Healthy families are bad for children! I couldn’t believe it!
Reading to your children is unfair! Providing a nurturing atmosphere is unfair to children! I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read a Facebook post questioning the value of reading bedtime stories to children. This is what healthy families do. Parents read to their children. They talk with their children. They play with their children.
I quickly shot a response to the Facebook post letting all those parents that might be confused about the benefits of reading to their
children. My response made it crystal clear that reading to your children is a good thing. Little did I know that the foundation of the post was that families are unfair to children. My jaw dropped as I read the work of Adam Swift which acknowledged the benefits of families but also proposed that maybe we need to do away with families Click To Tweet.
Healthy families are unfair to children.
Swift was interested in understanding factors that contributed to people having access to opportunities. His research demonstrated that having a loving family nurtures and protects children and this is unfair for those children that do not benefit from a loving family. Many of the responses that I read indicated that people understood that the idea the family life should not be supported was ridiculous.
The post proposing that families are unfair to children originally popped up in my Facebook feed sometime in 2015. I hadn’t given it much not thought until I saw it again in May of 2017. I thought I should do a little research and make sure I wasn’t just reacting to some crazy story that was not true. We know there are plenty of those floating around.
Much to my dismay, the post was based on actual research done by a professor by Adam Swift Click To Tweet. As noted earlier, he found that families are unfair to children that do not have the benefit of a family life.
It seemed logical to him that family activities, such reading bedtime stories to your child, or eating meals together are activities that nurture children. Truly these are some of just a few things that he would regard as unfair to children that do not benefit from healthy families.
Families are good and should be nurtured and not done away with. If there is any confusion left. Let me say it loud and clear, healthy families are good!
Healthy families are good!
Furthermore, reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read!Reading to your children is a good thing! Go ahead, snuggle together and read! Click To Tweet Participating in other activities within the family context are also good for children. So all of you mothers and fathers out there that are pouring into your children by playing with them, providing opportunities to participate in sports, ride bikes, have play dates with friends and any number of other things that happen in families, I say be encouraged and keep doing your part.
Let me give you some more indicators that families are good. Thankfully, we can look to the Word of God.
Gen 1:28 KJV
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Healthy families serve a specific purpose
Here we see that God had a plan and design for the family. He is telling Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. If we take a closer look at the word “replenish” we notice that there are some interesting synonyms for the word. There are words like restore, renew, provision, furnish, provide. The definition of the word is
To make full or complete again, as by supplying what is lacking, used up, etc.
In Psalm 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families.
The previous scriptures indicate that within the family, we have the opportunity to grow and learn, love and be loved, and create and tame. We also learn that we are different with unique gifts and talents and we each have a specific call on our lives. In the family, we also see the concept of passing something of value down from one generation to the next.
In addition, Gen. 18;19 makes it clear that family roles are important to the health of the family and in turn to society.
Gen 18:19 For I know him, he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Clearly, God had in mind that in the family unit, there would be instruction and correction. God saw the character of Abraham and noted that he would be a man that would instruct and direct his children. The scripture says that God knew Abraham would keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. Our children learn about justice and how to conduct themselves from their parents.
Healthy families help children.
Clearly, there are children that struggle in life for a variety of reasons. This is where the Church and families step in and support those children and families. I encourage you to not spend any time feeling guilty about being a part of a healthy family. Adam Swift thinks that it is appropriate for you to feel guilty if you are nurturing your family.
I disagree. That is misplaced guilt that will sap your energy. Furthermore, carrying that burden will prevent you from reaching out the family that is need of your strength. On the contrary, pour more love on your children. Encourage them a little more. Let’s not embrace this idea that families are unfair to children. Be strong, healthy and able to help other families in need.
Healthy families are good for society
The healthy loving family environment strengthens human beings. These strong, healthy individuals are the people that are going into our schools and in our courthouses as lawyers and judges. They will impact government and business. Healthy individuals will have character and integrity. These are important elements that we need.
What sense would it make to do away with an entity that strengthens our society and provides safety for future generations? How would that be a good thing? I don’t understand how making everybody come down to the lowest common denominator is a good thing.
The other thought from Swift is to have children take the drivers seat in the family. They would create the atmosphere and the protocol for the family and the parents would simply facilitate. I would venture to say that this is one reason why we have “snowflakes” running around on college campuses now.
Well, I have done my duty. I have made it clear that families are good. My children are grown and just about on their own so i can’t read them a bedtime story.
Let me see.
Where is my cat?