“My parents are role models because of the way that they interact and care for
other people, besides us.”

College Student, in his early 20s; as a child, lived in large western, Midwestern, and southern cities with his parents and 2 brothers, 1 older and 1 younger; single, no children.                            

© By Niki Glanz, Posted 6/13/18

My dad asked an uncle for parenting advice one time; his uncle told him not to make mountains out of molehills. Sometimes he was quick to react, but he learned over the years to stop and cool down. It was hard, and it was not overnight.

My mom always tried to talk to me. Sometimes she would talk and talk, and I would be like, “Mom, I can’t take it anymore; I’ve got to have a break.” But in general, being able to talk and be very honest with my parents was definitely great.

The good thing is that I can look back now and actually agree [with my parents]. Like friends would have a TV in their room – now I see it was a good thing that I didn’t. When you’re younger, you just want what you want.

And compared to friends that would get grounded for silly things, my parents would find ways of punishing us that were less dramatic. They wanted to make the punishment fit the crime. I was thankful that I wasn’t getting grounded all the time.

I appreciated my parents. So many kids had divorced parents that even having parents that were still together could be a big thing. I never worried that my parents were going to separate; they made it clear to us that wasn’t an option for them. Beyond that, they were people that I enjoyed being around. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends: I’m the type to have a few, good friends, so I had my family, my girlfriend, and some friends I played music with.

The first, big backpacking trip on the West Coast – “real mountains,” we called them – was when I was seventeen. It was really fun! We did a couple, smaller backpacking trips, when I was younger, with a family friend from out there, his brother, a couple of his daughters, and one of my cousins. My good friend from here, Alan, has gone with us a couple times, too. Once we were having so much fun that he stayed with us for the rest of the family vacation.

Alan [also] hung out at our house. A couple years ago, when my parents and me went to his graduation, he wrote this [card] and said he felt like he had become an adopted son. That’s another thing: my family tried to make a safe environment for other guys, too.

There was this friend my age that was having a lot of family issues. My dad finally talked with his dad because he was running out of options and had him live with us for a school year. He could get on my nerves sometimes, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

This kid had been with us for a couple of nights when one night he ran out. We didn’t know where he was, but he came back. I remember getting pretty upset because I wanted him to know our home was safe versus his home. It just hurt to see someone so hurt.

Another kid, living in foster care, was brought to our church, where my dad was Director of Music and Worship. My dad helped him out with school and his social worker. My parents are role models because of the way that they interact and care for other people besides us.

Their faith has been very important in their marriage and how they dealt with us kids. My dad has a brother that would say my dad has been lucky that he’s had a good family. My dad would say it was not luck, but that we tried very hard. We always had to go back to God and be repentant towards each other. That’s another reason why I respect them.

Maybe I don’t agree with everything that my parents did to raise us, but it seems like they were successful. I want to try to emulate them when I start a family.

Memories Matter. We often find the way forward by looking back. Hope you enjoyed the story!

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Parenting, parent talk, parent punishment, grounded, parents stay together, backpacking, parent reactions to friends, family faith, repent, TV in bedroom