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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family: How it shapes children’s lives

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Family is a group of people whom you spend most of your life with. They


see how you act under pressure and how easily you become angered, yet love


each other despite their faults. Family is a very important part of the way a child





grows, thinks, and behaves. One’s family, especially the parents, contributes in


shaping their attitudes and minds. Family also helps to distinguish the


differences between right and wrong and gives guidance to their family in making


the right decisions. Family is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “a group of


people connected by blood or marriage and sharing common ancestry.”


Although this is the mere surface of family, most relationships within the family go


much deeper. Family units learn to depend on each other, grow with each other,


and share with each other to bring out the potential in everyone, so that it is


possible for them to fulfill their dreams. Family is so important because it is not


only one of the first means of socialization for a child but it stays with them until


death. The bond within the family is incredible, in most cases, because they


encounter so many obstacles yet remain united. Family uses primarily three


factors when raising a child, which are physical, emotional and spiritual factors.


Each of these factors plays a significant role in a child’s life, preparing them for


the independent world, and also showing them that they are loved and important.


When dealing with physical factors shaping a child, there are several


aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Some aspects are abuse,


discipline, shelter, food, clothes, protection, and affection. Abuse is often


expressed to a child through a stressful parent; but it is still unacceptable.


Abuse has severe negative effects on a child because that child may feel that


love is shown through abuse and it would be very possible that they would either


enter an abusive relationship or abuse others. “Responsive parents view a


discipline encounter as an opportunity to teach the child something rather than as


an opportunity to vent their anger.” (Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 11) Although


abuse is wrong, discipline is needed to shape a child’s behavior. Many people


would debate whether or not spanking is appropriate or not, but to get a firm


point across, spanking is necessary. If a child were doing something wrong that


could cause danger on themselves, the quickest way to get the point across that


it is wrong, is by a soft spank. Although a spank can be very effective, impulsive


moves could cause one to hit, not spank, their child. Being impulsive is a bad


idea, the best way to discipline a child is openly. “Effective discipline requires


that parents be responsive, not reactive, to their children’s misbehavior.”


(Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 11) Shelter is a form of security for children,


providing for the family to fulfill their need for privacy and protection from the rest


of the world. Clothes and food are vital for the survival of the family simply


because death is a possibility for those lacking in this area. Food is necessary to


live especially for growing children and clothes help to boast ones self-esteem


and to keep them warm and/or comfortable. Reassuring family and children of


protection causes them to feel safe and comfortable in their home. Raising a


family in a safe environment is very important in shaping a child’s behavior. If a


child were to grow up in an area that has a known tendency to steal, than that


child would most likely grow up stealing. If a child were to grow up in an area


that has a known tendency to be racist, then that child would most likely grow up


making racist comments. “The same parents who practice violence within their


marital relationship is likely to be abusive when ‘disciplining’ their children.


Children who are victims of abuse may subsequently display violent behaviors


with siblings or peers.” (Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 4)


There are many aspects related to emotional factors, such as love, verbal


abuse, admiration, attention, compassion, discipline, individuality and


communication. Love is a large portion in shaping a child, but love alone will not


do. Showing a child that they are loved will boost their self-esteem and cause


them to show more love to others as well. “Unfortunately, parents often


communicate poorly when they are upset, angry, or frustrated. Many children


receive more than their share of criticism, which may gradually erode their self-


esteem.” (Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 187) Verbal abuse could do the same thing


as a lack of love. This will bring about doubt into the mind of a child, whether or


not they are loved. This will wear down their self-esteem, causing them to feel l


like everything they do is wrong. “Emotional abuse and neglect leave scars as


deep and enduring as battering.” (Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 4) Admiration is


important because it lets the child know that you care about what they do and


that you are paying attention to them. Attention will feed the hunger that they


have for your approval, so they are aware that you are concerned with their


safety and only want what’s best. Although this does not seem like that big of a


deal, to a child who is just looking for love, it is. Compassion is necessary to


create a bond with the child, so that child will learn to trust, understand and obey.


Compassion will let the child know that parent’s are not big monsters, but people


who are there to protect and love them. Discipline is a very tricky area because


too much discipline will scar a child, but so will too little. If a child is disciplined


too much, they will rebel against what their parents are asking of them, and


cause them to think that their parent’s only reason for living is to discipline them.


If a child is not disciplined enough, they will believe that they can get away with


anything or what they are doing isn’t wrong. Also, if a child isn’t disciplined


enough, a child might think that their parent’s do not care about their safety or for


them at all. Individuality is very important when dealing with siblings. No


comparisons should be made between the two such as “Why don’t you ever


clean your room Dylan? Bobby’s room is clean all the time.” This makes it seem


as though favorites are involved, or as though one child is below all of the rest.


This can have long-term effects and possibly cause the neglected child to hold a


grudge on their siblings. Communication is vital because a child must be


comfortable with coming to their parents for advice or problems. Communication


is the key in problem situations so that the parents are able to help them when


the time comes. “Poor communication is almost always a factor in poor family


relationships and interpersonal conflict. Successful, caring relationships require


effective, direct communication.” (Michael L. Jaffe, 11, p. 157)


There are many different aspects related to spiritual factors such as


morals, beliefs, values, priorities, the differences between good and bad and


helping them to choose between the two.


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