In my psychology class, we learn that parent’s influence has little control of the outcome of their child’s life.
I’m currently in Canada visiting relatives, and I’m just now realizing the extent of that lesson.
We learned that a parent can mold their child’s religious and political beliefs to an extent, try to get them to like and dislike some things. But out in the world the kid learns how to live on their own. Unfortunately, every factor is against my second cousins’ development into successful creatures. I hate to say that, of course I do. But when family and environment are working against their better beings, well.
Background: My family here in Canada live in what many would call a “ghetto” or a “hood,” excuse me. I’m a little frightened every time I come. There are 8 people living in this little house, and there are bugs literally everywhere. Sigh sigh sigh.
Let me say something my friend taught me:
Family is a privilege, not a right.
I was taught that you love everyone in your family because blood is thicker than water, but my cousin’s blood is more like oil or acid. He has two kids: a 5 year old and an 8 year old. Every day he goes to work early, comes home late, plays on the X-Box, yells at his wife, yells at his kids, yells some more, sleeps with the TV on really loud so it’s hard for everyone else to sleep.
The video games he plays all have extreme violence and cursing. And he curses worse than the characters when he plays.
Personally I don’t believe that video games lead to bad children, but his behavior does.
Now let me start describing his children. When I first got here, I ate the youngest one’s popsicle in the freezer. This beautiful, chubby cheeked, big-eyed five year old comes up to me and says, “Hey fuck you bitch that was mine.” Well today I ignore it. Why? Because he’s been talking like that since he was 3.
I always wonder how this could’ve ever been allowed to happen. I mean, their school friends must be shocked at this language right?
There are two more kids in this house, an 8 and a 10 year old. I walked them to the playground behind their house and saw their friends. One of them rides by on his bike singing, “Rack rack rack rack rack city, bitch. Ten ten ten twenties on your titties, bitch.” This coming from a kid looking no more than 10 years old. Then that same kid says hello to my little cousins. They introduce me to him, and he looks at me and says, “Damn girl you fine as hell.” I’ve gotten rude compliments before, but never from a 10 year old.
My little second cousins’ dad is a forklift driver. Their mom is a waitress. They go to a Catholic school covered in graffiti with other little kids that curse just as much as they do with no authority figure besides myself telling them to stop. What hope do they have?
How can I believe that they’re going to turn out okay? Because this influence isn’t supposed to impact them much the rest of their lives? My only prayer to base-god is that their parents go back to school and finish their education, stop their smoking and drinking problems, and move to a better area with better influences.
Where I’m from the lesson made sense to me. I didn’t turn out anything like the child my parents tried to raise me to be. But I’m fortunate enough to live in a good area and make the right kind of friends, so I turned into a child they could deal with all the same.
Here my cousins have a bad influence no matter where they go. And unfortunately, no matter how much I love them, I see no way out.