My son – my compass

Family conflict affects everyone in the family however it’s more harmful to the children. Every family has a different approach in how they deal with the conflict. As a class we have read and discussed Caroline Hwang’s essay “The Good Daughter.” as well as Janna Malamud Smith’s essay “My Son, My Compass.” There is different approach illustrated by Hwang’s and Smith’s essay as they choose their own lifestyle and confront their parent’s arrogant behavior. Hwang essay explains how immigrant children are living a paradox, forcing her to keep her Korean culture and adapting to the American culture as well. Hwang also describes that her parents chooses her future lifestyle. Hwang decided that living up to her parents expectations would save her from possibly losing a relationship with her parents. Smith essay reflects on a son who influenced his parents to change their eating habits for the better. The sacrifice his parents made for him just to make him happy. Each essay analyzes a different approach to family conflicts.

Family conflict discussed in Caroline Hwang essay creates an idea of ineffective parenting. Hwang parental expectations affect how she chooses to live her life, whether the outcome would result in either pleasing herself or her parents. In the essay Hwang implied that, “If I’m a failure and my life is a washout, then what does that make my parents live?” As an immigrant her parent’s image is very important. Hwang feels she owes her parents her life and the least she can do is make them happy. Satisfying your parents can result in a compromise with your future. Hwang decided attending law school like her parents wanted would make them happy. Even though she knew she wasn’t passionate about it. Knowing Hwang life had already been 2xs more difficult to cope with and fit in as an immigrant. The least her parents could have done was support her decisions. Hwang valued her parent’s opinions even though she wasn’t interested because she was afraid of disappointment. The parent should: listen, understand, and be supportive to their children choices in life if it has good intentions. In other words Hwang’s parents caused her to have a lack of desire because of their pressure of expectations. Not giving your children the choice to choose their future can impact them. Hwang’s expectations had affected her own goals and ambition.

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The story illustrated that parents have a strong influence on their children whether it’s good or bad. Feeling indebted to your parents can be a problem either causing the child to go astray or become rebellious. Hwang also stated, “My parents expect me to marry someone Korean and give them grandchildren who look like them.” Forcing her to build a wall between the men she dated. Hwang compelled herself to not become emotional attached to anyone other than the Korean. My son my Compass describes a change in a family that was initiated by the younger family member. Smith son convinced her and her husband to stop eating red meat. Beforehand the family was hesitant about the diet but as the story continued there was a development of acceptance. The decision had to be difficult for the parents to stick to. The parents sacrificed their happiness for their child. Only because they loved their son they were willing to listen, understand, and accept his views. The way Smith essay describes the situation may not always be handled as easy and simple compared to other families. It depends on the family. People in similar situations may definitely react differently according to responses. I find it that most parents are similar to Hwang’s parents. Hwang indicated, “I don’t think they imagined the rocks in the path of their daughter who can’t even pronounce her own name.”

In other words her parents don’t understand how she feels as a child trying to balance two separate lives. It’s extremely important for a parent to have little conversations or talks with their children to help them understand because that’s what parents are meant for. Sometimes parents may not always make the best move in terms of what’s best for their children. Sometimes aggressive family members may not be willing to understand like Smith family did. In the Smith essay the parents allowed their son to give them knowledge. In most cases parents will refuse to take direction from their children because they feel they should always be in charge. My mother wouldn’t be okay with taking direction from me she would mistake me for claiming to be “the head of the house.” In which that would start an argument between my mother and I. Dealing with some conflicts in a family may never be solved. However some families use the healthy communication tactics such as family meetings where you can express yourself. In fact I think that family meetings are pretty brilliant when dealing with major conflicts. It helps you to understand one another. In today’s society I feel that: yelling, screaming, and violence is normal in a family dispute. I do believe not every family will be able to communicate with one another in a respectful manner.

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My son – my compass. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from