Growing up, I always thought I had the world’s most over-protective parents. Whenever I wanted to go anywhere, even if it was just to the movies, I was always met with a game of 50 questions: “Who’s going?”, “Are there going to be parents there?”, “How long is the movie?”, “What’s it about?” The list goes on. As frustrating as it was for me when I was younger, I cannot begin to thank my parents enough for the way they raised me.
So many of my friends came from wealthy families and parents who tried to be their friend rather than their parent. Their hands-off style of parenting, while seemingly great for their kid at the time, had a negative impact on their child in more ways than one. Despite my parents’ strict behavior, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my parents cared. My mom asked me the other day how I felt about being the child of strict parents now that I’m older. She wondered if I felt as though I missed out on a lot because they told me I couldn’t go. But to be honest, I don’t even remember the things I wasn’t allowed to go to. What seems like the biggest deal in high school truly does not have any bearing on the world as an adult.
From a very early age, both of my parents instilled a sense of worth and responsibility in me that I am so thankful for. The idea of consequences grew from losing toy privileges to not having my cell phone passed a certain hour. However, most of the time, consequences were not needed. I knew the difference between right and wrong and the importance of listening to your gut.
I was not afraid of my parents, but I had a very healthy respect for their authority and opinion. We all know the worst thing we could ever hear from our parent is, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” Those few words, while I only heard them less than a handful of times, are heart wrenching for a child to hear from their parents. If nothing else, I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing to avoid hearing that phrase.
Many of my friends still believe that I am a worrier and a constant over-thinker due to my parents’ way of raising me. Yes, there are times that even now at 22 years old, I was ask myself what my parents would think of me if I made a certain decision. No, it is not because I’m afraid of their consequences, but because I truly appreciate and want their input on my life. Just because you grow up does not mean your parents stop being your parents. I cannot begin to explain the appreciation I have for the way my mom and dad raised me. I’d much rather be the product of a strict upbringing than a parent who wanted nothing to do with their child.