I had a talk with my parents about what it was like for them growing up in a very very poor country before coming here, and I found out some interesting challenges that I wanted to share with you. My Dad grew up in a small village and he had to walk a mile to his farm which had lots of trees and plants that his family picked to sell the produce in the market. And they hunted for animals at night with a lantern. That’s how they grew up.
So, I wanted to ask them to tell me how things have changed for raising children from that environment compared to here in the affluent West. And below is the list of some of the challenges.
- My grandparents were not really focused on monitoring my parents education in school, they were more worried about passing on skills that would help them to tend the land so they could pass it on
- The teachers in that country were mostly males and they were focused on academic achievement and competition, especially since intelligence and scholastic aptitude was a ticket out of poverty
- There was NO emphasis on self-esteem, compassion, sex education, drug education, leftist politics or other secular leftist ideologies in the schools – and nobody wrote to politicians or attended marches for extra credit
- The headmaster and the vice principal (both males) lived next door and they would come over to talk to my grandfather about my father, and to play cards while talking about politics in front of the children
- Teachers were allowed to punish children in class with spankings
- Teachers would inspect the students for dirty fingernails, messy hair, dirty uniform, or minimum decency clothing standards, etc. and you got rapped on the knuckles with a ruler if you were bad
- My Dad attended a Presbyterian school and all the teachers attended church on Sundays
- There was intense competition and last-man-standing contests for prizes, and all the sports were competitive with winners and losers – some people put a lot of effort into contests to get better so they could win
- The teachers were not unionized and there was a free choice of which school to attend
- none of the children had money for alcohol, drugs, contraceptives, etc.
Family and Community
- My Dad grew up with a stay-at-home mother who monitored them, and they came home for lunch
- There was no TV or video games, so family interaction was more common – like working together on things and doing chores to help make ends meet
- my Dad’s chore was to fetch water in the morning from half-a mile away (several times)
- No TV and no video games also means more sports and activities with the neighbor kids
- Food was scarce, and there was no processed food or fast food – so kids were less obese
- Neighbors came over more to play cards and discuss things so that children learned about adult stuff by listening and watching them debate and discuss ideas, instead of from watching mainstream news media, which is somewhere to the left of Satan, politically, on social, fiscal and foreign policy
- My grandfather would make my father volunteer in a store in order for my grandfather to get credit at the store, and he was able to work because there were no regulations on children working to help to support the family as long as they also went to school
- My father was earning money for the family at an early age – he saw his parents working hard and that was all the motivation he needed to want to contribute – not like today when it is difficult to make children do anything
- My father used to volunteer to help other neighborhood children learn mathematics (I later did the same thing, but for money)
- My father learned to hunt and fish so that he could help the family to survive
- My father had 6 young siblings so he had experience raising children and learning to cook by watching my grandmother cook
If you’re wondering how I got into this long conversation with my parents, it’s because the woman I am performing acts of love on inquired repeatedly about my parents, and I got into a long discussion with them, touching on this topic and many other things related to parenting. The net effect of this on me was to make me a little more tolerant of my parents. They came from a simpler culture where they had more support from teachers and neighbors, while facing fewer challenges from the culture and secular leftist elites. My Dad worked 3 jobs when he got here. My Mom worked too. We were incredibly poor.