Notice how it’s popular to hate on kids these days; to say things like “I hate being a mom,” and “kids suck.” I take this as a positive sign; obviously not because I’m anti-children but because we are finally getting honest in this culture about how tough it is to raise a kid.
Because we shouldn’t be doing it alone. Raising a child takes a whole village so the clichéd (for good reason) African expression goes. What this translates into is that raising a child means you need to have a network of support.
The reality is, kids NEED. More than material things, kid’s emotional needs are ENORMOUS. And as an adult with the care of children, you have to be putting out constantly for them; you have to put them first; you need to be present to them. When they are little kids, they need to be with people who love them unconditionally and who are willing to hold them when they want you to- sometimes all day and even all night if that is what it takes. They need you to acknowledge them, not by ‘talking’ to them over your texting, but with eye to eye contact. Kids learn self -worth by the way they are treated. If you are too busy, better to be honest and say, "I'm busy right now. I will give you my attention in five minutes." That's how we, as adults expect to be treated by other adults. Kids deserve the same respect.
Ask a two year old if he prefers to be at daycare or at home with a loving adult presence and I bet the kids says 'at home.' That home needs an adult who can cook healthy meals, who can read wonderful stories with the kid; who can help with projects and lessons, who is emotionally present to that kid.
I know what I say next will make a lot of people angry and upset. When it comes to the home, caring parents/adults need to spend more time in it. A home needs the presence of a caring, loving adult within its walls for kids to thrive-even when the kids are teen-aged. As they grow into teens and young adults, they need a caring adult to continue to be available to them. I can not over-emphasis this.
The constant presence of a loving, supportive adult. That’s what it takes to raise children.
The young person needs even just one steadfast adult who is rooting for them; who believes in them unconditionally. That is how you grow a healthy adult. I believe it.
And even when the child has the support and loving attention of an adult, they still might not thrive. However, without emotional support in abundance, it is clear to me that kids will have to overcome struggles that are often at the expense of their mental health and sometimes, even their lives. As a culture, we need to be prepared to invest in the home environment because that is the root of society,where it all begins.