Monkey See Monkey Do

dawn - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on September 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe

Monkey See Monkey Do

I grew up in a very simple middle class home where there was no alcohol, no smoking, and no drugs. My dad came home every night after work and we ate dinner together as a family. Nothing too exciting. But what it did give me is stability. We had rules to follow such as telling each other where we were going and when we would be home. This to me was a common courtesy and I assumed all families had this rule. We had many rules like curfew when we were older. It was my parents way of teaching us right from wrong. I just assumed that all families were like this.

Little did I know when I got married my husband’s family was nothing like that. There were basically no rules. Yes, while we were dating, I saw his mother discipline him by the periodic grounding, but I didn’t really think much of it. I just assumed that he knew right from wrong and when we got married our family would be the same as mine. Boy was I wrong. I remember the first week of our marriage he would go somewhere and not even tell me where he was going or when he would be home. To me, this was very disrespectful. I talked with him about it, and he thought I was basically crazy. We had many of these issues come up for the first few years. A lot of them were able to be worked out, and some didn’t get worked out. Then we had children and I watched for many years the many ways people raised their children. Some people were extremely hard on their kids, with all kinds of rules and no room for compromise. Others had basically no rules. As I grew older, I listened to kids talk about their parents. Some parents seem to hit the mark, while others are falling short.

That is when I came to the conclusion, children are mostly the product of their

environment. I have watched children with smart parents who engage them in life, teach them right from wrong and listen to them. They grew up to be well rounded smart individuals. Even when their family from past generations have had issues such as alcoholism. When the sane parent takes over the care giving of the children and makes all the decisions it helps them live their lives, teaching them to be good, honest, hardworking, and loving. While listening to their needs, a bond is formed that is respectful and loving, even when the other parent is caught up in all of their stuff. I’m sure many people have seen children who are adopted out of horrible families and into productive families; changing their whole perspective on life, and giving it meaning. They will go on and become amazing young people to look up to. We should all be so lucky as to have parents like this.