Strengthening the American family

 

The American family is changing, confirms the Pew Research Center (PRC). More American adults than ever before have never married. Households with two parents are decreasing. Divorce, marriage and cohabitation are increasing. The roles of mothers and fathers are growing more equal as both parents work outside the home. And one in six children are now a part of blended families.

PRC reported facts about American fathers:

— Fewer fathers are the family’s sole breadwinner even though it’s still seen as mostly the father’s role more than the mother’s. PRC advises that while more women in the workplace has made it harder to raise children, families are living more comfortably.

— Dad’s and mom’s roles are converging, with a more equal sharing of labor.

— Dads see parenting as central to their identity. It’s important for them to be involved with their children.

— Work-family balance is a challenge for many working fathers.

— Many of today’s dads say they spend at least as much time with their children as their dads spent with them. They still feel that they don’t spend enough time with their children.

— More fathers are staying home to take care of their children but only 8 percent of Americans believe children are better off with Dad at home; 51 percent think they are better off with Mom at home with them.

There has been a movement to strengthen American families for some time. Studies show that delinquency and violence grow out of abuse and neglect, teen sex and pregnancy, alcohol and drug use, gang involvement, family violence and inadequate education, says the National Criminal Justice Service, a program of the U.S. Department of Justice. The focus for strengthening families looks at the needs of the family as a whole: parents with good life skills, decision-making abilities, good communication and connections with their children including setting limits, consistent and fair discipline when the rules are violated and problem-solving skills. Children need help with resisting peer pressure and communication with their parents. They need to feel connected to caring adults who can guide them through the difficulties of growing up in a hostile world. Home should not be a battle ground.

Family values are important. If it weren’t so, large family-owned businesses wouldn’t be so active in promoting a family environment among their employees. Those CEOs know that a family environment in the workplace leads to excellence. The family approach emphasizes trust and values, having each other’s backs, not judging one another, celebrating opportunities, being genuine and clearly understood so everyone is working together. Everyone’s opinions are taken into consideration, according to Forbes Magazine.

All of these values inspire the best performance from each member of the team or family. They work together for the good of the whole rather than the parts, uniting instead of dividing. Families need a healthy environment to achieve their greatest potential. You don’t have to keep up with the family across the street. Your own unique family is priceless. Learn how to best support and encourage each other to be the best that you all can be. Nothing beats the genuine love of family.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org.

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