How were you raised?

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Senior Member
Aug 24, 2011
The older I get, and the more parenting experience I rack up, the more I notice how my upbringing effects most aspects of my life. I see it in how I think, how I react, what I teach my kids, my taste in books or movies or’s in everything, including what I actively avoid- things I was raised with, but choose to reject now.

I’m sure this is true for many people, but I know there are also cases where someone completely rebels against their upbringing...sometimes for the best, sometimes not.

I thought it would be interesting to hear how others were brought up, and how much that experience influences them now. I’m not asking for a complete history, though feel free to share as much or as little as you like. Mostly I’m just, you know, curious about people :D

For myself, I was raised in a small town, mostly by my mom. She divorced my dad when I was 7, and within a year was dating/living with the man who became my step-dad. My mom’s parents and siblings played a huge role in our lives; we spent as much time with them as we did at home. My dad drifted out of our lives after a few years, and I didn’t get along with my stepdad as a teenager. I was majorly lacking in strong male role models, aside from my grandpa (who I was afraid of despite him being a good man). The women I grew up learning from are very strong- very opinionated- and overwhelming in a group.

By the time I married my husband, I was totally confused about marriage and respect. I thought I was supposed to be in control, the queen of my castle. I didn’t know how to respect my husband because I’d never seen that in action. The idea of submitting was foreign, though I was raised going to church and thought I knew what the Bible said. I was also constantly looking for approval- from men, because I never had that; from women, because I was the only female in my family who Wasn’t tough, and I felt kind of forgotten about by them.

This is just one aspect of my upbringing that stands out in my mind (probably because it took so long to straighten myself out from it)- there are many things that were good, though- I’d say there were more good than bad things.

So...what about you?


Senior Member
Dec 31, 2015
My dad and mom raised me very strict compared to today's paradigm of raising kids. That was not the part hat bothered me though. It was more that my dad did not really ever spend time with me and my feelings were rarely validated.

Even today I am not fully recovered from that. It caused me a lot of grief as an adult.

So pay attention to your children, value them, make then feel like they are important and treasured.


Senior Member
Nov 6, 2017
My mom and dad raised me in a very traditional Christian household, and compared to today's raisings, I'm so thankful the Lord blessed me with them. I didn't get to do what I wanted, or go where I wanted, but in essence, I'm thankful my parents didn't let me do what I wanted or go where I wanted. Old pastor says, "Son, if you're not there, it can't happen to you." It's too true. If I got out of line, I either go a very quick time out, or I was taken to the back bedroom, and my dads belt made sure I was disciplined, and I know that had to pain him, but I'm thankful he did that, and my mother was the same way. If I didn't say yes ma'am, or no ma'am, or yes sir or no sir, I was corrected REALLY QUICK! I wasn't born into a lap of luxury, but my mother and father worked hard and were blessed to give me and my brother such blessed lives, and they have been together for 41 years coming in just a few days. I truly wish more families in this nation had parents like mine, they truly are a dying breed in the new generation. I'm so thankful.


Senior Member
Dec 6, 2017
I was raised on a farm in the country. I am the second oldest son of nine children, eight boys and one girl (right in the middle). My parents also took in children from time to time, and looking back, we never really noticed just how many of us sat down to a huge supper. Saying "grace" at every meal, and church every Sunday. My family was, and still is a good Christian family, all are very loving, generous and kind. Like Mike and Joe, my Dad was strict........he had to be with so many wild boys around. He taught us all the good morals and values, but could still be a lot of fun to be with. My Mom loved everybody, especially babies (go figure), and was a wonderful cook and homemaker. She was the hardest working woman I have ever met, and I don't say that lightly................My parents remained together until Mom passed away. All the kids were grown, so he stayed on at the farm, and eventually divided it among six of the sons. He will be 87 in a few months, and is never alone with all the grand kids and great grand kids visiting regular..........Now I'm starting to ramble, so I will just say I was richly blessed and continue to be blessed, thanking God every day for all He has done for me........Bless all of you.........Stan


Senior Member
Dec 17, 2017
I was born in Los Angeles, CA, USA in 1946. They torn down the hospital, I was born in, within a year; to put in the first freeway: the Harbor Freeway. My father died 6 months before I was born in Nov. ’45, from kidney failure. My older sister died 1 month before I was born, from being hit by a car. That left 2 brothers and my mother. She bought an unfinished home in the Watts district of L.A. (South Central).

While carrying me, she was in 3 car wrecks and was shot full of morphine each time. I was born asthmatic and anemic. Every time I got around lint or dust my breathing would lock up. My mother thought she would go crazy and became convinced she was going to die. She took us three boys down to a Catholic church and had us baptized to gain some god-parents. My mother said she never bonded with me as she couldn’t take it if she did and I died.

Meanwhile, my maternal grandmother bought the house next door to ours. She had 11 kids she raised and 8 were still living at home. Luckily, there were 2 teenage aunts living there that kind of took over mothering me. 14 people living in 2 2-bedroom homes, talk about fun. It gets worse: in 1948 my oldest aunt in Indiana died and her 5 kids moved in with us. These were big kids, two of the oldest were older than two of the youngest uncles next door. The two oldest cousins living with us were female, so they took over mothering me. The two aunts that had the job were dating and getting ready for marriage. As some of the aunts and uncles were moving out on their own, the two youngest cousins move in with Grandma.

By my third year, I was doing well and getting over my asthma. Things were starting to get more normal with me. My next oldest brother, David, was 2 years older than me and the closest human being relationship I had. I followed him everywhere. One day we were playing in the backyard. I was sitting on some bed springs right behind the house and David was about 20 feet away playing with some matches. He walked up to an abandoned old Model T pickup without a gas cap. He held up a lit match toward the open gas spout and asked “should I?” Dumb me, I just shrugged my shoulders. He dropped the match and when the fumes caught the flame it was like a blow torch. His shirt and hair caught afire and he ran out of the backyard. My male cousin was with a couple of uncles, they were building a tandem bicycle beside the house. The cousin ran after David and rolled him to put out the fire. The last time I saw him, he was all black and whimpering on my mothers lap waiting on the ambulance. Needles to say, I started suffering from PTSD from that day forward. I don’t even think that was classified as yet, but that is what it was.

After losing my brother to the fire, that left just me and my 5 ½ years older brother. We were quite the opposite in our early years. He was a momma’s boy and I was very independent. I could run all around the Watts ghetto of L.A. as much as I wanted. All my mom wanted was for me to call her and let her know my whereabouts. I met a Hispanic boy in kindergarten and we become best friends. He was slightly younger and a little underdeveloped, so he pretty much just followed me. Many times, I would stay overnight at his house. I became close to his mom, dad, sister and 3 brothers. That'a just the early years.
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Senior Member
May 26, 2016
according to my dad, i was born in a barn and raised by wild animals. lol

my parents weren't perfect, of course, but they raised 4 daughters without ever making us feel "less than" because we were girls. when my youngest sister was born and dad's friends tried to commiserate he didn't have a son, dad said, you can't have too many dollies, and he meant it.
both had strong personalities, but we all knew the buck stopped with dad. he was never tyrannical, just if he and mom couldn't arrive at a consensus, dad decided, but they did try to come to an agreement as much as possible.

they were married and happy till dad died 10 years ago. what a gift! though my husband and i tweaked things, i find we very much raised our kids the way my parents did theirs. his upbringing was a hot mess, and i'm thankful for the example mom and dad set without words.

fairy tale childhood, really, in a time when worldviews were much more similar than they are now. good neighborhood, good schools, not loads of money but we were comfortable.

oh! when i was in elementary school in the 1960s and women's lib was huge, mom took a few years off from working full time. all her friends were on her case to get a job so she could be "liberated".
mom wisely replied, being liberated doesn't mean i have to get a job. it means i know i can if i want to. dad was cool with whatever she chose to do, and mom being mom, she did some child care at home to earn a little money during that time, anyway.

ahead of their time, maybe? they were terrific parents, there were rules, but my sisters and i knew they loved us and the rules were there to protect us. from what we didn't really understand when we were small, but they had shown us time and again we could trust them, so we did.

naturally, that's all the good stuff, but it was mostly good stuff. i am so grateful to God for the family He gave me to grow up in; for the Godly influence of my parents. they didn't preach, they lived it.


Senior Member
Aug 24, 2011
It’s great, getting to read about you all :D


Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
I was raised like Pippi Longstocking- no parents, no guidance, no rules. We went to school out of boredom and for something to eat. At home we put the couch cushions on the floor and played tag to where you can’t touch the blue carpet, cause you know you don’t want an imaginary shark to bite your toes. We bounced off the walls literally. Parents could be gone for weeks at a time, and drunk and ignored you when they were home.

But I had a child’s book called “God I’ve gotta talk to You” and that was all I had, that was my Bible. And I felt like God raised me through the TV- shows like Growing Pains, the Cosby show, and Who’s the Boss- that was my parenting. Boy I’m glad I didn’t grow up in today’s day and age with the shows they have now.
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Senior Member
Dec 17, 2017
Deade here with more on my youth so I don't leave a wrong impression.

I mentioned my mother did not bond with me, which is true. I also mentioned she did that as self preservation. From three on I was hard to influence because of the PTSD. At 12, I moved in with one of my motherly aunts in Long Beach, she was a Navy wife. I was there to go to junior high school. My Watts neighborhood was 85 percent black and 15 percent hispanic. I went out for gymnastics and track in Long Beach, I just loved going to school with my own kind. On the weekend at home, I started talking about my brothers death and how I felt about it. It was very hard at first, but the more I did it the easier it became. Soon the nightmares stopped and I balanced out.

My Navy aunt had to move, so it was back to Watts for the 8th grade. In a school of about 6,000, we were two white males that started that fall. The other white boy pulled out after about a month and a half. I had fights just about every day. My mother loved me in spite of not having bonded: I have no doubt about that. If I stayed out without calling, I had a switch waiting for me when I got home. I realized she worried, so I needed to accommodate that. I never got in trouble with her for fighting, she would ask me If I had to: if I said yes, she forgot about it. Sometimes, I had to take a swat at school for it because that was the only time they couldn't gang up on me; where I could retaliate.

I finished the 8th grade there and started the 9th. In Los Angeles, the 9th grade is still junior high school. One of my uncles' wife was about to domino so he asked me to stay with him in La Puente in the San Gabriel Valley. Naturally, I agreed: oh boy, a white school! Once she gave birth they wanted me out because she was going to nurse the baby. I had another uncle, in La Puente, and stayed with him so I wouldn't have to transfer. Eventually, I stayed with the Navy aunt for the last week and a half to finish the school year. My aunts and uncles always made me feel welcome to stay with them. During the summers I usually worked from about 13 years old on. I worked at a dairy across the street from us, as did most my family at one time or another. I remember washing bottles for 50 cents at 8 years old. There was also a building contractor on our block, and I sometimes worked for him.

In my 12th year I started going to church and seeking God. It started with my hispanic best friend and Vacation Bible School. I memorized all the books of the Bible and a few Psalms. I was a smart kid and I was really looking for Jesus. In my immaturity, I was really looking for someone to follow that I thought was really living for Jesus. I didn't realize nobody could do it perfectly. So I Naturally became disappointed with what I thought was hypocrisy. At 14, I finally came to the conclusion that 1. God did not exist or 2. He exists, but doesn't want me to serve him. When it became time to start the 10th grade, my mother tried to get me transferred to a half white school. They were trying to re-integrate the Watts high school, so they refused the transfer. On the last day of school that high school had five stabbing incidents against 3 teachers and 2 cops. My mother said she wasn't going to get me killed over some social experiment. So she kept me out, I was only 15. So I went to work full time.


Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
I was raised in a close knit immediate family. my parents and siblings are the 1st to move from a different country to the states. I was born here. I've seen my extended family about 6 times in my life. sadly, I have no relationship with them except from what I see on facebook.

grew up in a Spanish pentecostal home. yeah! we were the kind of family who was always at church. if we missed church, it was either because we were REALLY sick or out of town. even then! if we were in Mexico visiting family, we were in church Sunday morning lol. my parents were always involved in ministry, and my heart is so happy that my parents LIVED what they preached. the mom and dad I saw at church were the mom and dad I saw at home. without fail, I would see my parents wake up in the wee hours of the morning to pray.

what's awesome is they never forced me to get involved in ministry. when I developed my own relationship with the Lord, I would talk to them about what was in my heart. I remember my mom telling me, "don't do something because someone else tells you. do it because the Lord is asking you."

now that I'm married and live 2 hrs away from my family, I miss them all the time. but thank God we are able to visit them about once a month.
Feb 7, 2018
I was raised to be honest, fair and to treat others the way I want to be treated.


Junior Member
Feb 17, 2018
Strict and tough, beaten a lot, mostly by mom, 99% deservedly ..

My moms frequent statements:

I will slap you so hard that this wall will strike you back

Come here (with iron in her hand) I will burn off that backtalking from your tongue

If something happens to you, dont you dare come back home

That is nice that you are sorry and cry, but it wont save you from belt (spoon)


Mostly, I've had a very, very stable upbringing. Mom basically raised us. Dad let her do what she wanted and brought home the pay check. To this day, I cannot build any kind of relationship with my dad. I don't think I have "daddy issues" from this, though. I felt Mom wasn't there when I needed her most--she went to work when I was 2-6 (ish), and again when I was 13--ouch! Worst times in my life. Yet now I realize that God was taking away relationships from me so I wouldn't make idols of them. I feel very strongly about relationships, and I tend to lean on them instead of God. He began teaching me early :).

I have amazing siblings. I was homeschooled all the way through highschool. I've got great friends. I was raised in the best place possible for children. On 10 acres of land--a mile away from the nearest neighbor and 10 miles from town. We went wading and fishing and boating in the creek, kept animals, and planted a garden. God has given me enough hardship in my blissful life to teach me the beauty of optimism :).

Most importantly, my Mother is a strong, prayerful Christian. She taught by example even more than by word.
Mar 5, 2018
I'm an only child, raised by a single mother after my father split when I was about 5... She raised me to be a rather prim and proper young lady, she was a believer from early on so she brought me up as a Christian, we always went to church. So I guess I had a pretty stable childhood and teen years even without a father around. That's the short version anyway.
Feb 10, 2018
I was raised by monkeys which is why I turned out the way I did. That’s why my picture is of me upside down. JK

I was actually raised in a pretty dysfunctional home, drug and alcohol abuse and verbal and physical abuse and that’s ok because God is good and I am the person I am today by Gods grace and I don’t believe I regret anything. I mean there are things that I have done that I am not proud of but I know Romans 8:28.