This I Believe

Leslie - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

A little girl riding her bike slips on a pile of rocks. She falls to the ground and scrapes her knee. As the tears gush from her eyes, her mother rushes to her aid. She lovingly sits her daughter, and begins to clean the scrape. Words of sympathy and encouragement pour from her mouth. The scrape is hidden with a pretty band aide, and the sad face is met with a loving kiss. Tears dry, frowns turn to smiles, and a bond is made just a little stronger. What happens to the child who does not receive the proper attention and love? I believe the love of a parent shapes the heart of a child.

A parent’s love plays a key role in their parenting style. The four styles of parenting include: permissive, democratic/ authoritarian, authoritarian, and uninvolved. A permissive parent has little say in their child’s decisions. They allow their child to make their own choices, with little to no objection. A democratic/ authoritarian parent, the best type of parenting, allows their child to be involved in decision making as they grow. An authoritative parent believes their child has no right to question their rules or decisions. This as well as an uninvolved parent can lead to a poor relationship and/or rebellious behavior.

I was raised in an environment where my parents fought a lot. When I was four or five years old, it was easy for me to blame myself. It wasn’t long before my parents were divorced. I now had two separate parents with two different parenting styles. I went back and forth frequently between homes dealing with their stresses of the divorce. The divorce affected my mother tremendously. She became stressed out and emotionally unstable. Since my father wasn’t in the house, it was I who took all the heat. This was the beginning of the rocky relationship between my mother and I.

Due to the instability at home, my attitude began to alter. At daycare I frequently broke the rules. I made fun of kids, and bullied them. There were times I would become violent when I didn’t get my way. As I grew I learned bullying didn’t get me friends. I formed friendships and relationships to feel secure and escape from home. It was easy for me to give in to peer pressure and get away with things. I had the mind set that my parents didn’t care about me. On the outside I was a rebellious teen, but on the inside I was alone, stressed, and unstable.

My parents were so focused on themselves and their problems that they didn’t think about me. The divorce took a bigger tole on me than either of them. They were permissive and uninvolved. I felt like I was left in the dark. The only people I could turn to were my friends and my boyfriend.

I believe if my parents would have been more involved in my life, I would be a lot more stable. The lack of love I received lead me to search for it elsewhere. I believe the strongest love should be the love of a parent. To this day my heart feels dependent on others to give me security, and rebellious. I often want to run away, and never come back. My parents focused on themselves while I cried alone. I’ve found other people that care about me more than either of them. I believe the love of a parent shapes the heart of a child.