Handling complex children from complex family conditions

What you need to know:

  • Most children of working mothers are neglected during their formative years and end up being showered with "stuff" instead of love and attention.

While oxygen is necessary for most life on Earth, the majority of Earth's atmosphere is not oxygen. Earth's current atmosphere is composed of about 78 percent nitrogen, and oxygen is only 21 percent.

Earth’s original atmosphere, according to scientists, was not like this in the past. It was dominated by methane, ammonia, water vapour, and others.

Similarly, though the permanent and stable husband-wife unit is ideal for children developing physically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually, it sadly happens that, unlike in the past, the majority of children today live in step-family, single-parent, and cohabiting-family conditions. They likely grow with a low view of the stable institution of marriage.

Again, if we want to go down in history as a generation that's ever graced this complex ministry with children, bringing a better world, we must learn how to perform the difficult task of handling children below:

Two-income families: While this seems like a stable family condition, which in a way it is, we must be honest and say that this model has shortcomings for children's future. Most children of working mothers are neglected during their formative years and end up being showered with "stuff" instead of love and attention.

If parents aren't careful, children can develop aggression, extreme materialism, depression, suicidal ideation, and being overly passive or demanding.

To avoid this profound negative impact that can last into adulthood, one parent, especially a mother, can stay at home with children until they grow up. Parents have to win battles over materialism, big egos, and prestige.

Cohabiting families: As the rate of cohabiting adults worldwide increases, cohabiters get children together, but they're less likely to marry and more likely to pass through serial cohabitation eventually.

Therefore, children face a significant risk of instability throughout their lives as they cope with their parents’ relationship transitions.

In addition, stepfamily children often struggle with commitment; they'll likely struggle to stay committed in a relationship; they struggle with morals and understanding the importance of marriage because they've witnessed failure at home.

Extended families: With the modern world being full of divorces, substance use, teenage pregnancies, and financial difficulties, more and more children are staying with grandparents instead of parents. Help these children develop a positive attitude towards other members as an asset, not a liability.

Single-parent families: Today, over 15 million children in the world live in single-parent homes. Aside from financial struggles, these children can also feel frightened, stressed, and frustrated by the difference between their lives and those of their friends. Single parents must avoid animosity.

Step-families: These children worry about choosing sides, thinking they'll disappoint their parents if they connect well with a stepparent. Parents should support new relationships between children and their stepparents. Children will adjust well if biological parents and stepparents avoid criticising each other.

Lastly, we aren't branding children, but we understand children from the above families need extra care. Take time to learn more about these families and offer help.

Amani Kyala is a counsellor, writer, and teacher, 0626 512 144