Social environment may not play as large a factor as parenting

The other day I was sitting outside of one of my classes and a friend started telling me about his trip to Lebanon .  His parents and him are the only people from his family that live in America.  He is a normal 21-year-old, works as a bartender and hangs out with friends on the weekend. He tends to hide some of his recreational activities from his family because of his strict, reserve family Christian beliefs. His mother has often stated that “America has tainted him and said he should have been raised in Lebanon like the rest of his family.” The ironic thing is that on his last visit there, he ended up at the local bars with his cousin and got into more trouble than he ever has in America. The only difference that I could see is that his cousin hid his social choices from his family.

It is funny how my friend’s mother was blaming American society for her son’s decisions to drink and smoke when in reality he may have made the same choices, just as his cousin did, if he would have stayed in Lebanon. He has lived here the majority of his life and is therefore assimilated into society. His parents on the other hand, are torn between their culture and their decision to move to America to improve the life of their child. In my opinion it is not where a child is raised but how they are raised.

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