Youth Week #1: Family and Whanau

When was the last time you said thank you to your mum for washing, hanging and drying your uniform every week? Or for the hard work your dad does as he comes back home, late and exhausted?

Over the past few weeks, these thoughts ran over my mind as I realised just how important my family was to me. This all started after the school ball when I came home feeling a bit unwell. I guess I was just a bit tired from all the dancing, talking and moving around the night. As I came home, feeling groggy and weak, my mum saw the state I was in and immediately helped me to bed. She brought me pain killers, food to eat and even made the effort to go to the garage to find the good old electric heater. Soon after that, my older sister made an effort to call to ask how the ball was and how I was feeling, despite her jam-packed schedule. As I lay in bed, toasty and warm, suddenly, a huge wave of guilt washed over me – I had forgotten that today was mother’s day. Being so preoccupied on upcoming tests, co-curricular commitments and ball preparations, I had placed my family at the bottom of my priority list. What made me feel even guiltier was that though I may have forgotten about my family, they did not forget about me. That day, I really did reflect back on my attitude towards my family and how ungrateful I was. I also realised how your family will always be with you and help you in times of need when your friends can’t (to more specific, when your friends are too busy sleeping in the day after the ball).

So get out there and do something nice for your family… even if they aren’t very nice to you! Because, as author, C.JoyBell C says, “there is no such thing as a ‘broken family.’ Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”

So go play that board game your little sibling has been begging you play, write your grandmother a card, call your relatives and maybe even buy your pet a good treat. You could even make some small talk with your family such as, “hey, how was your day, dad?” Remember, you don’t need to do anything extravagant to make someone’s day, as the famous saying say, “great things are done by a series of small things brought together”.


Written by: Annie Han Edited: Saffron Huang

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