Latinos have a unique way of parenting

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By Deysi Cuevas
Extra News

CHICAGO — In many Latino families, it is normal for other family members to take part in raising the children in the family. Aunts, uncles, even grandmothers often partake in the upbringing of children; especially in single-parent households.

Sandra Martínez was still in high school when she became a mom. She explains that the experience was difficult because she could not be a part of the everyday activities that her friends were a part of, such as prom and graduation and had very little support from her baby’s father. What she did have was the support of her parents who, in a way, took over her role as a mom.

“I had to rely on my parents more than any normal 18-year-old. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, [but] I learned a lot from it,” she said.

Martínez explains that having her parents take over for her was hard because she felt she had very little input as to how to raise her daughter.

“I don’t think I really had a set role in [my daughter’s] life because it was my mom being her mom and my dad being her dad,” she said.

Martínez said that while she did initially resent her parents for giving her very little options as to how to raise her daughter, she eventually understood why they had to do it and explains that it has to do with how some Latino families are raised.

“Our families all come here to work, so we all help each other out…the very little family that you do have, you grow close to and you rely on each other,” she explains.

Now, Martínez is married and is using those life lessons she learned early on to continue raising her daughter the way she wants to…

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