First all, I feel very lucky. Very, very, very lucky, to have had such a loving family and an exceptional raising from my parents. We hardly ever fought, apart from arguments while in our teenage years, what do you expect?? We were always loved, did things together such as camping, holidays, or even going out for dinner together. We had lots of laughs, and not just laughing at me falling going up the stairs. I didn't have everything given to me, in fact, I actually like working for my own education and spending money. Granted, I didn't mind it when I had a little help, which was always there if I needed it. I could always tell my mom everything, even if I was embarrassed about it, or knew they would be mad. I remember when I had a little fender-bender with the car at school, next to nil damage, but I felt so guilty about not telling my parents right away, I actually left my friends house that night to go home and tell them. I blame them for teaching me to be too honest :)
Since being here in Melton (just outside of Melbourne) and living with other families, it has made me appreciate my upbringing so much more.
First off, I saw my first domestic argument last weekend, and was devastated. To think that families go through this makes me sick. I didn't know what to do, and just sat there blank, in awe of what was happening in front of my eyes. Rob had to break up the argument between a mom and a daughter, and Rob's cousin who was visiting with us was in tears. I was almost in tears myself. I feel very lucky that my parents are still married and I find a lot of family issues are over divorces. This family was, and it sounds like they've been through a lot, which I would never want for any family. This young 18 year old has had everything given to her and she's hardly kept a job. To me, she's a spoiled brat, and her attitude goes with it. I am glad that I had my own job, it gave me a sense of responsibility and respect and also how to manage money.
I was also taught respect, which comes to the family we are staying with now. Their 2 kids have little respect for their parents. Apart from the loving family they are, and the parents are still together, which is a bonus. The kids do absolutely nothing in the house to help out, and they tell their parents off! The parents just ignore it, which doesn't help, but they do have a good sense of humor. Neither of the kids help with dishes or housework. The mom does it all, even dishing up dessert! From the time I was walking I was vacuuming and doing my own laundry......OK, maybe it wasn't that early. But both my sister and I where helping out around the house. Even mom and dad would usually split the responsibility of cooking, and we would usually clean up. It has taught me so much and it hasn't been until seeing the lives of others that I am thankful for it. As much as I hated cleaning and vacuuming, I did it, and somehow am thankful for it!
Another thing is the food they eat. The whole family is overweight and it makes me sad. I know we would pig out sometimes and eat nachos for lunch on the weekend, but this is extreme. They just eat a lot, and its not always healthy. It would be nothing for them to not have any veggies for supper, and I just need to have some type of vegetable. Not only because its healthy, but because I feel better when I eat a well balanced meal. Rob and I where getting into a habit of finding a market to go to for fresh veggies, and they are just so yummy! Not here though. It consists of potatoes and a meat, and lots of it. The mom also dish up the plates for you, not letting you get your own serving. I don't like this as I feel like I have to eat everything that is on my plate. And here they put a lot on the plate!! I think it teaches the kids bad habits, and they will probably be overweight their whole lives unless someone teaches them otherwise. I don't eat it all the food on my plate though and I don't feel bad sending food back.
So once again, I thank my parents for the respectful, healthy and loving up-bringing we had :)