by Karen Corcoran, Owner/Co-Founder
Inspirations for Youth and Families
The moral fabric of today's family unit has undergone several drastic changes within the past 10-15 years, mostly due to the entrance and influence of social media. These changes include the break-down of the family structure, the increase in teen drug abuse, and the parent’s inability to enforce structure and discipline in their household – all leading to the unraveling of the nuclear family.
You don't have to look far to witness changes in the family social unit in the last several decades. Just take a drive through any neighborhood. It's getting harder to find school-age kids mowing lawns on a Saturday afternoon or working part-time jobs during the school year or summer.
A Guardian Magazine study found the current generation of children are typically only asked to take on trivial responsibilities, such as feeding a pet or clearing the table after dinner, because today's parents don't see the benefits of giving kids more responsibilities. Often, parents are also unable to enforce more demanding chores because they don't have the right relationship with their children.
Why the change in parenting styles? Because today's moms and dads tend to want to raise youngsters to feel more self-worth than the way their parents raised them. By giving them more choice, they believe it will build strong self-esteem. Ironically, with modern parents forgetting how to parent, the opposite is actually happening and is contributing to the collapse of the traditional family social unit.
However, there is hope for positive chance. Studies show having family meetings, either weekly or monthly, can help build a better, more stable relationship between parents and kids.
4 Ways Family Meetings Help
Improve Your Family's Line of Communication
One of the greatest problems with our families today is poor parent-child communication which can lead to a child's emotional despair and develop into a long-term behavioral issue. Holding regular family discussions to talk about daily events and how each member of your family is feeling fosters the development of strong communication skills. Ultimately, as teens mature, they will learn how to express their emotions in a healthy manner. For now, though, these meetings are a great place for everyone to address and resolve feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger or any other range of emotions in a supportive, communal environment.
Create Closeness Within Your Family
By coming together each week, families build stronger connections with each other. The modern family tends to be very busy and often misses out on the important things in life, like a son's first bike ride -- or on the downside -- a daughter's break-up with a boyfriend. When we parents are there for our child's key moments, both good and bad, the family bond increases.
Promote Leadership and Responsibility
When setting up a family meeting, be sure to give your child the opportunity to be the moderator sometimes. This teaches leadership skills and accountability. Teens today are often in need of real world experience in decision making and leading others, and one great way to ensure your teenager is getting the practice of applying these valuable life skills is to have them run a family meeting. It'll also give them the confidence necessary to succeed when they move into management positions later.
Teach Kids How to Solve Problems
Besides talking about each others' lives, family meetings are an excellent way to help each other solve problems. Something that seems impossible to your child when going at it alone is less daunting in a group setting where everyone weighs in on the issue to come up with the best solution.
Setting up family meetings will not cure all the problems that can get in the way of a good parent-child relationship by itself. But, they help lay down a strong foundation for nurturing and growing close relationships within the familial network now as well as later when our kids are ready to start their own families.
About the Author
Karen Corcoran-Walsh, who has appeared on TV shares her views on family relationship building, owns and runs two substance abuse treatment centers in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Inspirations for Youth and Families is for teens and Cove Center for Recovery is for adults.
FTC Disclosure: All content and images in story provided by Karen Corcoran-Walsh and Inspirations for Youth and Families. No compensation was exchanged in association with this post. The opinions here are the author's. However, readers should keep in mind that this blogpost is not a substitute for advice by a qualified medical, and/or psychological professional of your choice. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.