November 3, 2014Blog
If You Think You’re a Great Parent, then Your Focus is on the Wrong Family Member!
Many parents, okay, most parents work very hard to provide financially, emotionally, spiritually for their kids. Every parent wants to give their kid “a better life then they had,” right? Yet, families today are facing more economic, emotional and hardships than ever before. It kind of reminds me of a part of a wise proverb that goes something like “you will ALWAYS have the poor.”
Well, we do have a lot of economic challenges, especially for peers living with mental health disorders. But does that make us a bad parent…are poor people, mentally ill people bad parents? NO! If you’re parenting and it’s all about you and you neglect your kids, or if you just neglect your kids’ basic needs…then, you could be considered a bad parent.
Parenting is a learned skill, one that may be passed along with many, many inconsistencies inaccuracies and terms like “well that’s what my mother used to to do and I’m fine,” or “my father did that and we turned out great…” We will defend Mom and Dad’s parenting style tooth and bone, but sometimes: we need to break some very unproductive cycles to make the family run smoothly.
NOTE: not every family will be like Bill Cosby’s “Huxtables” or any other 30 minute show that has a loving Mother and Father. IN 2014, the family dis-unity has added to the stress that is breaking down our civilization to barbaric forms of communication:
- We write on walls to talk to friends. (Facebook)
- Yes use carrier pigeon to send short messages. (Twitter)
- We use a cork board to show photos (Pinterest)
All the tech that has meant to bring families together is in fact pushing us apart. The mounting bills just to stay a float keeps many of us living pay check to pay check. There is a loss of family time, when you’re dealing with trying to get well mentally. You could even lose your family in the process.
What Can We Do to Save our Family or Re-Connect with Them?
What am I providing for my family? Living with Bipolar Disorder, and having experienced crashes that have landed me hospitalized in the paste, and many that should have had me in the CSU….It makes me worried if I can maintiain balance and keep a safe haven of love and understanding in my own home?
As you know, needs and wants are two different things. How much financially does any family need to be happy?
- We all find happiness when our basic needs are met like food, clothing, shelter. But, when is enough really enough or too much? My wife feels that the more you have, the more you have to take care of and worry about. All families need to find contentment and appreciation for what they already have. Many in our global family suffer without even basic things like enough food or clean water. Here in the States, we may be accustomed to a luxurious standard of living in comparison to other countries. Media constantly bombard parents and kids with the latest items… everyone “needs” to run out and purchase these latest trending items to: be happy, feel beautiful, be young or to keep up with the Jones. Over-consumerism is destroying our planet and sadly, some families too.
- Providing for my family is important to me as a husband and father. I realize that I also need to make sure my family’s mental, emotional health is provided for as well. Each parent needs to consider what may be positively or negatively impacting the mental health of their children. Spending lots of time obtaining the latest device or new piece of clothing and spending less time communicating with my family…can have a negative impact.
- Having dinner (or at least one meal) together if possible daily as a family can help me as a Father/Parent/Husband communicate with my family to check-in and find out how everyone is feeling and doing. Each family needs a safe environment emotionally in order to thrive mentally.
- Kids need more than the latest toys, clothes, gadgets to be happy. Thinking in terms of the whole child… examining and contemplating our kids’ health both physical and mental, emotional is important. As a parent, who has struggled at times, with mental and physical health issues…My kids over-all well-being is important to me. I am sure your kids’ health is important to you.
- Communicating with our kids openly and freely and on a need-to-know, age-appropriate basis can help sustain and maintain our kids’ mental, physical and emotional health. Parents and kids need on-going education to be able to tackle any challenge together in a positive, peaceful manner that contributes to the over-all mental and emotional health of the entire family.
- What kinds of things do you do together as a family? Besides fighting? (Just joking)… sadly, though, some families cope often with conflict. Acquiring better or peacefully effective communication skills between parents and parents, between kids and kids and between parents and kids can help everyone stay healthy, wise and mentally well.
Yes, all parents want the best for their kids and want to contribute to their wellness now and in the future. What are we truly providing?
We can, each day, work our best to provide a safe, stable environment for our kids not only financially, but emotionally and mentally as well.
Chato Stewart Consumer Peer Ambassador