How do you raise a Texan?

Published On: Sep 03 2012 04:26:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 04 2012 07:50:43 AM CDT

Sept. 4, 2012: The new generation of Texans are as diverse as our great state. How do you raise a child to be a true Texan? Lauren Freeman reports.

HOUSTON -

The new generation of Texans are as diverse as our great state.

They are named Austin and Jose and take their first steps in boots in big cities and small towns.

In September, Texas Monthly magazine features several articles on how to raise a Texan from birth until you send them to college, preferably in Texas.

Over the holiday weekend, Local 2's Lauren Freeman took her boys to the real Texas country in her hometown of Childress, about 100 miles outside of Amarillo.

In Childress the cotton is high, boots are built Texas-tough for work not for show and Friday high school football is only to be missed if the cattle get out.

Lauren's boys are from a long line of Texans, but they are still city boys and working on talking Texan.

"Can you say y'all?" Lauren asked her youngest son, who responded with a raspberry sound.

Harrison is not yet 2 years old, so there is still plenty of time to get down proper Texas talk.

The magazine includes a quiz for parents to figure out how they rank in raising a Texan. It's multiple choice and all in good fun so it won't stress out parents already working on their seventh-grade Alamo projects.

We stopped at Buc-ee's in Wharton to ask a few Texas parents buying beaver nuggets and beef jerky to answer a few questions from the quiz.

The first question was when they thought a child should receive their first Texas gift?

"When he comes home from the hospital," said Dean Gilmore, a native Texas who was proudly wearing a red ball cap with state letters spelled out.

"They have to earn it," said Pastor Max Miller of Mt. Hebrew Missionary Baptist Church of Houston.

"Probably when they are first born out the womb," said Bruce Yerdon, a Texas native who said he wouldn't mind moving out of Texas because of the heat.

Next question: When should you teach children those Texas dances?

"Probably 14 months they are going to learn to dance," Texas-born Gilmore said

"PE will teach them that," said Miller, a native Texan.

"As soon as possible because women here love a country dancer," said a smiling Yerdon.

Writer and mother Mimi Swartz said she is still working on her two-step, but she is as Texan as they come.

"Very Texan. I work at Texas Monthly -- I can't say anything else," said the executive editor.

In the September issue of the magazine she wrote about letting go of the Texan she raised and hoped he will come back.

"That is supposed to be you," she told her son, Sam, while pointing to a drawing in the magazine of a student sitting under a Texas flag in a room in New York City.

Her son is headed back to New York University, where a Texas flag she ordered him online is waiting for him in his room. Swartz said when she first dropped him off she picked up Mexican food flyers from the sidewalk and gave them to him so he would know where there are nearby restaurants. She hopes after graduation the lack of authentic Tex-Mex will eventually lead her son back home to grow old on the same Texas soil, where generations of their family have planted their roots.

"Soon I will be the last one standing, and when I am gone one family that has been here from the 1860s will be gone from Texas. That's a heavy burden to put on a child, so I tell myself even if Sam isn't a Texan in Texas, he will always be one in his heart," said Swartz reading from the article she had written.

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