This I Believe: I Believe In Good Parenting

Jan 2, 2020

Essayist Alexandra Fleece
Credit WPSU

I believe in good parenting.

Since before I can remember, my cousin, Chase, has lived with my family. Our birthdays are twelve days apart and we have always been inseparable. We went to school together, had joint birthday parties, and basically lived our lives as twins. Although his last name isn’t Fleece, he did not know a life apart from me and my siblings.

Chase’s mom had not particularly lived in a way that valued Chase or his brother, Brandon. She had them at a very young age and their dad was not in the picture. She was not sober and needed a little bit of help to get her back on her feet. Brandon, who lived with his mother, got in trouble constantly. He did not receive discipline or consequences, so he continued to misbehave. My mom stepped in when Chase was born to make sure he would get off on the right foot and to give his mom some time and space to sober up. Brandon is now living life in and out of jail and on drugs. Chase is now playing hockey in college and working two jobs, while maintaining a solid GPA.

Chase has always had a strong head on his shoulders. He constantly goes after what he wants and tends to get it. He is strong willed and fights for what he believes in. With my dad’s help, he started sports at an early age. Being involved in a sport kept him busy and out of trouble. He lived life with my parents as his number one support system. Occasionally, he would have dinner at his mother’s house. We eventually gained legal custody of Chase so that my parents had more say in decisions regarding his life. His mother agreed to get sober as she watched Chase live in a different household. Without the help of my parents, I believe Chase would not be exceling as much as he is.

As a teenager I didn’t always appreciate the structure and consistency my parents provided for our family. They used logical consequences and always parented with the end in mind, thinking about how our actions would affect our future. They were consistent in their parenting and that had a huge impact on me and my siblings. Chase, like most kids, did still get into some trouble but because there were consequences, his mistakes were limited. Growing up with morals and structure leads kids in the right direction. Chase was able to thrive in my family. I can’t say that he wouldn’t have in the care of his mother, but one thing is certain: he is very thankful for the opportunities he has been given.

I believe in good parenting.

Alexandra Fleece is a cheerleader at Penn State majoring in advertising and public relations.