& the Family
Children, Adolescents and the Family
Every good parent wants to raise children to be good people who enjoy a peaceful and productive life. Each parent has a sense of the future, an anticipation of what will happen to children as they grow into adults. This anticipation often repeats the experience of the parent and projects well-known values and goals. Parents have a sense of how rapidly and radically circumstances have changed for themselves and will have some uncertainty about what their children will experience in the future. Some resolve doubt by invoking dogma and insisting on traditional values. Others will embrace modern technologies and provide computers, cell phones, video games and a variety of extracurricular activities.
Sustained learning, disciplined action and a clear mind are three essential ingredients of good people doing good deeds on planet earth. Success in careers, professions and business are expressions of bodybrainminds that receive valid information and work well most of the time. Bodymindbrains that do not work well do not succeed. The development of knowledge, free of delusions, anger and blame are required before solutions for perennial human problems can become stable and enduring.
Parents receive a lot of advice from many people. Popular magazines and books offer a continuous stream of conflicting advice. Professionals have a variety of opinions about child-rearing that range from helpful suggestions to misleading and even bizarre ideas. Child psychology is an eclectic assembly of ideas, miscellaneous observations, opinions, fears and irrational beliefs. Confusion prevails in education about what children should learn and how they should learn it.
If psychologists, physicians, and educators are confused, what about parents? The best parents are pragmatic and not theorists. They stay involved with their children, follow some basic guidelines they learned and tend to do whatever works. Good parents improvise childcare with a combination of innate generosity, common sense, love and concessions to the demands of modern life.
In this book, I develop a perspective based on understanding human nature. The deep lineage for every human is lies in the interaction of many layers of biological determinants. The culture of parents, schools and community impose a second lineage on a child that sets limits on the form and content of learning. A family is any combination of adults and children that creates a stable home. The essence of family is caring and nurturing. We are social creatures. Children are innately social, but need to learn what we are doing these days. The learning requirement is greater than ever before, because we now depend on complicated technologies and must learn to interact with a great number of other humans who will be different from us in many ways.
To include more humans in the family of man as constructive peaceful contributors, each child must receive loving care, the right food, sophisticated education, opportunities for employment and the freedom to express his or her version of humanity. Thoughtful, well-educated and affluent parents have the opportunity to understand their responsibilities, to plan and allocate resources for an unborn child. A good parent faces a continuous series of challenges and problems that need solutions. Parenting is not an easy job. A realistic understanding of human nature will help parents to guide their children toward a successful adult life.
Stephen Gislason M.D.
Persona Digital Books