In my culture, filial piety is very important. This is a strong loyalty toward parents. I am emotionally unsettled because of how my father treated me in the past. Yet, I do not want to reconcile with my father. Do you recommend that I forgive if I can’t reconcile?
You can forgive without reconciling. Because of the importance of filial piety, your emotions may become more settled if you forgive and then, because of the past treatment, you do not have to approach your father, unless you are ready to do so.
What is your opinion of children who observe their parents fighting all the time. Do you think this observing child might become a bully in school or a difficult partner when an adult?
This depends on what the child, who now is an adult, has learned from what was observed about the parents. It is possible that the person might gain wisdom from the parents’ fighting and realize that such a pattern is not healthy. Thus, the person may deliberately commit to not following the parents’ behavior. In contrast, if the person does not reflect on the potentially destructive pattern, then, yes, the person may grow up to show bullying behaviors in school and to repeat the pattern of a conflictual relationship with a partner. In other words, insight along with a commitment to not imitate the conflictual behavior might spare the person from repeating the parents’ behavioral pattern.
Learn more at Family Forgiveness Guidelines.