This Spring Festival, my parents and I "reunited in reverse"

  In a space dominated by young people, how do parents and children get along with each other?

Whether it is "coming from a foreign land" or "reverse reunion" of parents, when the space shifts, the two different life rhythms and interpersonal patterns collide immediately.


  The moment she pushed open the door of the rental house after get off work, Chen Yi, a 26-year-old "Hu drift" girl, was pleasantly surprised by the aroma of the long-lost "Mama Brand" food.

  Just last weekend, Chen Yi had a video with her parents to "complain", and this year she will stick to her post on New Year's Eve. Who knows that three days later, her mother will "surprise" to Shanghai and bring her favorite homemade sausage.

  The Spring Festival means reunion, and returning home for the New Year has also become an "every year must-do list" for young people working abroad.

However, due to the shortage of "Spring Festival" tickets and the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic in recent years, the homeland has become a distant place that cannot be returned.

The potential social distress of visiting relatives during the Spring Festival has also become a stumbling block for young people to go home.

As a result, a new form of reunion has emerged: on the premise of meeting the requirements of epidemic prevention and control, parents go to their children's cities to visit their children, support each other, and "reverse reunion".

  What does "reverse reunion" mean?

Chen Wu, a teacher at the Institute of Developmental and Educational Psychology of Wuhan University, pointed out that in addition to the emotional companionship between parents and young people, it also means parents' transformation and transcendence of traditional concepts.

So, how do parents and children who have left the familiar homeland get along?

What can the "reverse reunion" in the name of love really bring to parents and young people?

Parents accompany young people with love and start "the battle of life in a foreign land"

  This year, I spent Chinese New Year with my parents in Beijing, which Huang Minmin did not expect.

She will get married quickly in 2021 and become pregnant at the end of the year. The progress bar of her life is like pressing the accelerator button.

  Huang Minmin's parents came to Beijing from their hometown on purpose and rented a two-bedroom apartment in the same community to take care of her.

It has been less than a month since they came to Beijing, and they have already felt very clearly about the surrounding vegetable markets and supermarkets, which one has the freshest fish and which one has the sweetest fruit.

Because her husband is from Northeast China, Huang Minmin's father began to learn Northeastern cuisine; when her husband was busy, her parents accompany Huang Minmin to the birth check.

  "The beloved son of parents has far-reaching plans." Huang Minmin sighed: "With the help of parents, life is much easier. Eating the meals they make at noon can ensure nutrition during pregnancy; emotionally, it will also be easier. Being close, seeing each other every day, and sharing the little things in life at any time.”

  "Before going out in the morning, I saw my mother wearing a pink down jacket and said, 'Mom, you are so girly in this dress.' The little girl's mouth is so sweet." In the family group, I saw the "Parent-Child Daily Snippet" posted by my mother, Zhang Ting, a post-1985 girl working in a state-owned enterprise, was surprised to find that she didn't take it to heart, but the old man wrote it down.

  On New Year's Day in 2022, Zhang Ting's mother came to Chengdu from her hometown because she hadn't seen her daughter's family for too long. She stayed for two months and took care of her granddaughter who was on winter vacation.

Usually, Zhang Ting and his wife have a stable life rhythm. They can balance work and raising children. They do not need the elderly to take care of the children.

However, the arrival of her mother made Zhang Ting feel that the help parents give to young people in big cities can go beyond the material needs of life such as firewood, rice, oil and salt, and bring more spiritual growth.

  "Dual-earner families can do a good job of guaranteeing life, but children's growth should not only focus on food, clothing, housing, and transportation." Zhang Ting found that the mother would record the details of the child's growth process. "Her arrival has helped us expand the joy of life, which is the icing on the cake."

  Zhang Ting also found that mothers have many glowing "skill points" that young people don't have, such as gardening.

"She has raised a lot of flowers, and her home is like a small garden, and she is very happy with it." My mother is also good at expanding the social circle of the neighborhood, "The older generation understands how to communicate with the neighbors. Although I am very outgoing, I can communicate with neighbors. The relationship is not very familiar. After all, young people are used to 'atomized social interaction'. But my mother will help me chat with the neighbors and have a good relationship. She thinks that she will return to her hometown in the future, and she will have neighbors to help me if I encounter any problems. ."

Helping families embrace new things in the name of reunion

  After spending three days alone in the hospital ward with her mother after surgery, Li Chang, a post-90s girl, felt that she had grown up overnight.

  Li Chang's mother is not in good health, but she is always used to dragging on the disease.

Li Chang said to his mother, "I won't be able to go home during the Spring Festival this year. You might as well come to Shanghai to see me earlier." Under Li Chang's coquettish offensive, her mother agreed to come to Shanghai to accompany her for the New Year, and the treatment became logical.

  In Li Chang's view, "reverse reunion" is actually a clever excuse.

After arriving, Li Chang immediately found a friend and completed the procedures such as hospital registration and expert surgery appointment. "When she was coaxed by me to go to the magic capital, she could only obey."

  "My mother has always relied on my father's image of a little woman. Every Spring Festival is like a portrait carved on a wooden board, and she is always organizing the reunion dinner for the whole big family." This time, her mother came to Shanghai alone, and Li Chang felt that The fixed plank was broken, "that picture could be repainted by mother".

  Zhou Xiaohong, a senior professor of humanities and social sciences at Nanjing University, once proposed the concept of "cultural feedback".

He pointed out that in the era of rapid cultural change, the two generations of parent and child have different adaptability and different understanding and absorption speed of new things.

When faced with a new situation, the parents are no longer the absolute authority, and the young people's ability to absorb and innovate has influenced the parents, consciously or unconsciously, to learn from the younger generation and accept new things.

  As young people gain a firm foothold in big cities, they gradually discover that in their hometown, everyone's concept of life is limited. For example, the concept of health is weak, and illness will not be treated in time; personal quality of life needs.

When they are influenced by new lifestyles in big cities, they will naturally want to inject these new ideas or technical means into their native families.

  "Transferring new ideas to family members in the form of 'reverse reunion' is a role exchange to some extent." Chen Wu believes that with the growth and maturity of young people, children gradually become "caregivers". Just like my parents back then.

"Directly persuading parents to accept it may not work well. Guiding parents to experience new things in a reunion manner can break the stereotype of thinking and help them 'be young again'."

  Li Chang said that this "reverse reunion" has given a different definition to the Spring Festival, and it is more meaningful than simply going home for a meal and visiting relatives.

"We help families embrace new ideas in new ways in the name of love and togetherness."

How do parents and young people get along with themselves after leaving their homeland for reunion?

  Compared with returning home for the Chinese New Year, "reverse reunion" is a new attempt away from the familiar environment of parents.

While satisfying the emotional connection between relatives, it also faces some challenges: in a space dominated by young people, how do parents and children get along with themselves?

  Liu Ying, a post-90s girl, is engaged in the entertainment industry, leaving early and returning late every day.

It has been a week since my parents came to Beijing from Jiangsu and will spend the Spring Festival with Liu Ying.

  The arrival of her parents made Liu Ying very happy, and her family was finally no longer the thin screen in her hand, but an entity that could be hugged and touched.

However, as the time together becomes longer, the problems that occurred when returning to the hometown in the past are presented in another form.

  On the first day, her mother complained that Liu Ying didn't like cleaning, and picked up the tools to start cleaning the whole house. Even Liu Ying persuaded her to rest for two days before doing it.

When she went to work the next day, Liu Ying found that the clothes she used to wear could not be found. After asking carefully, she realized that her mother had put it away when she was sorting it, but her mother could not remember where it was, so Liu Ying, who was rushing to work, had no choice but to put it away. Randomly grabbed one and hurried out.

  When I got home from get off work, I found that the toothbrush was concentrated and there was a dirty brush next to it.

For a while, Liu Ying was a little angry, and her mother was not happy: I cleaned up your messy home for you, you still don't appreciate it?

  Psychologist Yuko once proposed the concept of Family Jetlag (Family Jetlag), which describes the situation when people are reunited with their families during vacations, and they are generally unable to adapt to "jetlag".

Whether it is "coming from a foreign land" or "reverse reunion" of parents, when the space shifts, the two different life rhythms and interpersonal patterns collide immediately.

"Even though you have a whole new life when you're separated from your loved ones, they still treat you the old way - it's not your parents' special case, but people are used to treating each other in a familiar pattern. The first two days you still Because I can control myself and give the best side to the other side, after a few days, I will not be able to fight the habit, and the old way will germinate."

  "Conflict is inevitable." Chen Wu pointed out that young people should be mentally prepared, try to communicate in advance, and inform their life rhythm, such as making a phone call before their parents come: "Mom and dad, we usually sleep late. .” Avoid turning conflict resolution into emotional outbursts, and express your thoughts sincerely and truthfully to your parents in a non-violent way as much as possible.

Parents should also realize that children are independent individuals, learn to understand rather than guide their lives, and at the same time respect personal habits, truly feel the rhythm of children's work and life, feel the atmosphere and people around them, and update existing cognition.

  When parents and children have been separated for a long time, they will want to be more involved in their children's lives, and they also want to be familiar with their children's space.

But if they haven't seen each other for a long time, the unfamiliarity of their children's living space will make them unaccustomed, and they can't help but change a lot of patterns.

Chen Wu believes that when parents are "reunited in reverse", the difficulty and pressure they bear will be greater, and they will also face the "sense of exclusion" brought by a strange environment.

"No matter which side goes, the person who greets them should be prepared. Children can make some thoughtful arrangements, such as asking them what they need in advance, and preparing the room, which will give parents more peace of mind."

  Liu Ying also realized that when her parents came to live in the city where they lived, their unaccustomedness and boredom also plagued them all the time, but they were only covered up by their love for them.

Therefore, Liu Ying taught her mother how to use a projector to watch the movies and TV dramas she wanted to watch, and she took her parents to the suburbs of Beijing to relax as much as possible on weekends. "What they need most is company. When they are arranged by me, they will feel at ease."

  In fact, whether it is to help young people live better in a foreign land, or to let parents accept new concepts and cognitions in the name of love, the origin of "reverse reunion" is the simplest emotional satisfaction of parents and children.

The emotional connection with parents is a "two-way journey", and the reunion is not divided into "forward" or "reverse". Where there is family is home.

  Yu Bingyue Source: China Youth Daily