My Parents are my Biggest Influences

Toby - West Linn, Oregon
Entered on May 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I believe that my parents have been the biggest influence on me as I have grown up. They have distributed their attributes to me, creating a dynamic man of passion and motivation.

When I was little, I believed everything my parents told me. Their views became mine, and I never even dreamt of arguing with them. Although I now have my own beliefs which differ from my parents, I still have many characteristics resembling them. I have my mother’s “mom” mentality of being very organized yet overstressed all the time. I always feel like the mother hen having to look over people, whether it’s my peers on a school project, or my sisters when they’re home. Whenever I am working on a group project for a class, I make sure everything gets put together. I check everyone’s work to make sure it is high quality and that it fits in with the rest of the project.

My dry sense of humor comes directly from my dad’s side of the family. I have become well known for my sarcastic remarks and lame puns among my friends. I will add them into any conversation just to add a little flavor. I also obtained my musical instincts from my dad, who plays guitar and sings. He has been in many bands during his life, and I enjoy the thrill of playing live music as much as he does. My mom used to be a gymnast, and she passed her athletic prowess on to me. The high expectations I put upon myself come from both parents, who were very good students and know what their children are capable of.

My parents and grandparents are very liberal people, and I have adopted their left-wing, pro-gay, save the trees political views. We also share similar views on alcohol and drugs. My father is a Lutheran pastor, and I am a firm believer in God even though my parents do not force me to be.

My parents and I certainly don’t agree on everything. All three of us kids had to wait until we turned 17 to get our drivers’ licenses. This is because car crashes are significantly higher between ages 16 and 17. I appreciated our parents’ concern for us, but I was less than thrilled that I had to wait a whole extra year to get my license. My mom and dad also have different views on dating, curfew, and spending money than I do. But these differences have helped me realize what kind of person I do NOT want to be.

I have absorbed a lot of information from my parents, and through them I have grown into my own person. For better or worse, they have impacted the way that I make most of my decisions. We share many of the same beliefs, but I’ve also blazed a trail for myself by rejecting some of their ideas which I do not agree with. I have held onto the good advice, and thrown away what I don’t like into the recycle bin. That way I can grab it if I ever change my mind. For the rest of my life, I will continue to develop my mind and thoughts, expanding on what I have learned from my parents.