find out later on their own, and they can think long and hard about the whole thing. Might reach a resolution better that way anyhow.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: thechoson on August 17, 2004, 08:11:47 AM
Korean parents suck.

They are asses to me now, but I bet money if I started dating a Korean chick, they'd try to be nice to me again.

They're shallow like that. ASses
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Dewitt on August 17, 2004, 08:12:18 AM
i would say tell them. even though they would want to be a part of the kid's life, there is the pacific ocean separating you from them. so it's not like they're going to be dropping by every weekend.

is it just me or are korean parents even more rigid than other asian parents?
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:16:10 AM
i would say tell them. even though they would want to be a part of the kid's life, there is the pacific ocean separating you from them. so it's not like they're going to be dropping by every weekend.

is it just me or are korean parents even more rigid than other asian parents?

they come to the states about once every two months.  i know theyve been here because my sister lives in new york too.  they always come to visit her or their friends. 

the ocean separating us doesnt mean much because they can call.  and if they call, all hell breaks loose without fail. 

and with korean parents, its almost like they take 'ownership' of any grandchild that comes about.  especially if it is a boy.  theyre gonna want to see the child all the time, help raise it, and make sure it goes to church.  they will raise the child like they raised me...all screwed up.  and i dont really wanna see that happen.  i plan on giving my child free will...and to help him/her make independent decisions.  i dont want some grandparent to tell them *&^% that they dont need to be hearing...
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: thechoson on August 17, 2004, 08:17:04 AM
No, some Korean parents are cool.

But then there are like psycho ones like mine, my mom.

She found out I was going out with CCG.

So that night, at 2 in the f-ing MORNING, she calls me and starts yelling at me and asking me why the hell I have to date a Chinese girl.

I told her I was feeling sick and I'd call her in the morning and hung up
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:19:28 AM
its so sad...how some parents are so incredibly generous to their children (my wife's parents are awesome), while others are just completely selfish and self-serving.  

i dont want my child to be a status symbol for them...

am i a bad son for wishing them to hurry up and die?  or am i justified in thinking that way?
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: thechoson on August 17, 2004, 08:21:27 AM
its so sad...how some parents are so incredibly generous to their children (my wife's parents are awesome), while others are just completely selfish and self-serving.  

i dont want my child to be a status symbol for them...

am i a bad son for wishing them to hurry up and die?  or am i justified in thinking that way?

THAT is rather extreme. I don't wish death upon most people I hate
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Ginatio on August 17, 2004, 08:24:29 AM
its so sad...how some parents are so incredibly generous to their children (my wife's parents are awesome), while others are just completely selfish and self-serving.  

i dont want my child to be a status symbol for them...

am i a bad son for wishing them to hurry up and die?  or am i justified in thinking that way?

THAT is rather extreme. I don't wish death upon most people I hate

a tortured existence is a much better thing to wish upon them than death
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Dewitt on August 17, 2004, 08:25:07 AM
dsong, since you are an adult and most likely a stronger person than your parents at their old age, you don't have to worry about them trying to call the shots and trying to controll your kid's life. if they call you constantly, don't pick up. if you pick up by mistake, tell them "i gotta go love you bye" and hang up. if they say they want to come over to visit the baby, tell them "no we're busy this week, bye."

i would be firm with them. a lot of asian parents are unreasonable parents and they gotta be dealt in a harsher manner.

tell the parents. but after that, continue to ignore them. at least they'll know about the kid...

cho, yeah... my ex gf's parents looked down on blacks and hmongs (no joking here). so she dated a half black/half white and a half hmong/half cleaner chinese just to spite them. the parents were cool with me though...
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Minc on August 17, 2004, 08:26:00 AM
That's a tough situation. Most of the posts so far seem to say "to hell with them." I think that it would be understandable if you did not tell your family about your child, given that they responded to you, your wife, and her family as they did. However, even though they have done something like that, from your post it seems like you still care about them. You would be justified in not telling them, but would you feel good about your decision later? I imagine it might not sit very well with you and you will have to go about your daily life worrying about this for awhile. Additionally, you will probably be wondering when they will eventually find out through some other means and anticipating the consequences of that.

It might be easier on you and your conscience to simply tell them. If they express interest in being a part of your child's life and you don't want that, you don't have to allow it. They may be upset, but at least they will know they have a grandchild. Imagine how you would feel if some years down the road, you and your own son had a falling out and you found out about the existence of your own grandchild through some means other than your son.

Of course, the decision's pretty personal so there may be more that I am not considering.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:26:33 AM
its so sad...how some parents are so incredibly generous to their children (my wife's parents are awesome), while others are just completely selfish and self-serving.  

i dont want my child to be a status symbol for them...

am i a bad son for wishing them to hurry up and die?  or am i justified in thinking that way?

THAT is rather extreme. I don't wish death upon most people I hate

a tortured existence is a much better thing to wish upon them than death

my parents will never have a tortured existence.  their 'paal-ja' is really good all the time (luck, in korean).  if they live, they will torment me.  im looking at their death as the best option for me and my family.  

Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Ginatio on August 17, 2004, 08:28:12 AM
its so sad...how some parents are so incredibly generous to their children (my wife's parents are awesome), while others are just completely selfish and self-serving.  

i dont want my child to be a status symbol for them...

am i a bad son for wishing them to hurry up and die?  or am i justified in thinking that way?

THAT is rather extreme. I don't wish death upon most people I hate

a tortured existence is a much better thing to wish upon them than death

my parents will never have a tortured existence.  their 'paal-ja' is really good all the time (luck, in korean).  if they live, they will torment me.  im looking at their death as the best option for me and my family.  



well in that case, I know a guy who knows a guy that could help you out...   :-X
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: Ginatio on August 17, 2004, 08:33:26 AM
you know, actually... it just came to mind that you may stand to benefit by including them in your life again... you don't want to get written out of their will, do you?
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:33:42 AM
i could go on living without ever knowing how my parents were doing.  there are nights where i sit around and drink wondering if my father's health is okay, or if my mother has been lonely since my father travels a lot.  but then i think of all the injustices that were done against my own family and it overrides all the former.

i cant say that i dont care about them completely.  my sister, for one, will be a victim in all of this.  she is currently dating a chinese boy and my parents arent thrilled about it, but they were willing to accept that.  on the other hand, my parents will NOT accept the fact that he is buddhist.  theyre just like that.  being a baptist pastor, hes gonna be stern on his words and try to convert him.  

there are too many other factors that keep speeding through my mind.  spewing my initial thoughts have helped, and yet, the derisions of my parents and the inanity of this entire situation keep hounding me like a bad migrane.  combine that with a guilty conscience, and you have the perfect concoction for suicide.  

no, im not committing suicide.  just a figure of speech...

Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: jgruber on August 17, 2004, 08:38:59 AM
I'm not Korean, but I've been down this path.

My extended family is shattered.  I have two sons I haven't talked to in four years.
My father and I talked about once a year before he died.

I just visited my mother and grandmother and we did not connect at all.

Don't do this to you children.  They need to be part of a wider family structure.  I wasn't and my kids weren't and it has harmed us greatly.

You have differences with your parents.  Deal with them; don't hide from them.  I know it's not an easy thing to do, but your children deserve the best and you owe it to them to try.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 08:40:40 AM
you know, actually... it just came to mind that you may stand to benefit by including them in your life again... you don't want to get written out of their will, do you?

personally, i dont wanna be included in the will.  id rather let my sister have everything.  ive made a decent life for myself and dont want to take anything from them any more.  even if they give back 100x what they took from me, it wont take away the pain and humiliation my wife and her family felt before and during the wedding.  

as far as im concerned, i couldnt care whether i come in contact with them later or not.  i feel for my child who will only know one set of grandparents, while his/her friends will have two.  

goddamn...how the @#!* did i ever get so screwed up?  

Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: mukhia on August 17, 2004, 08:41:32 AM
If I were you, I would let my parents know that a grandchild is on the way.  They now have the option of playing a positive role in your child's life and your child will have the opportunity to know his/her family.  Besides, as the father, you always have the right to decide along the way whether the grandparents are beneficial or detrimental to your offspring's life.  If it is the latter, you simply remove all ties.  

My paternal grandparents never approved of my mother and were horrible to her.  When we were younger, my father tried to incorporate them into our lives, but they never ceased being rude or uncivil toward her and even tried to turn us against her (apparently - have no recollection though).  Not surprisingly, he severed contact with them once more.  Thus, I am grandparentless (my maternal GM passed before I was born and my GP is a nomad) - sometimes I feel I missed out, but when I think about how they abused my mother, I'd rather them not be a part of my life.

Just give them this one chance to show that they can be decent folk - for your child's sake - then no one can accuse you of making no attempts at ameliorating your relationship.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: thechoson on August 17, 2004, 08:43:01 AM
you know, actually... it just came to mind that you may stand to benefit by including them in your life again... you don't want to get written out of their will, do you?

personally, i dont wanna be included in the will.  id rather let my sister have everything.  ive made a decent life for myself and dont want to take anything from them any more.  even if they give back 100x what they took from me, it wont take away the pain and humiliation my wife and her family felt before and during the wedding.  

as far as im concerned, i couldnt care whether i come in contact with them later or not.  i feel for my child who will only know one set of grandparents, while his/her friends will have two.  

goddamn...how the @#!* did i ever get so screwed up?  



Don't worry Dsong, I'll be your daddy
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: The ZAPINATOR on August 17, 2004, 09:29:07 AM
edit
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: GentleTim on August 17, 2004, 09:35:32 AM
I'd tell them and make it absolutely clear to them that this is their only chance for redemption, if they want to be a part of your life again at all.  And if they ever get close to the line, tell them they're getting close, and that if they cross it, that you won't consider them to be part of your family any more.

And if they cross the line, follow through.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: egfmba on August 17, 2004, 09:44:48 AM
I think your gut instinct is always going to be the right one.  If you have that sinking feeling, it's likely your parents are going to disappoint you.  Not because you expected it, though.  You expected it because they're acting true to form.  

OTOH, if you feel there's the possibility that they'll use this blessing as an opportunity to strengthen family bonds, then you'll probably be right.  You know your family well enough by now to be able to accurately predict their reaction.

My advice is simple:  don't ignore that feeling in the pit of your stomach.  It may be the only thing telling you the truth.

That said, I do share in your 'will my kid miss a lot if they don't know extended family?' worries.  My resolution:  I'm staying away from as much "family" (read: relatives) as possible until the kids are old enough to ask after them.  That way, we all get a chance to change, forget, forgive and move on before I have to expose my kids to what I had to deal with growing up - which wasn't pretty by any means.  My POV is that maybe time and distance will give everyone a new perspective.

I do agree, though, that your initial actions were right on.  If your family mistreats your spouse, you're the only one who can stop it and you did the right thing by drawing a line.  The next step is up to them; they have to abide by the parameters you set to enjoy a relationship with you and your lovely wife.

You may consider putting the news in a note and mailing it snail mail.  I suppose if it were me, I wouldn't contribute to the mess by witholding the info; I'd just tell them in as slow and impersonal a way as possible.

Hopefully your parents will have taken this past year to consider what you mean to them and not take you for granted in the future.  Good luck; family issues suck!
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: jacy85 on August 17, 2004, 09:48:06 AM
It almost sounds like dsong's parents won't listen to "drawing the line."

I think I would perhaps tell them, but don't see them or let them see the baby.  They were horrible to your wife and her family, which was not only hard for them, but was completely disrespectful of you.  The baby won't be without grandparents, as you've mentioned in another post that your wife's parents will dote on the child.

When the kid's older, and able to decide for him/herself, they can make the choice to seek out a relationship with your parents.  My stepmom did this with her daughter.  My stepmom's father ran out on the family, and eventually remarried.  She's tried to restart her relationship with him, but he's still an ass and it hasn't work.  But she's letting my stepsister go out to CO to visit him for a few weeks, so she can make up her own mind about her grandfather.

That way, it's less likely your child can be "turned against" your wife, and you're parents, shamed in front of the rest of the family, may someday realized that how they treated you and your family was wrong.

Just my .02...
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: inthesun on August 17, 2004, 09:54:09 AM
Dsong,

This exact thing happened with my parents, and my Dad's parents.  There was pretty much an all out war between my Mom and her in-laws, and my Dad wisely took my Mom's side.  Being the grandchild in this scenario, I will tell you that the best thing that both sides did was this:

Once every week or so, my Nana would come over and pick up us grandkids and take us over to her house to spend time with her and my Tata.  My Mom only allowed this because both sides agreed not to bad mouth the other.  If this did happen, visiting priveleges would be taken away.  As I got older, I finally realized what had happened.  To this day, I appreciate what the two sides did.  I cherish the memories I have of spending time with my grandparents.  I also realize how much they all loved me and my siblings to put their differences aside to allow us to have a meaningful relationship with our grandparents. 

I know how you must feel about your parents.  I agree that they are wrong in the way they treated you and your wife.  You don't have to make up with them, in fact, you should't, because you are not at fault.  But I think you owe it to your child to give them grandparents. 
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: jgruber on August 17, 2004, 10:49:22 AM
Remember, it's not about you anymore; it's about your children.

Welcome to parenthood.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 10:57:55 AM
Remember, it's not about you anymore; it's about your children.

Welcome to parenthood.

this is the realization that came to me when we first got pregnant.  if i didnt have a child, i would have been fine not talking to my parents for the remainder of my life.  i would have moved away to never see them again. 

jj, youre completely right that its about the children now. 

but, what if you think the best interests of the children are to keep them away?  to not expose that to them?  i want my children to make their own choices, but until they are capable of understanding them, isnt it our job to make those choices for them?  im afraid of what my parents will do to my children, or say to them...maybe even teach them things that we dont want them to learn.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: jgruber on August 17, 2004, 11:03:36 AM
Valid point.  It would be irresponsible of you to expose your children to harmful grandparents.

In my 20s and 30s, I was content to keep away from my parents and keep the kids away. My parents didn't seem to have a problem with it either, because they did not try to come see the kids.  We saw each other about once a year.

I feel my children were cheated, and I blame myself and my parents for that.

Where I screwed up was with my wife's family.  They are Italian and into family with a passion, but in the effort to keep my kids away from my cold, dry German family, I cheated them out of a warm, loving Italian family.

Define your extended family in the way that is best for your children and to some extent for yourself.  They might be your family, your wife's, and it might even be your friends.   

Just one word of caution.  Don't let your baggage keep you from seeing your parents for what they really are.  I let my feelings about my parents cloud my perception of them.  That doesn't mean you're wrong.  I wasn't, but make sure you are seeing things clearly.  Your wife might be the best person to help you in that area.

 
Remember, it's not about you anymore; it's about your children.

Welcome to parenthood.

this is the realization that came to me when we first got pregnant.  if i didnt have a child, i would have been fine not talking to my parents for the remainder of my life.  i would have moved away to never see them again. 

jj, youre completely right that its about the children now. 

but, what if you think the best interests of the children are to keep them away?  to not expose that to them?  i want my children to make their own choices, but until they are capable of understanding them, isnt it our job to make those choices for them?  im afraid of what my parents will do to my children, or say to them...maybe even teach them things that we dont want them to learn.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: robbief on August 17, 2004, 11:12:43 AM
I see it like this.  You have a new kid on the way, the biggest challenge of your life.  It's a whole new world for you now, life's not just about you.  Now starts part 2 of life.  Do you really want to start it on a bad foot?  Why START with challenges already there.  I'm sure there will be enough challenges raising a child, but do you want have the normal challenges as well as the guilt of wondering whether or not your parents should know?  STart this kid's life with everything on the table...nothing to hide.  Mom, Dad I have a kid ... That doesn't mean you can't tell them to @#!* off if they want to part of his/her life.  If you are considering not telling them at all, surely telling them to @#!* off when they want to be part of his/her life is easy. 

Just my take.
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 11:16:00 AM
thanks for the help and the context.  the idea of the family is an important concept to me because ive never had a very warm one. all my life, it was always about who you were, what kind of family you came from (meaning, rich or poor, prominent or average) and looking like you were happy in your family.  once i met my wife's family, i fell in love all over again.  i realized that a familial love didnt revolve around money, wealth, power, prominence, or respect;  it was just having fun with family members, sharing times, laughing, crying, and allowing everyone to learn on their own, rather than dictating what they should be doing.  it might not be the ideal scenario that agrees with everyone else, but it completely drew me in.  

so in that sense, i already have a wonderful family from my wifes side.  they have embraced me with the love that they have for their own children and accepted me with whatever faults i have.  i will never keep my grandchildren away from them because that is what i want to expose to my children - that type of family life, which should be emulated throughout their lives.  

as to your point about my wife being a spot of clarity:  i used to think that it was okay the way my parents treated me.  they used to beat me when i didnt bring home the grades, scold me if i made them look bad, and scare the *&^% out of me when i didnt go to church.  they MADE me believe in god...and they FORCED me to be a certain way, act a certain way, and portray a certain demeanor because of their so-called 'stature' in the church.  my wife is the one that pointed this out to me.  if i didnt meet her, i would have probably instilled these traits to my own children, which would have been unjust.  yes, she is the one light that i look to for guidance.  she brought a lot of clarity to issues that seemed to be ambiguous to me.  and she was the best thing that happened to me.  

i guess im feeling guilty for having loved my own family for so long...and not realizing the truth about them.

Valid point.  It would be irresponsible of you to expose your children to harmful grandparents.

Where I screwed up was with my wife's family.  They are Italian and into family with a passion, but in the effort to keep my kids away from my cold, dry German family, I cheated them out of a warm, loving Italian family.

Define your extended family in the way that is best for your children and to some extent for yourself.  They might be your family, your wife's, and it might even be your friends.   

Just one word of caution.  Don't let your baggage keep you from seeing your parents for what they really are.  I let my feelings about my parents cloud my perception of them.  That doesn't mean you're wrong.  I wasn't, but make sure you are seeing things clearly.  Your wife might be the best person to help you in that area.

Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: L1 on August 17, 2004, 11:27:10 AM
I totally agree w/ what mukhia and dewitt have said. Let them know. Try to give them the chance to show that they've changed and can be better ppl. If it seems like they haven't just avoid them.

I wonder though what your wife thinks about this? Does she want the baby to have two sets of grandparents?
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: dsong02 on August 17, 2004, 11:36:38 AM
I totally agree w/ what mukhia and dewitt have said. Let them know. Try to give them the chance to show that they've changed and can be better ppl. If it seems like they haven't just avoid them.

I wonder though what your wife thinks about this? Does she want the baby to have two sets of grandparents?

shes perfectly content on having just one set of grandparents.  this child will be loved beyond imagination...we have good friends, and lots of aunts and uncles (on my wife's side), as well as a lot of her parents friends who are all looking forward to this baby.  i think this type of family will be so much better than having another side who are completely screwed up.

and i dont know if my parents have changed at all.  who knows...
Title: Re: do i have to tell my parents?
Post by: jgruber on August 17, 2004, 11:38:00 AM
Find out.  Be honest about the problem, but try.

and i dont know if my parents have changed at all.  who knows...