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May 14, 2008 - 12:02pm

It Is All Just Words.......

posted by Patrick D. Burk in family, Parents.

When all is said and done, there is not one single thing that is more important than working with and taking care of our children.  In the past this was always handled, and rightly so, by the parents....however in today's world...this has also changed.  Parents are the single most influential aspect in a young person's life...that is if there is an active and engaged parenting unit in the child's life.  Parents are also the most influential even if they are bad at parenting.  That is the crux of the matter.  Good or bad....parents influence. 

You may notice that I have used the word parent, not father or mother...although that is the most significant and familiar defintion of the term.  Parent's can take many other forms as well.  Today we have grandparent's who fill this role along with aunts, uncles, older siblings and completely unrelated people.  Today we have to look at the word parent as the person who has the single most influence on the young child and hope that that influence is positive and nurturing in nature.  The very definition of parent has changed in the 21st Century.  We are on the cusp of having a redefining element in what actually is "parenting". 

This is one reason why politicians these days try to explain the importance of the "traditional" family.  What they do not see is that this definition as well has changed.  If "family" does not reflect what they percieve as the "former norm" of two parents and 2.5 children, then it must be a bad thing.  Since the basic defintion of family has changed and many are now not the norm, it is imperative that we STOP making those children, parents and caretakes feel that they are lesser in many ways.  Always reciting the nauseating "family values" politics without acknowledging the change and its importance in lowering the importance of the non-traditional family reduces the importance of exactly what these non-traditional parents are accomplishing.

Can you  imagine a child realizing that they are in a lesser family unit because a politician, teacher or religious leader steps up and tells them that the optimum family is a Mom, Dad and 2.5 children.  The child will realize that they are being told that they are in a much lesser form of family when in fact, they may be in a wonderfully stable environment.  So what is more important?  Having the old norm of family permeate the child and his thinking or redefining the word and realizing that there are non-traditional settings that are great families.  I have actually met a child that was told that he would be better in school if he had two parents to concentrate on his educational needs.

Now that statement may be true. There is not a doubt that the two parent family (again notice the removal of terms father and mother) is in fact the optimum ideal...but that does not diminish the grandmother that has the successful opportunity to raise her loving grandchildren because that is thier family of choice or need.  It also does not  explain why in non-traditional families, there is also a great emphasis placed on character education and nurturing.  There are plenty of examples of two parent traditional families who have not been successful in providing the stable, nurturing and loving environment that is needed for raising our children.   There are phenominal examples of non-traditional families that excel.  

You may be wondering where all this has come from.  I do like to write about a ton of topics, but this comes from a direct conversation that I have had with another person in the field of education.  It is pure, plain and simple....if we tell the child that they are coming from a lesser value of family, the child - as a member of that family - will also think that they are lesser.  It is time to redefine what the word "family" means.  It is time to take a clear look at who the "parents" are with each child and it is time to stop thinking that just because a child has a mom and a dad he is from a stable nurturing environment.  It is time to think of the child instead or our antiquated definitiions of words.

Thanks for listening.




Wayne Speed
Wayne Speed's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: May 15 2008 - 7:58am
It seems to me that you make the argument yourself. The "traditional family" is the unit that works best. Every other accommodation is then by definition -- at least by some degree inferior to the best. While not wanting to degrade any other form of parenting (and certainly not the children who come from those homes), neither would I like to ignore the method that seems to me the "best". I believe that God's plan for parenting (a mother and a father raising their own children) is the "best". When that family structure has not been achieved, other lesser means should be substituted and may often achieve very good results. It is true that sometimes the "traditional family" does fail in its parenting responsibilities. Of course, there are exceptions but those are not the norm. Having said all of the above -- anyone who suggests to a child that they are somehow less able or less loved or less important because they are not of a "traditional family" should be ashamed of themselves and reprimanded by their peers.
Patrick D. Burk
Patrick D. Burk's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 week ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:27pm
I thank you for your interest and your ideas.... I guess we agree on many issues.... You would be surprised to find out that in some cases the majority of teen issues including suicide, alcohol and drug use still come from two parent homes. While two parent homes are the ideal...it seems to me that they too have a failure rate if parents are somehow themselves not stable. I guess I am just tired of children being labled as coming from a "bad" or "lesser" environment when in fact it may be actually a wonderful family unit, supporting in every way. Once again my thanks and appreciation.
daniel cherry
daniel cherry's picture
Last seen: 12 months 3 days ago
Joined: May 6 2008 - 2:21pm
I agree, a two parent home would be best.I am a single parent.It is very hard.Like yesterday.Jimmy had baseball.Daniel goes to royal rangers.I wanted to go to jimmys baseball game.I can't be in two places at once.So i stayed home with daniel.I can't leave him home alone.I haved asked for help from social services.A woman named kathy said ok ill send a cps worker.She never did.And why send a cps worker?I asked for help with finding a place to live and with our landlord problems.I got no help.Today i have a school meeting at 2 pm.The boys are in morris chorus.Theyll be bussed to jk.I have to be there at the meeting at rm.Daniel is far behind.He's had head surgery twice.I wanted to hold him back.The school says it would be bad.One woman said Daniel will never write cursive.He can write cursive i've seen him do it when he had to.They say its a new age they can type it all.I dont agree.What about no child left behind.And the schools motto?"Life is a journey not a race".I am told to Medicate Daniel.I asked for a second opinion.It takes forever it seems.School will be nearly over by the time we get one.The doctor at mental health sees daniel every three months for 5 or 10 minutes.............ok to get back on the subject.My dad left at 5 years old.It was traumatic.I promised myself i'd never do that to my boys.I know they need me.They know i love them.I am there for them.I do the best i can.We are a family.No we're not your typical white picket fence family.To have one biologicall parent would be better than none.I feel it's way better than staying with the other parent "for the kids sake".Like my parents did...dan

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