Are We Losing Our Children? Learn How to Build a Healthy Happy Family

The breakdown of the family unit is the ultimate reason for the deterioration of our children’s behavior. Estranged family relationships, materialistic ideals and broken homes affect our children, read on to see how these affect our children and what we as parents can do about it.
Somehow it seems that our culture has shifted from adult oriented to peer oriented, as children spend more time with their friends than their parents. These friends they emulate in terms of lifestyle choices, morals and language.
The breaking away of children from parents can be seen as a natural progression to independence and a sign of the child’s individualism or maturation, but it should not be this way. The interaction and attachment between a child and a parent is very necessary, as it creates a strong foundation from which the child navigates their life. In order to build a healthy family this relationship need to be well developed otherwise the child would experience an orientation void, this is then when the peers substitute the parents.
Attachment needs to be intentionally nurtured as it does not always occur naturally. We as parents often use our position incorrectly, we tend to resort to threats and force and this only alienates the child. We should rather resort to meaningful communication and show empathy rather than use behavior that divides the relationship to build a healthy happy family.
At times our kids do vocalize their complaints about our parental control, but at the same time they assume that these minor battles are normal, and do not interfere with their happy family relationships. This should reassure us that our middle schoolers expect and do accept guidance from us. It does mean that they do hear our message, even though they are rolling their eyes at us in apparent protest. So do not back off too much, as they still need us to guide them.
In today’s consumerist culture characterized by wealth accumulation, status and commodities, we as parents spend more time working, and mothers are increasingly expected to work as well in order for the family to cope with the increasingly high cost of living. Our children are then in turn catapulted straight into the materialistic ideals of us as parents. Popularity has always been an issue in school, but somehow kids today are absolutely certain that the problem is more intense for their generation that it was for their parents. Kids believe that the right clothes, labels, makeup, piercings and appearance are the most crucial critical ingredient for achieving popularity. How do we manage to build a healthy family with all this pressure? According to some statistics, 50% of children between the ages of 6 and 7 have television in their bedrooms. And some studies have shown that children only spend about 40 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their parents. Comparing to the average of 1680 minutes a week they spend watching television. We need to find ways as to how to build a healthy family.
The internet on the other hand also seems to be a cause of the break down in today’s family relationships. The internet, but in particular the use of social networks play a huge role in emotional, psychological and social development of our children. Our children perceive anything on the internet as valid, regardless to whether it is good or bad, correct or incorrect information. We struggle even more to build a healthy happy family as our children retreat into the virtual world, thus letting go of the more personal connections with people, and letting go of the personal connections with us as parents.
Then the broken single parent homes are associated to our children reaching puberty earlier than they used to before. Especially our girls are reaching puberty much earlier. Precocious puberty is the term used for reaching puberty early, which is the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as the growth of pubic hair and the development of breasts. Although, the age for the onset of menstruation has largely remained unchanged. And although this trend is more pronounced in girls, our boys are not trailing very far behind. According to some studies, boys appear to be beginning puberty earlier than before as well.
Obesity seems to be the most significant contributor to precocious puberty, because fat tissue produces estrogen, which leads to breast development amongst others. Obesity is linked to a type of lifestyle that is characterized by a lack of parental care and largely sedentary accompanied by excessive television viewing and little exercise.
To build a healthy happy family, we need to look at the impact of divorce on our children as well. One of the alarming findings from a study on divorced or remarried homes is that the girls seem to mature sexually at much younger ages. In normal homes only 18% of girls started menstruating at 11 years or younger, but this applies to about 25% of girls in divorced homes and 35% of girls in step-families. There might be two reasons for this, one being that early puberty may be a response to the stress and conflict associated with divorce. The other being the presence of a strange male, either a boyfriend or step father that acts as an environmental cue that induces sexual readiness in young females. Research also shows that girls who grow up in these circumstances become sexually active at a younger age, they also have a greater number of partners and are at greater risk of early pregnancy, contracting STD’s, as well as depression, drug and alcohol use and abuse.
What is the answer then on how to build a healthy family? It would seem that the problem of our children growing up before their time is strongly intertwined in society’s evolution in terms of the shift in values and when we consider to be important. For example, before we used to discourage divorce, mothers working and eating in front of the television, but all these are now widely accepted. Even though it is true that these behaviors are unavoidable and even necessary at times, but the shift in mindset is where the actual problem comes in. It is impossible to change the pace of society and the values it holds, or the values it has let go of, just to start to realize the effect it has on our family can help. Start to build a healthy happy family by focusing on being a good parent, start to communicate with your child regularly, and let them know that they are valued, loved and protected in a degenerate world. Good strong family relationships have the power to combat adolescent fears and worries. Children with very good strong family relationships worries less about all appearance and popularity issues, this includes being pretty enough, having nice clothes, popularity with girls and boys, being too fat or not being tall enough.
It is gratifying to realize how influential we as parents can be in how to build a healthy family.

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