Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Importance of Being Family

Last night Dr. Phil was on the Tonight Show and told Jay Leno that 73% of children from foster homes wind up on the streets, on welfare, back in the system so to speak. They system only supports children until they are 18. Then what? It got me to thinking about all the things I was motivated to do and to be because of the expectations, encouragement, and support of my family. What would I have done if it was over at 18? Who would I be? Where would I be?

90 years after Nicholas, the czar of Russia, was shot they were still searching for the remains of his family. This week it was confirmed by DNA tests that they too had been killed. Their absence "gnawed at the Romanov dynasty" all this time. I imagine that the absence of true family gnaws at those foster children too.

Even as an adult with a family of my own, I still need family. Family should be a soft place to fall, a constant, a given. Children who just have dinner with their families are 40% more likely to get As and B's says ABC News.

Once when I was still in college, the whole family was riding together with my cousin at the wheel of my grandparents van. After he made a left hand turn in particularly heavy traffic, his mother applauded. And he said, "Only you, mom, would clap for a right hand turn done well." And isn't that the way it should be. Family should applaud each other - even for the little things.

Who can we go to when we need someone to give us a little praise? Who shares our earliest memories? Who can we depend on for moral support? Who can we go to when we need a helping hand? Who can we go to when we need a comforting arm or shoulder? Who can we just hang out with without actually doing or saying much? Who can you get really mad at and loves you anyway? Who is easier than family to laugh with or to cry with? Who is there to share the joys of birth, weddings and yes, to share the sorrows and pain of bad times, heartache, illness and death? Who knows you better than family?

Tips on
Family Legacies
Celebrating Your Child's Success
Encouraging Milestones
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