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Good ‘Ol East Texas, USA

texas field

Living in East Texas can be very different depending on who you’re talking to. Some describe it as a safe haven with business-friendly policies, especially for a state-located LLC in Texas. Some say the roses and azaleas are to die for, some say the humidity is literally to.die.for. Some love this close-knit community, saying, “it’s the perfect place to raise a family!” Others can’t wait to scamper on over to Tinseltown, otherwise known as Dallas. Liquor sales still don’t exist in Smith County---People drive 30 minutes “down the road” in either direction in order to find those.

My teen years were filled with these differing opinions of my hometown. All my friends talking about the day they would escape and never come back...OR the day they would choose the East Texas tradition and start a family. Post-high school, I chose option A...I was going to get a degree and move away and experience ALL the things the big cities had to offer (a very similar mindset to about 50% of East Texas teens at any given point in time).

Then, something amazing happened. While working on my Master’s degree in Denver, I met another dislocated East Texan who eventually convinced me to “boomerang” back to East Texas—a phrase used to describe someone who moves far away from his or her hometown, and for many reasons, decides to come back. This phenomenon eventually brings influence from larger communities like Denver to smaller communities like Tyler.

I learned how to be a marriage & family therapist in a community fully saturated in resources. Now I’m practicing in a “good ‘ol East Texas” Town--where sometimes a teen’s only option for an after-school program is at a church, children’s classmates might as well be considered siblings, and parenting styles range anywhere from “my momma did it this way, and I turned out alright” to “my momma did it this way, so I’ll do it completely different”. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things. In fact, it’s unfair to a community like Tyler to be compared to a community like Denver. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.

That’s where our online presence with Kids in the House comes in. We take what mama taught us seriously, then go do our own research online to make sure we are doing what the experts say we “should” be doing. Those online experts have a lot of really good info, but something still doesn’t feel right about what we find. That small town flavor we’re looking for is missing. My friends, this blog is the link you’ve been waiting for. Let us explain to you the art of “cultural blending” as it applies to parenting styles and raising the next generation of children, right here in “good ‘ol East Texas”, USA.

Rosemary Reeves's picture
Parent Education Coordinator

Rosemary Reeves is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate in Texas specializing in parenting for abused children.  She spent her teen years in East Texas, moving across the country for her degrees in Human Development & Family Studies and Marriage & Family Therapy.  Her professional background includes school counseling, swim lessons for special needs populations, child & adolescent psychiatric inpatient counseling, and parent education & trauma-focused interventions through a children’s advocacy center.