Friday, May 18, 2007


In part I we saw two muddles facing families. The family is untrained to raise children and the community is unable to focus on the unique needs of each family. Here we look at what’s affecting families and what can be done.

The Big Forces that Impact Families

Business targets individuals by age, sex, and class thereby splintering families with the powers of money.

Governments meddle in every part of family life in efforts to gain votes of individuals (families don’t have the vote).

The media promotes excesses to attract attention, viewing and spending.

The impact of these powerful forces is being multiplied by the ever expanding internet.

A Better Way - Eye on the Family

There are several simple family answers to these muddles. First, the family needs to take up more seriously its child raising job. Parents have lots of skills they use at work and in the community. Vision building, teamwork and decision making skills are also needed in families. Then, families can start insisting that the community resources focus on their special needs. Next, families need to start looking at their fitness, their social and spiritual lives. Families also need to turn attention to their own economy - working, spending and saving. E-mail and cell phones can strengthen their own communication.

What Libraries, Agencies, Churches and Businesses Can Do

Focus their attention on strengthening families.

  • Focus their attention on strengthening families.
  • Develop resource bases and make them available to families.
  • Offer family network opportunities with new technology.

To sum it up, the organization that truly advocates for families will gain community trust.

With the combined impact of these powerful forces, it’s no small wonder THE FAMILY CHALLENGE is as large as it is. Share with us your opinion of these challenges by clicking on the “comment” button found below this blog.

Friday, May 04, 2007


The Parent Muddle

When their first child is born, parents are ecstatic but often clueless. The most import job in the world is in the hands of the least skilled. We need to remind ourselves that parenting is a learned skill. Unfortunately there is limited training available for parents, so, the only training most parents get is the memories from their own childhood. As a result the onus is on the baby who must start parent education training.

To add to the muddle, parents tend to correct the problems of their childhood by doing the exact opposite for their own child. Parents of rigid parents become excessively permissive and parents of permissive parents become overly rigid. Mostly, each parent has one hard, fast and wrong opinion on child raising.

The Community Muddle

There is an endless supply of child rearing know-how in every community. These opinions are found with experts, agencies, school boards, clinics, etc. etc.

There are two problems:

  • Each family is unique
  • Each resource is unique

These two problems lead to two more problems:

  • No family can figure out who’s best
  • The resources can’t seem to cooperate

The result is that families are either on their own or they opt for one fix for most problems (the current craze is a drug prescription). The problem with that is that child rearing continues as a shot-in-the-dark. Is it any wonder that we have an epidemic of school, drug, eating, and sex problems in children?

With all these muddles, no wonder THE FAMILY CHALLENGE can be such a large obstacle. Share with us your viewpoint of these muddles by clicking on the “comment” button found below this blog.