Thursday, May 26, 2011

Genogram & Reflection

It is very interesting to look back at my family. This is probably the fifth time I have had to complete an assignment of this sort throughout my life (elementary, middle, high school, and college). For once, I finally feel that I am taking meaning from it. The rest were all just assignments. I feel that I am a hard-working person, and now I see where I get it from. I come from a family of hard workers (and I truly mean physically hard work). Although my work now may not be the same type of hard work, I have learned how to transfer that same energy from physical to emotional/mental.

My parents, Manuel and Estela, were also laborers and ranchers throughout their lives. During the summers from the time that I was in middle school through high school, my mother took my sisters and me to North Dakota to work in the fields, while my father stayed back home so that he would not loose any of his customers. My parents always had strong work ethic. I have always valued that in them. Even though my mom was mostly a housewife during my younger years, she started working as an elderly care provider around the time I left for college.  Family is also very important to  my parents. That is also a huge reason why my mother stayed at home while we were younger. My father was also brought up with the notion that women stayed at home while the men worked. Of course financial hardships ultimately changed his mind. He saw the way the world was changing and urged my sisters and me to attend college and further our education.

My father's side of the family was stricter and less affectionate. I feel that is because my father's mother passed away when he was just around 11 years old, and he had 7 siblings (I could not fit them all in the genogram).  My mother's side was more affectionate. There were always kisses and hugs to go around. She also had 7 siblings (again I could not fit them all in). From both my sisters and I, I am the most like my father. Although he drives me crazy, he helped build my character. His strictness and my mother's kindness and affection have led me toward counseling. I feel that I will use careful thought and precision ( from my father) and an openness and compassion (from my mother) to help me best guide students toward understanding themselves better and making the best decisions in helping them.

I did have a poor upbringing, which I was ashamed of at times when I was younger, but I have now learned to use that to positively guide my students. I like to show them, "Look! I made it! So can you." A lot of them feel comfortable with me and that makes me extremely happy. I do not want them to ever be ashamed of who they are. My parents taught me not to be, and I will continue to show others not to be either.

Although I get that this genogram is supposed to show a career pattern, I see how this led to me becoming a counselor. Because my parents and grandparents did not have that much of an education, they instilled in my what they could. That is the value of being a good person and always helping others. When my parents made the decision to have us work in the fields with them at such a young age, they were showing us what true back-breaking work is and therefor motivated us even  more to pursue a higher education. Even though they did not have much, they gave us a lot. I think this has helped to keep me grounded--my roots. I just hope that I am able to do this same with my son and my students.


  1. I know that your parents must be so proud of you. You have a lot to offer students as a counselor and they will be blessed to have you. What an inspiration you can be to them. You will be able to be an example of how you can come from a humble upbringing and persevere to become a productive and successful member of society.

    As my poor widowed grandmother instilled in her children a strong work ethic that has produced many successful generations, your parents example will also have an impact on generations of your family.

    I also look forward to your future posts and I already want to use your story as an inspiration for my students.

  2. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your comment!

  3. What a wonderful reflection! I can very much relate! You will make a great counselor. Thank you, Dr. H