At the same time they are asked to take up ballet dancing (in the case of girls), taekwando (in the case of boys), music lessons, computer classes and so on. On top of this, they insist that their children obtain straight ‘A’s in their examinations and excel in everything else. In this rat-race they turn their children into display objects; possessions which they can be proud to show off to their friends and relatives and for others to talk about. In the good old days, life as a child and a teenager was never stressful because there were not too many expectations to fulfil.
But children these days, especially those in urban areas, seem to have so many things to do and compete in that they are deprived of a normal childhood. Many people fail to realise that as parents, they have certain rights and also responsibilities. The child has his or her rights and responsibilities too. What we have today are people who want to be super parents, but in many cases the children do not turn out to be super. Parents should therefore be realistic and reasonable. They should not set targets which they well know their children cannot fulfill, thus avoiding unnecessary stress and disappointments to the family.
Building a happy family is a continuous process. Hence, parents must not only be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities, but also apply modern techniques in parenting accordingly. Remember the saying of the Taoist philosopher, Zhuang Zu; ‘if you have 6 fingers do not try to made them 5, and if you have 5 fingers do not try to made them 6. Do not go against nature. ’ You are responsible as a concerned parent for the well-being and up-bringing of your children. If the child grows up to be a strong, healthy and useful citizen, it is the result of your efforts.
The poem, Little Boy Crying, written by Mervyn Morris is mainly about father and sons relationship. Poet shows the two main themes through this relationship; fathers love towards his child and his effort to lead his child into a right world in life. Mervyn Morris explores the child and parents relationship by using second person narration and language techniques such as allusion and emotive words. ...
If the child grows up to be a delinquent, it is you who must bear the responsibility. Do not blame others. As parents, it is your bounden duty to guide your child on a proper path. Although there are a few incorrigible cases of juvenile delinquency, nevertheless as parents, you are morally responsible for the behavior of your children. Parental support and control have to be adjusted as the child grows. The ultimate goal of parenting is to become a friend to your child but only according to his capacity to accept responsibility. A mistake some parents make is that they want to be a friend to their six-year old.
But we need to be careful about what we mean 1 by “friend”. It certainly does not mean we treat a child as if he is an equal in maturity. But there must be love, trust and respect. At that age, a child needs a parent, not a friend. While building a loving and supportive relationship with the children, it is recommended that parents help them develop spiritually. Above all, you must have time for your child. Time to answer his questions, to help him understand the wonder of life. You have to bear in mind that you are stifling the creativity in your child when you do not answer the questions that he is raising.
When a child is asking questions, he is indeed seeking to communicate, so the biggest challenge confronting you is to respond readily with love, and everything you do should be congruent with the natural inquisitiveness in a child. Being spontaneous is also important in getting children involved in things and the greatest scientists have been known to be spontaneous. If parents do not know the answers to questions they must make it a point to find it out for their children instead of brushing them of and telling them that they are too busy, or it is not important, thus shutting them up and stifling their curiosity.
Review Questions 1. What is a family? What is family composition? 2. What is cultural bias? What is an example of this? 3. What are stereotypes? How are they different from prejudice? 4. What is the difference between a nuclear family and an extended family? Critical Thinking Questions 1. How can families assimilate to a new culture? 2. What are some of the problems with stereotypes or cultural ...
You will feel guilty about telling your children during their most tender and inquisitive age: ‘Don’t ask so many questions! ’ As a caring and responsible parent you should in fact respond readily to that natural inquisitiveness in your child. The scientific way of solving a problem is to look at the problem, find all the data available and then come up with a solution in a coherent manner. Likewise, a child whose curiosity meets with a favoured respond will learn to think and act scientifically as well as creatively and this will serve him well into adulthood.
For instance, when you give a toy to your child, you should give it with tender love and joy. Instead, certain parents tend to almost shout: ‘ don’t open it like that. Don’t break the toy, it is very expensive. Do you know how lucky you are to get such a toy? ’ If you can afford to buy the toy, he will quite logically think he can afford to break it. You could instead be part of his discovery by telling him: ‘Come my dear, lets open the toy box together,’ and use the fun element instead of the negative element. Give the present with joy and love. It can be done if you are not stressed and unhappy yourself.
You must be happy for it is only in a state of happiness that one is comfortable and generous. Parents sometimes are to be blamed for unwittingly inculcating negative social habits in their children. For instance, a parent who asks a child to say that he or she is not in when answering a phone call (a seemingly innocent act) plants the first seed of falsehood in the tender mind of the child. If allowed to flourish in an environment not conducive to promoting human values, the child may well in the future, become a destructive element to the peace, happiness and well being of families and society, and more importantly, to himself. Many parents and elders are today responsible for planting these seeds of falsehood in many different ways. They either encourage falsehood directly, or by acting or speaking falsely, initiating and allowing the vicious cycle of human value degradation to develop. The fate of our children may well depend upon the parents and elders developing the right attitude towards a moral upbringing truth and truthful living. Children echo the language of their parents. To prevent the use of rude or vulgar worlds, responsible parents should use pleasant terms, as children generally tend to imitate their parents.
... chosen, the adoptive parents will have a child that they will have to love and care for as if the child was theirs biologically. Adamec ... unplanned babies are born and a good number of unmarried mothers are choosing to keep their babies. There are relatively few ... : 16: 4 Brenner, Elsa.Where Divergent Cultures Meet. New York Times 12 Dec. 1999: 14 WC, 1, 2 Carney, Susan. Personal ...
A child at its most impressionable age needs the love, care, affection and attention of the parents. Without parental love and guidance, the child will be emotionally handicapped and will find the world a bewildering place to live in. Showering parental love on the other hand does not mean pandering to all the demands of the child, reasonable or otherwise. Too much pampering would in fact, spoil the child. The mother in bestowing the love and care on the child, should also be strict and firm, but not harsh. Show your love with a disciplined hand – the child will understand.
Parents should spend more quality time with their children, particularly, during their formative years. They should consider giving their children the gift of healthy parenting instead of showering them with material presents. The gift includes giving the child self-esteem, striving for positive communication, granting unconditional love and eliminating aspects that hinder the child’s psychological development. These are gifts with true, deeper meaning. Healthy parenting is the greatest gift a child can receive and a parent can give. Unfortunately, amongst contemporary parents, parental love is sadly lacking.
The mad rush for material advancement, the liberation movement and aspiration for equality among the sexes have all resulted in many mothers joining their husbands in the workforce, spending many hours in offices and shops, rather than remaining at home and attending to their offsprings. The children, left to the care of relations, day care centres or paid servants are deprived of tender motherly love and care. Providing the child with all sort of sophisticated modern toys (as a form of appeasement) such as tanks, machine guns, pistols, or swords are detrimental to character formation and not psychologically advisable.
Loading a child with such toys is no substitute for a mother’s tender love and affection. The child as a result, is unwittingly taught to condone aggression and destruction instead of being taught to be kind, compassionate and helpful. Such a child will develop violent tendencies as it grows up. Devoid of parental affection and guidance, it will not be surprising if the child subsequently grows up to be a delinquent. Then, who is to be blamed for bringing up such a wayward child? The parents, of course! 3
When you are a child, who takes care of you? Now, the cost of living is so high that many people under age twenty-five are moving back in with their parents. Young people are getting married later now than they used to. The average age for a woman to get married is about twenty-four, and for a man twenty-six. Newly married couples often postpone having children while they are establishing careers. ...
The working mother, especially after a hard day’s work in an office, followed by household chores, can hardly find time for a child that is yearning for her care and attention. Parents who have no time for their children now should not complaint later in life when these same children have no time for them. Parents who claim that they spend a lot of money on their children but are too busy to spend time with them should not complain when in their old age, their ‘busy’ children in turn decide to leave them in homes for the aged!
Most women work today so that their families can enjoy more material benefits. They should seriously consider Gandhi’s advice for men to seek freedom from greed rather than freedom from need. Of course, given today’s economic setup we cannot deny that some mother are forced to work. In such a case, the father and mother must make extra sacrifices of their time to compensate for what their children miss when they are away. If both parents spent their non-working hours at home with their children, there will be greater harmony and understanding between parents and children.
We call this ‘quality time’ with the family. Children who are left in the care of relatives, day care centres and paid servants, as well as latch key children who are left to their own devices at home, are often deprived of motherly love and care. The mother, feeling guilty about this lack of attention, will try to placate the child by giving in to all sorts of demands. Such actions only spoil the child. Most men devote their energies and their creativity to their work and thus what energy they have reserved for the family are merely the ‘leftovers’.
Here is where the argument for quality time comes in, usually from guilty parents who want to justify the limited time they spend with their children. One of the flaws of the quality time concept lies in the fact that the needs of the children and the availability of the parents do not always converge. When the children need them, they are not around. Parents are often placed in a dilemma. Rushing home from a hard day’s work, weary parents have the household chores waiting for them.
... simply two people. Under the old family system parents arranged marriages without the consent of their children, either male or female. In the current ... their mother in laws. The mother in law directed then wife in her housework and had the power to send the ... will date so they know each other well by the time they marry The pattern is so common that Koreans assume ...
When the day’s work is done, it would be time for dinner followed by watching TV, and whatever time there is left is hardly enough to attend to a child’s need for love and affection. More importantly, parents are not around to transmit cultural, social and religious values to their children at the time when children are best attuned to receive them. This cannot be simply forced on to the children during ‘quality time’! Some working parents may even take their work home and bring back the stress and tension they gathered at their work place. As a result, they may lose their temper at the children. 4
As husband and wife, they may not have enough time together and this may even lead to broken marriages. There should be increased awareness that strong family ties can contribute to the healthy growth of a child. Gender differences do operate in parent/child relationships. It is said that mother and their grown-up daughters communicate often, even after the daughters are married and have left home. The father perhaps think that the son is a big boy and that he should know his role and duties at home, towards his parents and outside the home. But with mothers, it is different – the daughter is forever ‘my little girl. Whatever it is, parents have an important role to play in bringing up their children and doing it well if they want to help ease the many ills plaguing our society today. Good values cannot be taught through words, but example by conduct trough. Parents must be good models themselves. The old parental attitude that ‘you do whatever father tells you to do and not what he does,’ does not hold water any more. Parents must be of the right character themselves. If we want our children to begin life well with the proper values, we have to start and conduct at home.
If there are problems in the relationship between the child and parent, the parent must begin to look within themselves for the cause of those problems. Sacrifices by both parents are needed. They should make time and try as far as possible to get the family members involved together in family – oriented activities. In essence, the answer lies in setting their priorities right i. e. , putting the family ant marriage at the top of their list of priorities in life, thus creating a close-knit family relationship for a harmonious environment at home.
... and a father in raising children. Also, the children have no chance to witness a husband/wife relationship, which the society thinks ... positive note. Carpenter believed that gay marriage helps children. He said that gay parenting nowadays is very common in the United ... impact in strengthening the ties between couples, their children and extended families. It is interesting to note, however, that ...
A Happy Family It is true in every society that a family is the smallest social unit. If every family in the country is happy, the whole nation will be happy. What constitutes a happy family? A happy family is defined as one that is stable in terms of social, economic, psychological and physical aspects of life; and where there is warm affection and harmony among family members. A family which can strike a balance between these factors is indeed a happy family. But when we look around us and at the situation in most parts of the world, what do we see?
Children loitering in the streets and video arcades. They play truant. Children are abused, wives are beaten and ageing parents are packed off to old 5 folks homes regardless of their feelings. All these are tell-tale signs that all is not well at the most basic level of society: these are sign of social decadence. It is a sad situation when good values and traditions are no longer practised. There is little interaction among members of the family and friends and the sense of responsibility towards other members of the family is weakening.
Unhappiness in the family may be attributed to poverty, but having material wealth is no guarantee of happiness either, if it simply breeds selfishness, cruelty and greed. A child learns affection and love from his parents and, together they make a happy family unit. Through this microcosm of society, it learns about caring, sharing, compassion and concern for others. Throughout the ages, religion has been an important force to organise these values into a system that is easily recognised and taught.
Thus family and religion are vital components in imparting and nurturing these values. The family plays an important role in the development of its members. The best of Asian and Western cultures teach and practise respect for elders, compassion for the sick and needy, care for elderly parents and consideration for the young. Children growing up in families practising these values will emulate them and act accordingly towards others. But with the vast technological advances in modern civilization we are fast losing these values.
Something must be done to bring the family back together and save society. We must protect and support family development as an institution in the light of the rapid demographic and socio-economic changes world-wide. Extended families are giving way to nuclear families. We can do little to stop this trend but the values of respect, concern and compassion must be preserved. Good values, both Eastern and Western must be maintained despite changes in lifestyle brought on by modernisation, industrialisation and urbanisation. The mother is an important figure in family development.
As care, love, tenderness and compassion are her innate qualities; she imparts these sterling values to her children in their upbringing. The mother, because of her love, concern, compassion, patience and tolerance thus holds the family together. Her espousal of these values may be passed on the her children who are great imitators and who learn by examples. We must as a group reinstate the traditional function of the mother, with of course adjustments to suit modern needs and pressures. Religion too, promotes good human values. Strong resilient families and the pratice of religion are therefore necessary in he promotion of family development. 6 It could be said that a happy family is a group of people living amicably and peacefully together with emphasis on religion, discipline and parenthood to create a happy family atmosphere. Value like these should be upheld and religiously protected so that a family is not influenced by anti-social values and unacceptable norms. Realistic and reasonable parents make a happy family. And the only way parents can build a happy family is through the institution of marriage. It has worked very well in the past. It can do so now, provided we make it relevant to the needs of today’s living.
Marital Problems Almost every day, we hear of people complaining about their marriages. Young people reading romantic novels and seeing romantic films often conclude that marriage is a bed of roses. Unfortunately, marriage is not as sweet as one thinks. Marriage and marital problems are inter-related and people must remember that when they get married, they will have to face certain problems and responsibilities that they have never expected or experienced before. After the euphoria of the wedding, the realities of living together will set in for the couple, and for some, the prospects are daunting.
Lack of communication or interaction with members of the family are some of the factors which can be attributed to an unhappy marriage. A stage will be reached when husband and wife do not even communicate with each other. Common examples of non-communication between husband and wife are :- (a) at the breakfast table he is deeply engrossed with the newspaper; (b) when he returns from work he will be absorbed in his hobbies or watches television, and during the weekends he plays golf or indulges in other pastimes; (c) he does not express any feelings or concern for the wife, let alone observe important anniversaries or birthdays.
The wife on her part, after getting married, is no longer interested in her figure and general appearance. She dresses shabbily. As she no longer reads or maintains a stimulating circle of friends, the husband finds that he can no longer engage in a stimulating conversation with her. Life then becomes boring and this leads the husband to resort to drink and seek solace outside the matrimonial home. When does discontent first creep into a marriage? For most couples, the first year is usually a good year.
For some couples, the adjustments of living together as husband and wife may turn out to be a stressful experience. The arrival of the first child could also give rise to problems as both husband and wife grapple with the realities of being first-time parents. 7 Some people say that for the first year after their marriage, the husband would listen to the wife. In the second year, the wife would listen to the husband. From the third year onwards, neighbours would listen to both of them when they shout at each other.
Usually, discontent will be greater if there is no adequate preparation for marriage. For instance, pre-marital counselling will help couples prepare for the many surprises, pleasant or otherwise, that they may discover in the course of their marriage. The dissatisfaction that is supposed to hit most men after being married for some years arises from a misconception that ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. ’ The tendency to be attracted to members of the opposite sex has no age limits. Such restlessness can occur anytime during the marriage, even for women.
Boredom is the usual cause, whereas disappointment with the partner is also a common complaint. When expectations are not fulfilled, pockets of grouses will start to develop. In any case, when there is no firm commitment to the marriage and no religious foundation, anything can happen at anytime to jeopardise it. What are the roots of discontent? Many wives say that they wish their husbands would listen to them more, be more attentive to their needs or express their feelings better. It all boils down to a case of communication which is very much lacking in most modern marriages.
In the past, because of their upbringing and social conditioning women were contented to remain in the background and accept any kind of treatment at the hands of their husbands. But times have changed. Women are now much better educated, hold responsible jobs and are aware of their rights. Men must accept these realities and treat their wives as equal partners in a marriage. Women can no longer be taken for granted. For most men, marriage is a goal which they set for themselves to achieve. Having done so, they will pour their energies and ime to the other most important aspect of their lives, that is, their career or business. The expectations of women, on the other hand are totally different. They expect more love and intimacy after marriage and therefore seek to spend more time with their husbands. Bringing one’s external problems back to the home and taking it out on the spouse and children is damaging to the family’s stability and creates a stress spiral. In Asian societies, the problem of in-law interference is a common one. This is particularly so if the in-laws are able to influence the decisions of their child.
A common complaint put forward by wives is that the husbands listen to their 8 parents instead of to them. The interference of the in-laws in the upbringing of the children is also a problem. The grand-parents tend to be relaxed with the children and sometimes spoil them, while the parents have to discipline them. The conflict of values between generations is often glaring in such cases. Some young couples are not happy to allow their children to have close association with their grand parents thinking they will learn the old fashioned way of life from their grand parents.
In India and Sri Lanka and to a lesser extent even in Malaysia, the dowry system is one of the main obstacles to a happy union. The dowry could include the huge amounts of money, a bungalow, a luxury car, all of these or even more, depending on how affluent the parents are. And because parents want desperately to marry their daughters off, they make promises which they cannot keep and the marriages start to crumble. The dowry system has been abused. In the old days, a dowry was given to the daughter for safekeeping in case of an emergency.
Unlike today, the women then were totally dependent to their husbands and the dowry was a kind of insurance in case their husbands became unable to support them. Later, the dowry was to be handed over to the in-laws for safekeeping and now it has become compulsory for the daughter-in-law’s parents to present her future in-laws with the dowry. People often think that it is a duty to get married and that marriage is a very important part of their lives. However, in order to ensure a successful marriage, a couple has to harmonise their lives by minimising whatever differences they may have between them.
A couple must also learn to accept each other’s shortcomings and personal weaknesses. Even happy, well-matched couples can experience conflict, hurt, disappointment and anger. They may encounter shortcomings in areas such as showing appreciation of each other, willingness to converse and expressing emotions clearly. Do not shy away from conflict. Disagreements can lead to marital growth, not distance. Quarrels are essential for survival in a healthy marriage. But a quarrel can only be successfully terminated if both parties can forgive and forget. Be willing to work at your marriage.
Do not assume that since the first 10 or 20 years were good, the next 10 or 20 years will also be good. Love needs to be fed – with shared experience, joys and sorrows. This requires time, attention, courage and understanding. One of the major causes of marital problems is suspicion and mistrust. Both husband and wife should have and show implicit trust for one another and try not to have secrets between them. Secrets create suspicion, suspicion leads to jealousy, jealousy generates anger, anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation or divorce, suicide or even murder. 9
If a couple can share pain and pleasure in their day-to-day life, they can console each other and minimise their grievances. Thus, the wife or husband should not expect to experience only pleasure in their wedded lives. There will be a lot of painful, miserable episodes, burdens and misunderstandings. Discussing mutual problems with one another will give them confidence to resolve any obstacle that they will have to face. They must have the strong will-power to reduce tension and develop the confidence to live together with better understanding and tolerance. Men and women need the comfort of each other when facing problems and difficulties.
The feeling of insecurity and unrest will disappear and life will be more meaningful, happy and interesting if there is someone who is willing to share the other’s burden. Marital problems prompted a cynic to say that there can be a peaceful married life if the marriage is between a blind wife and a deaf husband, for the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and a deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of his wife. Extracted From The Book : Human Life & Problems The Full Text is on Sale and can be obtained from: Buddhist Missionary Society Buddhist Maha Vihara 123, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields 50470 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 10