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you have a wholesome family?
In an email survey of 1,400 recipients, persons including parent educators, day care providers, nurses, church and school personnel were asked to respond to the following questions:
there such as thing as wholesome families? If so, what does one look like
and what advice would you give to parents looking to develop a wholesome
the dictionary definition of wholesome includes “tending to promote
health” and “free from danger or risk”, when applied to families
today, it seems to be an outdated term. Perhaps as interesting as the
replies were, is that fact that only 36 replies were received at all. The
replies ranged anywhere from “I'm not sure we want to go there” to
suggestions of other descriptive terms such as “effective” or
“strong” or “resilient”, to lengthy descriptions of what a
wholesome family looks like and what parents can do to promote
heart, families with wholesome attributes were considered those where the
parent or parents or guardians strive to instill values, trust, security,
morals and open communication. Several of the replies included a spiritual
component such as maintaining a clear religious or spiritual affiliation
with active practice.
when we think of “wholesome” families, we are transported to the TV
shows of the 1950’s that were exemplified by families like the Cleavers
or parents like Ozzie and Harriet. As such, several of the respondents in
this survey were quick to point out that whatever is considered a
wholesome family, it first must include the variety of families seen in
present day life including single parents, same sex parents or alternate
guardians and caregivers such as grandparents or foster parents.
then that wholesome families do exist and still is considered of value in
our modern day society, the next issue becomes one of how parents (of any
kind) can develop and reinforce the attributes of the wholesome family. To
this end, the following tips are suggested:
as many meals together a week as possible with all family members present
and at least once per day.
2. Maintain a religious
or spiritual affiliation and participate with appropriate practice.
3. Provide the
necessities of life to your children from nurturance, to nutrition, to
appropriate shelter, to education.
4. Use appropriate
discipline techniques, particularly those that do not include hitting or
belittling, but rather discussion, restitution, or loss of privileges.
Be an appropriate
role model in your adult intimate relationships.
6. Participate as a
family in volunteer or charitable activities.
you really think the concept of wholesome families is outdated? Perhaps it
is time to return to this basic concept and instill a sense of decency and
caring to some forgotten.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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