Growing Up With Care

Leah - Martinez, California
Entered on May 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, gratitude
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Growing Up With Care

It is known that childhood is one of the most influential states of growing up. The people who raise children are able to influence them throughout their life. I believe that how a person is raised reflects on their character. If it were not for my parents who cared so much for me throughout my life, I do not think I would be as successful as I am today. I owe my parents for everything they have done for me, and I believe that their educational and social influence helped me to be more successful in life.

Growing up as a teenager was a challenge for me and my parents because we lived in a bad neighborhood in the east bay of California. There were often fist fights, people burning rubber in their cars, and the occasional police car chase. I have two older siblings, a brother and sister, who helped my parents every now and then by watching me. They knew the aspects of the neighborhood and helped me stay out of trouble. When it came time for them to move out I was still a teenager. I always wanted to be out “r unning the streets” as my mom called it. My parents had their hands full when it came to taking care of me. I made a lot of friends over the years that were bad influences on me and I watched those friends from the sidelines as I grew up and matured. I saw a lot of the mistakes they made, and I felt like I would never make the same decisions as they did. There was always something holding me back. I didn’t figure out what was holding me back until I was older and started to realize the way my parents raised me.

Some parents are too controlling and others are not strict enough. It is hard to tell when a teenager is being honest. Friends can be manipulating at the age of thirteen, which is unfortunate because it is a crucial age in life. It is when people start to develop who they are and what they identify with. Many circumstances change at that age. My parents made me extremely angry at times. I was frustrated because I thought that they were holding me back and that I was missing all the fun of underage drinking, driving around with boys, and all the parties that took place in my neighborhood. At the time I did not realize that my parents were protecting me and keeping me from getting into the trouble like all of my friends.

I look back on my past and I believe that a part of who I am comes from how I was raised. Even though I was raised in a bad neighborhood it gave me character and a lot of respect for others in similar situations. My parents raised with me educational and social support, and they cared enough to keep me off the streets and in the house where I was safe. I am grateful and fortunate enough to have parents who love me unconditionally and I will never take that for granted.