I try not to constantly post about things that bug me, but an episode of a show I love stirred a pet peeve of mine tonight.
On television, there is a formula where a parent is sometimes completely unsupportive of their children, usually to the point of being rude and mean. Generally this involves not supporting some sort of artistic venture, or some other type of outlet the parent has no experience with. This part doesn't bother me, because it's a somewhat real depiction of certain families (thankfully not my own but I have known several like this). In this case, it was a Korean dad who could not support his son wanting to be a dancer, I feel this is a likely scenario for many young boys, should they find their passion in dance.
The part that bugs me generally happens toward the end of the episode. After being tricked or guilted into attending a performance, the dad suddenly realizes that his son is a terrific dancer and he was wrong all along. After being a total douche the whole episode (in this case multiple episodes) now he suddenly supports his son's ambition and all is right in TV land again.
Here's my problem with this outcome. It portrays an idea that a parent like this could change their mind, if you just try hard enough. Of course it could happen, but not one of my friends who have a parent like this has ever experienced such a transformation. Mild and reluctant tolerance is the best I've heard, which is a far cry from the sudden support seen by these tv teens.
I worry that we are sending the wrong message to the tv watching teens who are in a similar situation. They are seeing that they should continue to seek dad's approval until he comes around. This could potentially lead to unpleasant situations as the teen doesn't get the outcome hoped for. I would like to see the teen come to the revelation that they do not need that parent's approval to love themselves for who they are. Let's see them rally support from others around them, and find ways to work around the challenge when considering their future while still being respectful to his parents. Perhaps this is too realistic for TV, but I think it is an opportunity to help those with parent(s) who are unsupportive see that they are not alone, and the disapproval doesn't mean there's something wrong with them.
This was my short rant. Moral of the story, what others think cannot define you, only you can do that.