As a child growing up in the south west of England I was very fortunate to have loving parents. We didn’t have much in the way of luxuries except for when Christmas came around my Dad would work every overtime hour he possibly could.
Our modest circumstances did not detract from the fun and enjoyment I and my brothers and sister had in those early years and, when the time came for each of us to leave home, we remained close. By the time we married and had families of our own, our bonds with our parents and each other remained strong, even though I and o our brother and sister ne brother emigrated to the other side of the world. Derek and I stay in close contact with our brother, sister and mum– our father passed away 20 years ago , which includes returning to the UK for visits every two or three years. In between visits, we skype each other regularly.
I like to think that my upbringing is reflected in my closeness to my sons. All three travelled overseas but when it came time to settle down, they returned home and now have families of their own.
Perhaps because my own upbringing was loving, it saddens me when I see dysfunctional families and most especially when I hear of children being abused, going to school without breakfast and no lunch box. Many survive only because of those who are prepared to put their concerns into action and see that these neglected children are fed while at school.
For a child to develop and learn normally, they not only need healthy food on a regular basis but love and attention in the home.
All too often we see or hear of parents who have no idea that having children is a huge privilege that should not be taken lightly or for granted. It has crossed my mind on more than one occasion that people should be means tested to see if they are worthy of parenthood and all the tasks, love and sacrifices it brings with it.
Okay, I realize that’s not possible in a democracy, but dreams are free.
In my city we have many hundreds of children born into hardship to parents who really don’t care about them. Perhaps a lot of this is due to social economics; groups of people whose chances of a decent education are slim. Many born into poorer families end up on the wrong side of the law and so the cycle repeats itself.
Of course there are the exceptions. We hear about them from time to time – someone born on the wrong side of the tracks with a determination not to repeat the cycle. One such person, Dr. Ben Carson, raised by a single mother in a poor area of New York, is now a world renowned brain surgeon. They may have been poor but there was a lot of love in that home and it compensated and filled the gaps.
In an ideal world we should all value our families, provide for our children and feed them foods that are healthy, not junky fast foods. Since the advent of fast foods and highly processed fatty foods, our children are becoming obese before they reach their teens, dooming many to a lifetime of diabetes and heart disease.
What chance for the children when the parents don’t understand enough to care enough.
My family affairs are too important not to care.