Kimberly Higareda: Not Ready For Real Life

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Kimberly Higareda feels pressured to take on adult responsibilities she may not be ready for. Here’s her Perspective.

Parents often think that kids should be introduced to ‘real life’ at a young age but I’m not so sure about that. My mom always tells me about all she did for me and for herself. She came to the United States and made it on her own. She often tells me to try my best and about all the advantages I have because of having papers at birth. I was seven when I first remember my mom having that talk with me. I was young and still a child. I felt pressured to be just as strong as her.

Introducing kids to what parents think is real life is harmful at least in my case. When I was a 7-8 year old I was put to clean after my brother and take him to school, I didn't get to be taken care of and till this day I still take care of everyone around me like my two-year-old sister. My mom and many more parents who do this to their kids could be more clever on how the lessons of ‘real life’ are introduced to children. Being patient and kind to the mistakes their children might do is key. Kids need hope and encouragement, not pressure. Some parents even threaten to kick their kids out as soon as they turn 18 to learn real life skills. I can’t imagine how terrifying that would be.

As the daughter of a very strong woman I have seen the challenges that being a parent has brought upon my mom. The hope she gives me to keep going and achieving all she has hoped for is a part of my life I'm always going to carry. Even though she puts pressure on me, she has taught me the valuable lesson of standing on my own two feet. She tells me she appreciates how I’m the kid that helps keep our lives running. I understand that everyone else needs attention, and while I also need attention, I know that my independence is a gift my mom has given me that will serve me in life.

Thank you mom.

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With a Perspective, I’m Kimberly Higareda.

Kimberly Higareda is a 10th-grader at Fremont High School in Oakland. Her Perspective was produced as part of KQED’ s Youth Takeover week.