Children come with families – whatever that make-up might be. Sadly, there are some children that may not have a “family” or the family is experiencing difficulties such as alcoholism, drug use, homelessness… Even when kids have been mistreated or abused – they may cry for their family and want to maintain that connection.
There is something about family that drives us. Family has an impact on our lives. A sense of family, a caring family – brings a sense of hope and support. During my tenure as a principal, one of my goals for the school was to create a sense of family. It was the same with my teaching – our classroom was a family. The hope was to give students a picture of what a caring and supportive family looks like and feels like. A “strong” family will love you unconditionally, care for your needs, and will do all they can to support your growth and development in all areas.
When we work with families, we help children. Is it possible to educate a child without working with the family? It is possible, but the greater impact occurs when you consider both family and child. So how do we go about helping families and in the process help children? This is a question that needs further exploration in the education arena. It starts by acknowledging the impact family plays in the life of a child and listening to concerns and needs. It has been said that the first and most important teachers in a child’s life is/are the parent/parents. Most parents sincerely care about their children and desire that their children be successful in school and in life. Helping families begins with understanding that most all parents have hopes and dreams for their children. Listening to those hopes and dreams will give us a good start in understanding and helping families. Sometimes when children simply hear the hopes and dreams of a parent or parents – it lifts them up and makes them feel special. Helping families strengthens children.