The word “home” conjures up all sorts of emotions. For me, it means: safety, support, belonging, family and that wonderful emotion, love. The word “home” symbolises so much in your life. It is as if someone has lifted a huge load off your shoulders, you have come home to cooked food, warm beds, a cup of tea – to relax!
At some stage in your life though, all this has little meaning when you can’t share it, whether it’s with your partner or your children. It’s what most people work so hard towards – A family who love each other, support and comfort one another. You have a sense of belonging which is one of the most wonderful experiences to have, whether it’s belonging to family, a Church group, tennis club, book club, and golf four balls. You feel good when someone notices you’re around.
My sons, Canaan and James, love it when my husband, Sean, and I have one big family hug with them. Canaan screams in delight saying, “We a happy family!” When I sit back and think of that small action and those special words, my heart swells and I think to myself – In that small moment of our lives, that is what we all work so hard for – You belong, you love, you are safe, you have support and most importantly, no matter where you are – You are Home!
Thank God for these special Blessings, may you and your family have a Blessed Christmas.
Olivia Brice (daughter, sister, wife, mother)
By Konrad van Staden M.A. Clin.Psych (Pretoria)
We live in a world where parenting is receiving so much focus. It seems to be the topic of many talk shows and magazine articles. We even have entire magazines focused solely on parenting. But most of the issues of parenting are focused on the mother-child relationship with little emphasis on the role of the father. Our society puts so little worth on the role of the father, sometimes seeming blind at the expense our children are suffering for absent fathers. The consequence of absent and non-involved fathers carries weighted consequences.
A child born to a family where the father is absent is more likely to be exposed to neglect, physical illness, emotional neglect and abuse. Fathers who are more involved with their children are conversely more likely to be non-violent towards their children and partner.
A recent analysis of child abuse cases in a nationally representative sample of 42 counties found that children from single-parent families are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than children who live with both biological parents. Compared to their peers living with both parents, children in single parent homes had:
- a 77% greater risk of being physically abused;
- an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect;
- a 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect;
- a 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect;
- an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse;
- overall, a 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse.