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|Hearts were touched when the parents exposed their untold stories at Abbott's programme|
Vietnam’s fast-paced modernisation motivates many adults to adopt and pursue new values from Western countries, while sometimes forgetting to take the time to connect and uncover the life-long treasure of their parents’ wisdom. Last Vu Lan, when Abbott asked both parents and adult children “Do you know what your parents have been keeping inside their hearts? Do they honestly tell you about their health? Do you know how proud they are of you?” not many children could answer and these survey findings have motivated Abbott to connect with adult children and help them discover “Parents’ Untold Stories”.
Parents’ silent pride and unconditional love
- "Dad, I just need a year to prove it. I promised, so please give me just a year to complete what I’ve started,” the 34-year-old project manager Hieu Bui asked his father Trung Bui.
- "I give you the whole of my life" – stated the father.
How long can one life be? We don’t know. But, no matter how long it is, our parents are devoting to us all they have – every day, which is something most of us are not aware of. In the recent programme of Ensure in this year's Vu Lan – the “Parents’ Untold Stories”, while Hieu was kept offstage while Trung started to expose his own untold stories.
“As an acupuncturist, I travel a lot every day to deliver cures and treatment to my patients. One day, when I was driving outside in heavy rain, Hieu called to check if I was safe. With the thunder and lightning in the background, I had to admit that I was in a storm but told him that I was fine. I don’t want him to worry about me. He already has so many things to take care of.”
This confession might not be only of Trung Bui, but also of many other Vietnamese parents. They always prioritise their children’s happiness over themselves and silently support their beloved ones to achieve what they desire.
The story of Hieu and his dad also support the findings of the latest survey conducted by Ensure with Vietnamese parents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Accordingly, all parents stated the success and growth of their children as their greatest pride and motivation in life. They are proud of how their children succeed in life and how children grow up to be a good person in society, but they never or rarely tell this to the ones who may want to hear this a lot – their children.
Another special guest of the event, Thom – the mother of professional ballet dancer Do Hai Anh – also admitted that she always hides her pride about her three children in order to make them want to try to soar even higher. She thinks that “Every good thing can still be done better, I don’t want my children to rest on their laurels and become arrogant of what they have achieved.”
Their children growing up with good behaviour and proper manners are a special point of pride for parents. That’s why they desire to guide their descendants with traditional values and the lessons they have accumulated through a lifetime. During the survey, Ensure found that half of all ageing parents silently want to pass on traditions and experiences they have earned throughout their lives to their children and the next generations.
The untold story of Mai – the mother of idol Phuong Vy – is typical. Since Phuong Vy’s husband is a foreigner, their parenting styles are wholly different. Although Mai appreciates modern Western education, she still spends great efforts to teach her grandchild about her mother tongue and Vietnamese traditional values. “She’s very nice, a good and intelligent girl. She can speak fluently both in Vietnamese and English without any confusion although she is only 3,” she said, eyes sparkling.
|The shock and surprise when the children entered the stage to meet their parents|
…Are we missing something about our parents?
Ensure’s survey also unveiled the secret that one of the primary topics parents had trouble opening up about is their health: according to the survey 4 out of every 10 senior parents prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves because they do not want to burden their children. The health concerns parents keep untold cover a broad range, including strength limitations, tiredness, and lack of sleep.
Revealing this provoking figure at “Parents’ Untold Stories” event, all three parents shared this same hidden concern. Mai confessed: “I used to stay up late at night to prepare performance costumes for my daughter before. But after 50, I tire out easily just by doing housework. This is the secret that I never say to my daughter. I am afraid that if she found out she would not let me do anything. She’s so busy with work already, she does not need to worry about me.”
Trung also agreed, saying that he rarely tells Hieu about his health problems. As a parent, he assumed he needs to be a battery charger for his son, “Anytime my son runs out of battery, I will get him back fully-charged. What if a charger is not able to give power? My wife and I can handle ourselves to be always there whenever Hieu needs us.”
All of our parents’ untold stories are kept to protect children’s happiness. However, they do not notice that time is limited, and so is health. While ageing is a common hidden concern, many parents are unaware that adults can naturally lose up to eight per cent of muscle mass every decade starting from their 40s, and after the age of 70 this rate almost doubles to 15 per cent. Being unrecognised and underestimated, muscle loss would lead to severe damage to physical health. Research has shown that 10 per cent of muscle loss can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infection while 20 per cent can cause weakness, thinner skin, and affect the body's regeneration ability. Yet, these problems are foreseeable and can be slowed down or reversed.
According to Dr Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu, specialty II, FV Hospital, “At the age of 50, people’s health declines as a result of the deterioration of muscles or muscle loss. During this period, regular exercise and proper and balanced nutrition are very important to help slow down the muscle loss process and to keep the elderly people mentally and physically healthy. I would recommend elderly people to provide themselves with oral nutrition supplements which include muscle-support nutrients like protein or HMB.”
Last year, Abbott launched Ensure Gold with HMB as a gift of strength to the Vietnamese elderly, which is scientifically formulated with HMB as a complete, balanced nutrition supplement to improve strength as early as eight weeks.
|Douglas Kuo, general manager of Abbott Vietnam, drove his point home with a symbolic demonstration of lifespans|
Time is limited as our parents are getting older and older. Bursting into tears, Mai recalled her moments before going for cancer surgery – the moment of separation with her children. Although three years have passed over since then, she is still not able to read that year's letters from her children, which is her biggest secret.
“The average life expectancy of Vietnamese people is around 74. How many years do you have left with your parents?” Douglas Kuo, general manager of Abbott in Vietnam took candles of different lengths to visualise different lifespans. “By publishing this survey, we wish to close the gap between generations and encourage caregivers to connect more with their parents to recognise the early signs of health decline and help them regain strength. We are committed to helping people live longer and better through good health – facilitating the creation of long-lasting family bonding moments that matter," he added.
Time is unbuyable, yet most people are spending seven lunar months to wait for just one day with their parents while they can make every day a Vu Lan by giving their parents enough care and support to strengthen family bonding and help them enjoy the fullest golden years.