Despite coming from an Asian household, my relationship with my parents is not always governed by the classic "respect your elders" and "honor the family" values. Don't get me wrong though, I do hold true to these sayings, but with a grain of salt.

For those of us who do not have the good fortune of having healthy, happy relationships with our parents, there comes a moment of enlightenment when we realize that we will never have those kinds of relationships with our parents. That is absolutely OK.

In my case, this happened in the first semester of my first year of college. I was living away from home and was surprised by the unusually loving behavior of my mom and dad. However, once I started commuting from home the next semester, the loving gestures like texting me to ask me how my day or wanting to have a chat with me just because, ended and I felt like I was back to square one with my parents. I had hoped that the distance would make my parents be more expressive and open with me (which it did) but that was gone in an instant I was back home. I had the same old arguments with my parents and felt like a high school student all over again.

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious. Then we feel incredibly guilty for being such bad children who just can't listen to their parents. This guilt forces us to deal with so much emotional abuse, manipulation, and stress until we realize that our parents are people. We are allowed to not get along with them.

Once I realized that I will neither be able to fully satisfy my parents nor will they treat me fairly, I was able to accept them for who they were. By not holding them up to expectations they couldn't meet, my parents became more human and their flaws were those of people, rather than of my parents. All of my hurt feelings subsided as everything became less personal.

Relationships between our parents dictate our choices, our treatment of others, and our treatment of ourselves. It's important to know that you are not at fault for not loving your parents to the moon and back and that you should not feel guilty for something you cannot control. Parents are not black or white, they are gray in that they give us life and we owe them respect and acknowledgment, but that doesn't guarantee love and harmony.

It is OK to be a "bad" child if that means doing what is best for you.