Different Researches from psychologists have all pointed to the fact that our childhood lives and the environment we lived in shape our personalities and the way we live in the future. There are many features of family life which influence children as they grow up. Some of them include; chronic problems within the family, the place we live in, the parent's job, living conditions, the economic conditions, the other children in the family, availability of recreational facilities, customs and traditions and the view of the family on education. The list is endless. All these factors affect children either positively or negatively depending on the socio-economic status of the family.These are my own experiences with my family as I grew up. I have a brother and two sisters, and my parents are from Mexico. We were all born and raised in Fresno, California. Due to our low economic status, both my parents had to work in the fields of Fresno picking all kinds of fruits and vegetables so as to raise us. Sometimes during the hot summers, they would take us as kids to work in these fields. Of course, they did not mean to hurt us. They actually taught us that this was not the life we were meant for, and it is not what we were to look forward to. Instead, they encouraged us to strive and improve our own through getting an education. Education seemed to be the only escape from poverty. Despite our condition, we were a one happy family. We treasured everything we owned: from clothes to toys and the food our mother cooked for us. I want my parents to be proud of me, so, at 36 years of age, I am still schooling so as to get an A.A degree and become a radiology technician. I also want to have a decent life myself.Amongst all the challenges that I faced in my childhood, the one that greatly influenced my growing up was our economic condition. Our socio-economic status was low and we lacked enough money for basic things and other luxuries. This state of financial instability affected my growth both physically and emotionally. Unlike other children from well-off families, with a stable economic condition, I had to struggle to make it into my adulthood. I remember suffering a lot from respiratory diseases during my childhood life due to the poor ventilation in our house. We lived in a poor neighborhood. My poor health was fuelled by the fact that I lacked access to quality preventive, curative, and emergency care which I badly needed.
Though I loved my parents very much, I feel that I lacked the quality time I needed to spend with them during my childhood because they had to work extra hours to provide for us. This affected my emotional health because it led me to experience low self-esteem, something that has continued to affect me even up to this moment in time. In addition, the education I received in elementary school was to some extent sub-standard. My parents could not afford to give me the best education due to limited funds. This made me work more hard in high school so as to avoid getting poor grades. This has really affected my life since at my age; I should have finished my schooling a long time ago. I should now be at the peak of my career. However, this is not so because I have to work as I study so as to pay my school fees.
Though I liked my mothers cooking, I suffered from poor nutrition which affected my health. This is due to the fact that our economic condition did not allow us to afford foods rich in vitamins and proteins due to their high prices. I believe that some health-related diseases that affect me right now are as a result of the poor eating habits I developed when I was a kid. We had also to live in a poor neighborhood because we could not afford a decent house. Apart from the aforementioned poor ventilation, I also did not have access to safer play grounds. This made me socially isolated and exposed to so many dangers such as high rates of crime and drug use which were rampant in this type of neighborhood. This stigmatized my own existence and up to now, I feel like I missed something important in life because I did not interact socially. In addition, our neighborhood did not provide a good environment for my earlier years of learning.Nevertheless, despite all these challenges, I take everything positively and feel that my childhood experiences taught me a lot on how to handle life in general. Now I have to work extra hard so as to help my parents and the community at large.