I have seen many different parenting styles among my friends’ parents, my sister’s friends’ parents and even in the way my aunts and uncles parent compared to my mom and dad. I think it is interesting how different my mom was raised compared to me, too.
I’m 21 years old and I don’t plan on having kids for a little while now, but it is interesting to me how we will be parents and how different our parenting styles may be. A big part of me feels like we parent how our parents raised us, but I also think the generation has a lot to do with it.
My grandma raised five kids on her own after my grandfather passed away when my mom was 10, so even though she did a great job of raising her kids, she went through a lot, so this may have made her parenting a little different. My mom may have learned a lot from my grandmother’s mistakes and was able to use those lessons in parenting my sister and me.
Another difference is that women had children and got married when they were a lot younger in the past. Women didn’t go to college or work; their role was to stay home and take care of the kids. Now, it is completely different. Since I was five years old I was taught that my education was the most important thing. I can still hear my family members saying, “Go to school first, get a job, then find a husband.”
These words often came from my grandmother, who did the complete opposite. A lot of this type of advice stems from our family members wanting us to have a better life than they feel like they did. Even though I have heard that line many of times, “Find a career first,” I really do believe in it. I feel like when we’re young, it’s our time. It’s the time to explore, learn about ourselves and the people around us, travel and take it all in.
A lot of my friends feel differently, and I feel like a lot of people agree with them, while others may agree with my philosophy. I definitely want to get married and have kids at some point, just not yet. A few of my friends would be engaged today if they could, and it just seems like we’re still so young to me. I believe it somewhat depends on the way we were raised, but it also depends on how our life is at that moment in time.
Whether it is parenting, getting married at a young age or finding a career that we love, I believe in the cliché that everything happens for a reason. In my mind, there was a reason my grandma went through what she did. It made her a stronger woman, which made her kids stronger. My mom is so strong, and I think that affects the way I carry myself on a day-to-day basis and also affects the decisions I make.
Overall, I have always thought that it was interesting to look back to the people that raised us and see how different things are. I believe that our grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, aunts and uncles are the ones who shape us. They make us who we are, and they influence how we carry out our life. If we want to get married young, or wait and experience life for a while, it’s all up to the way life is running at that moment in time. It’s all about learning from the past and bringing that knowledge into the future.
Breanna Connell is a fourth-year student. She can be reached at BC810217@wcupa.edu.