Who lived a good life growing up?

Let’s face it, everyone living in America has got it good. What in some parts of the world would save you from days of starvation; we use to buy a Venti Frappuccino.

Yet even when people are not starving, they can still have it rough. People with no money can grow up in bad neighborhoods, with lots of crime and little chance of getting out into richer neighborhoods.

Yet even if people live in rich neighborhoods, with no crime and lots of opportunity, life can still suck. There are a lot prejudices which can steer people off course in their life, causing them to become depressed and screw up their lives even more because they are depressed. There are also bullies and high school, which can cause some serious physical and emotional abuse.

So life can suck for anyone born anywhere. But this thread is not about the bad lives that people had, it is about who had it the best while growing up. So if you think your life was good growing up, this is the place where you would tell us.

Me? I can’t contribute to the OP. I was just wondering what kind of people have grown up with very little problems and realize it.

I complain, but my life is pretty good.

I mean, sure there are problems and stuff I don’t like… I’ve been teased, I don’t always like the way my parents do things, I’ve certainly got some angst, but

  • My parents don’t do drugs.
  • I have never seen either one of them drunk
  • They’re still together and both alive
  • I’m close with my sisters
  • Nobody in my family has ever been to prison
  • There is no ongoing physical abuse in my house
  • We’re not wealthy, but we don’t have any serious money worries.
  • Elementary school was rough, but I actually like high school. From what I gather, that’s rare.
  • I don’t hate the city where I live. At some point in my adult life, I’ll probably move back here.
  • There’s never been any significant violence in my schools. Kids get in fights and stuff, but I’ve never had to be afraid of bodily harm at school.
  • I’ve never had any human being very close to me die. People I knew, yeah, but not my best friend or my little sister or anything.
  • I get to take dance class. A life with dance is a good life.

I can claim an almost perfect childhood. Parents who adord me and my brothers. Siblings I got on pretty well with. Loved school. Loved home. We weren’t rich but had enough of the important stuff.

My daughter says she had an almost perfect childhood, too. I modelled it on my own. We are very close.

My world fell apart when my adored father died at only 54 from cancer linked to smoking. But I am always aware of the good fortune I had and continue to have. His influence didn’t die with him.


I had a good childhood. My parents always got along well, and money wasn’t that tight by the time I start having memories. We were never rich by a long measure, but my parents were smart about money, enough that we were able to take nearly yearly vacations. We lived in a dumpier suburb up until I was 10, but it wasn’t a “bad” neighborhood. I went to a state school, and probably paid for about half of it from money I earned working since I was 12 or 13.

So I’m in my mid-twenties with a great job and no debt and I’ve never had to worry about money or family problems. Strange, while I was living it my life didn’t seem that great, but in hindsight it could have been much much worse.

I had it good. We were wealthy; not filthy-rich, but a big new house with a pool in the country. I had horses. My parents never fought in front of my sister and I, and were good to us. I did well in school with very little effort and got full scholarships to college. I was pretty and relatively popular. While I have nothing to complain about, I hated being a minor just because the lack of autonomy drove me nuts. I am constantly grateful not to be kid anymore.

My childhood was good, too. My parents are attractive, intelligent, earned good money, and didn’t fight. I’m attractive and intelligent myself. We always lived in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, with a vegetable garden and even a swingset for me, for a while. My parents liked to do little interesting things like explore the public parks, go to the symphony, and start new hobbies. I was an only child, so I got plenty of attention; I was a latchkey kid, but I’m mostly a loner, so I enjoyed the time alone.

I did of course have all the standard teenage stuff about quarreling with friends, thinking I didn’t have enough friends, etc, but it hasn’t scarred me for life.

I had a good middle-class childhood, never wanted for the basics, and was taught compassion for those less fortunate. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I grew up blessed with a wonderful family. End of story.

Me, totally.

We were food-stamp-poor for my first 8 years or so, my dad’s an alcoholic, all but one of my grandparents were dead by the time I was 5 and I grew up as a very fat, ugly young girl.

That being said, we never went to bed hungry; despite my dad’s alcoholism he is a wonderful person; my mother is a SAINT; my one grandfather is awesome; I am close to my entire family; I am best friends with my brother; we’ve always lived in a great neighborhood; I went to good public schools; I’ve always been well-liked and have avoided having any major diseases.

I think the above really sums up “a good childhood” and I am eternally greatful for it.

We were poor frequently, my parents were chronically under or unemployed and I was bullied at school from grades 3 through 10. But I had a great childhood. Never starved, never wanted for shelter (lost two houses to foreclosure, but never wanted for shelter) always knew my parents loved me, had consistent fair and kind discipline at home, was encouraged to grow up and be my own person. My parents taught me to have compassion for other people and exemplified a commitment to right action above convenience.

The bookshelves were always full and my parents encouraged me to read and were always there to discuss what I’d read. Our house was always full of laughter and good conversation. In spite of western-style poverty, my mother taught me the sacredness of hospitality. Our home was a haven to my brother’s and my teenage friends - open to all so long as their parents knew where they were.

I was not physically, emotionally or sexually abused. We had little financial security, and yes, that was hard and at times too much for me to deal with, but I grew up with all the things that money can’t buy. I was never told I wouldn’t be competent to do something, always told to try and see if I could.

I told my mother recently that I’d had a happy childhood and she made me sad when she said “but no-one has a happy childhood.” Hers was miserable and a lot of women her age where I grew up had abusive older male relatives on hand to ruin things. It was my pleasure to be able to explain to her how she and Dad had succeeded in making a good home for us to grow up in, in spite of everything.

I had a pretty great childhood. My memories of “bad” things include being picked on by siblings, but that is so minor…

Makes me feel I have nothing to contribute to these boards, some days…

I had a completely awesome childhood.

My parents loved me, never hurt me. My brother, though we were too far apart in age to really feel close (I really do need to rectify that one of these days) would stand up for me in any situation. My parents quit smoking for me when I was 4 years old. My grandmother lived with us, and I loved her. We were very close. My friends were a lot of fun. The good life lasted until around 14 years of age.

We lived in a small town on an island, my family had a pool, friends would frequently come over to swim. We even had a big light so we could swim at night. More frequently, however, in the summer our neighbourhood was busy with games of hide-and-go-seek and spotlight, and people would come from all over the town - sometimes we’d have as many as 20 people.

We had a dog. I had a bike.

There were a lot of kids in my neighbourhood, and we all hung out together. We all had a lot of friends. Junior high broke us up, but until then, it was bliss.

Christmas was amazing. We got to go to my aunt and uncle’s house, and I thought it was just so fun there. My cousin had an Atari and a waterbed. I only had 5 cousins, and they were older than me (at least 7 years)… but when we got together at my aunt and uncle’s for Christmas, I had to hang out with them, and I felt so cool hanging out with the big kids and playing Atari.

I could go on forever, but it would only make me sad. Gah, that was the best time ever. I hope to be even half that happy again at some point in my life. Anyone know how?

I had a tough hardscrabble existence in the wild streets of suburban Cleveland, Ohio. I had to make due with two parents who loved me and my siblings and who took care of us all.

I was very fortunate growing up and I was smart enough to realize it and appreciate it at the time.

I did. I had nice, loving parents, and a nice house in a nice, safe neighborhood. They taught me how to take care of things on my own, but I always knew that they trusted me, and would support me, even if I had a problem with an adult, because they knew my personality.

My grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins all lived in the area, so we saw each other all the time. I had kids around, a dog and a big yard to play in. My parents somehow managed to buy me almost every big ticket item I wanted, without turning me into a greedy brat. It was great to run around outside all day long in the summer, stay up late reading or playing video-games, then do it all again the next day.

There were problems at times, but never big ones, and everyone would work together to get through it.

I was happy then, but didn’t realize just how bad some people had it at the time. Even though my house was like a haven for some of the kids in the family who were less fortunate.

I, too, was blessed. Loved, taken care of, but not spoiled (too much).

Mostly, though, I wanted to point out how lucky I was to be able to enjoy the spirit of the sixties but with few, if any, responsibilities at the time. I remember year after year, and especially summer after summer, at the beach and the local amusement park, “groovin” on the music. What an era! The music of of the time defined it. Even today, forty years later, every time I hear an old tune of Lou Christie or the Supremes, or The Beach Boys or The Lovin’ Spoonful, I’m taken back. Sounds cliched and corny, but it’s true.

I lived a good life from 4 to 14.

Before 4, it wasn’t bad, per se, just rough. I lived in India, and my family was very poor. My mother had me illigitimately so she was ostracized and not in the least respected, and my aunt, who took care of me, was dirt-poor. Still, she loved me and I loved her so being poor isn’t as horrible when you’re surrounded by loving people.

The next ten years were in America and I had everything - but much less love and affection. Still, I was malnourished when i came here and that was taken care of.

Count me in.

My life growing up was pretty idyllic. Parents got along, no money problems, lots of stability. My folks were more into “toys” than fine furniture and luxury homes, So I grew up with a nice bike, go-cart, my own car, a ski boat, and eventually an airplane as well. My high-school memories are of skiing trips, vacations, my friends and I flying dad’s plane to the beach, and generally just enjoying growing up. There were no problems with drugs or alchohol, and my folks are still together (54 years).

I’m re-creating (I hope) the same type of life for my kids, (right down to the flying, even). I spent last weekend waterskiing with my son, and most of this morning flying with him. I hope he’s enjoying his childhood as much as I did.

I had a good childhood. We didn’t have a lot of money, my parents both smoked a lot of cigarettes, and I had some social turmoil in school, but–

My parents drank very moderately and didn’t use drugs. AFAIK, no one in the family did.
My parents weren’t abusive. AFAIK, …
I was never called a name or insulted by an adult family member.
My father spent a lot of time talking with me about issues that I would now characterize as curiosity, compassion, and justice.
Education and creativity were valued.
People were generally interested in each other.
I always felt secure, even when I was of a certain age and felt anger and contempt for my stupid parents.

Life in our lower middle-class home was good. My brother and sister, who are 10/11 years older than me, had it somewhat worse. They grew up eating rutabega soup and having an abusive alcoholic for a father, who left us when I was about two. Very traumatic for them. Life got significantly better a few years later, and by the time I was old enough to know what was happening, we were living in a safe neighborhood, I was attending good schools, and we always had food on the table. My mother and step-father rarely laid a hand on me and I came and went pretty much as I pleased in my later teen years.

I had it great. We lived in a small enough town that I could ride my bike to elementary school, and the Junior High was even closer.

My mom stayed home with me and my sister when we were very young, then worked the same hours as the school for a number of years after that. Later, she went to work in the evenings, which is why I learned to cook, but it was always big fun rather than a tedious chore.

I don’t remember ever seeing my parents fighting. We were well into middle-class - my dad was a big saver, so we didn’t go on fancy vacations, but we went camping for one or two weeks every year, without fail. They drove us all over the West. Some years we had a boat or a camping trailer; some years it was camping out of tents, but I grew up seeing most of the best parts of California.

We had a lot of freedom, compared to what my children are allowed. My friends and I could take our dogs and just take off for the day during the summer, and we couldn’t have been much more than ten. There was an empty field a few blocks over (that’s covered with million-dollar houses now) that we’d spend hours in, completely unsupervised. We belonged to a community pool, and we could ride our bikes there in the summer. The neighbor kids all treated all of the moms as interchangeable. Summers especially were fabulous.

Mom grew a garden, and was totally permissive in letting us have odd pets. Besides the usual cats and dogs, we had all of the small mammals, chickens, ducks, and the odd tarantula or two. Every year, we’d hatch out butterflies, tomato hornworms, preying mantises, pollywogs; you name it. When the third grade hatched eggs as a science project, we were the kids who got to take the chicks home, although we lived in town. I raised a number of baby animals on bottles, including a memorable pair of field mice. Not a lot of moms would put up with that in the house!

My sister and I were both encouraged to go to work after school at a young age, but we weren’t forced to by any means. I started volunteering for a vet at the age of fourteen, because that’s what I wanted to go into, and my folks were totally supportive of this. With the money from that job, I bought my first car, and Dad spent hours helping me fix it up.

My Dad’s thriftiness paid off for him when he paid a thirty-year mortgage off in seventeen years and sent both me and my sister to four years of college each. If I didn’t have that degree, I’d be nowhere near the success that I am today, even though I’m not actually working in my degree field. Dad understood that it’s the paper and effort that counts more than the major, and didn’t discourage me from following my dream. He knew that a course of study that kept me interested would pay off much more than one that would stifle me, and he was right.

The best part I think was that Dad always treated my sister and I as if we had every right and ability do do absolutely anything that we wanted with our lives, and I grew up in the borderline of the time when that wasn’t always the case for girls. They never assumed that we would just get married and go on to be mothers and little else; they always took it for granted that we would want complete education and power over our own lives. They weren’t disappointed when each of us did get married and have children, but they wanted that not to be our only option, and they gave us the skills to back that up. I think Dad’s rather proud that I own my own business now, even if it’s small. He sure supported Mom when she had her businesses.