Parents shouldn’t raise children based on their own beliefs


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From the earliest age I can remember, I was never told about my parents’ beliefs. I would question things, though, like if they were religious. I never saw them go to church. Do they believe that women should work? My mom doesn’t. What are their beliefs? I don’t know.

But as I got older, I started to speak up because I wanted to explore things that I hadn’t been taught. I asked my parents if they were religious or what they thought about women working or even vegetarianism because my 11-year-old mind was wandering so fast.

We finally discussed their beliefs and, it turns out, they never told me because they wanted me to form my own beliefs; ones not dependent on theirs simply because they were my parents.

So, I started a journey to discover my beliefs.

When I was 11, I became a vegetarian. My parents supported me the entire way, even taking me to the grocery the day I said I wanted to stop eating meat to buy me all new food. Just for me. At 13, I told my parents I wanted to go to church. And they took me, every time I asked for four years. I quit going, but they never once got angry. At 18, I got my first job and haven’t had a period more than a couple of weeks without one since. They have never been upset with my decisions.

I realize now that if my parents had influenced my decisions by raising me according to their beliefs, I might not have the opinions I do today. I probably would’ve followed their footsteps, uninformed by trial-and-error that teens and young adults should go through to understand who they truly are.

I’m thankful my parents allowed me to discover new ideas and decide which was best for me– on my own. And I think every parent should allow their child that opportunity. I’m now strong, independent and can make decisions on my own as a busy college-and-working student. Because of that, I’m confident in my choices. Just because you were raised on certain beliefs doesn’t mean your child should be, too.

I’m not a meat-eater nor am I religious, and I believe women should be independent and working. But I won’t raise my future child according to my beliefs, because it’s up to them to decide for themselves. I will allow my child the same opportunity I was thankfully given so that one day, while in college or working or whatever they may be doing, they can confidently look back and feel the same as I do.