Thursday, March 3, 2016
Kids Don't Get Much Support Now Days
Historically, kids had six to eight adults around them from birth to adulthood. When I was a boy we lived next door to my maternal grandparents and my father's mother lived a few blocks away.
In addition, we live in a small village and attended a small church and school where everybody knew everybody else. My school teacher was also a Sunday school teacher and my dad, who was on the school board, was also a Deacon at our church. I was nurtured, taught, encouraged and disciplined by the entire village.
If one person was unable to care for me another person quickly came along to replace them. My grandfather became ill and my family was available to be with him while grandmother ran their tiny retail store.
We had little money but a lot of support.
How about now? How many people are there who nurture and discipline us in love? Who can we depend on? Who can we trust? Who is there for us, especially in poor areas?
Many poor kids are born into single parent families with little support from the community. The moms get a bit of money and food stamps from the government but are often isolated and alone.
Some research indicates that about 40% of these moms are clinically depressed so they have little time or energy to give a newborn baby. The males who come by are little comfort to the child and, in fact, have high rates of child abuse.
All this leaves children abandoned and without basic nurture that they need to develop a high functioning brain. If they miss nurture and love for the first five years it is very difficult to ever make up later.
Ministries to the poor can't change all those things, but we can try to provide early childhood support to the moms and their kids. Play, materials, sports and faith can invigorate the brain and stimulate the development of more cells and better ability to think.
What can your church do to support them?