I was born in Vietnam. I inherited my physical traits from my parents, so naturally I look like them. That said, my emotional and behavioral development has been significantly influenced by them because of their cultural identity and the behaviors they learned from their parents. My dad is a very traditional man and I lived under and was controlled by his belief system and approach to raising a family. My father insisted on keeping his daughters, including me, home and under a close watch at all times. I believe this has made me a shy person. I had siblings to socialize with growing up but I believe my parents being restrictive didn’t give me as many chances to develop social skills as I would have liked. The environment I was raised in was also an abusive one. My father was physically abusive to my mother and us kids. This impacted me greatly as from a young age I always looked for affection and a way to live outside my family. In some ways, this could explain why I live here in Portland, Oregon, which is an environment and experience that has also had a significant impact on me. My dad was an angry man. I grew up fearing him all the time and I fear other people who are angry. When I grew up and started working I felt a sense of inferiority of people who have authority over me like bosses and managers. I am the oldest sibling in my family. In my culture that means I have a lot of responsibility to take care of my parents when they need help. I feel strong obligation to help my family and it fills me with stress and also a helpless and guilty feeling.
Who’s development have I had a significant influence on?
Like my father, my Vietnamese heritage is very important to me. When I thought about who’s development have I influenced my thoughts immediately turned to the things I do to instill a sense of Vietnamese pride in my son Oliver. Even in Portland, we always celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year and I talk with him about his birth in Vietnam and his extended family there. I do what I can to practicing Vietnamese culture at home. This is important to me and i want this to be a strong influence on my son. I hope what I learn in this class and my studies will give me a greater awareness of how I have intentionally and unintentionally influenced my son’s development.
Is human nature good, bad, or neutral?
I think human nature is inherently good. I think I’ve developed this opinion by raising my son. I believe he ultimately wants to do the right things but often lacks experience and foresights. I use reflection, discussion, natural and logical consequences to increase his experiences and thoughtfulness. I also reinforce with him the idea that mistakes and errors help us develop tools for us to learn from. Human nature can also be a tricky thing because when it all boils down, survival is what drives our nature. Survival can be hard, so I’m aware of the the concept that sometimes we must do bad things to...