30 October 2010

Failing Our Children

The Winnipeg Free Press recently ran an article about how the family services is "failing".  In particular how critics are outlining the number of children who have died in care.  While I do have questions about the system, and I think major changes are needed over time, I don't think the finger should be pointed at the workers, supervisors, or ministers.  The finger should be pointed at the families.  Families are failing our children.

It's always so easy to blame the government for the troubles of society.  It's easy to say that the government should have tougher regulations.  It's easy to point the finger at anyone but ourselves.

Parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, and other family members need to be family members!  Individuals are putting their own needs before children.  Or they view a child as a negative.  That having a child or taking care of a child gets in the way of education, vacations, partying, and what ever else it may be.

Having or caring for a child may also be considered a financial expense.  Which a child is, but there is too much weight placed on the negative effects of a child on finances, than the positive effects.  This financial burden is considered so great, that in many developed countries you are paid to have a child.  Some countries, like Canada, families receive money monthly.  If this were not in place, some people may not even have a child, or keep them.

In a different light, children are willingly being born into homes were the child will not be put first.  Where violence is first, or addictions, or some sort of discord that will not be beneficial to the child.  We don't have a child to have a child, we have a child when we can care for the child.

Now don't misunderstand that last statement of having a perfect family.  There is no such thing.  No family is perfect.  There will always be difficulties.  But what is the environment?  Can the child grow, learn, and develop?  Will the child be cared for and nurtured?

If you have a child.  Love them. Nurture them.  They are your child, they will become your legacy.  Put your desires of a new car, big screen TV, a 3000 sq. foot home, and other wants away and behind your child.  It will take effort and control to do this.  If you need help controlling your spending, get help. If you need help getting a job, get it.  If you need assistance controlling your emotions, do that.

Think of 40-60 years down the road when you are in your rocking chair, what will be around you?  Children that love you, or children that have estranged you because of your self-centred mentality?  If you want loving children around you when you are 75, what do you need to do now to have that?  What do you need to stop doing?  Start making changes now. Don't delay.  Repair bridges if needed.  We need to start in our own homes.

We, families, are failing our children, not government services.  Let's start taking care of the children we have.  Let's stop being selfish parents.  Let us start putting our children first in our families. Now.