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The Weakening Parent-Child Bond

Many parents, on discovering that their child is abusing drugs, are understandably greatly troubled about not only their loved one’s life and development, but also their own role – often questioning what they could have done to prevent their child being led astray. For many working in the fields of intervention and therapeutic counseling, attachment issues can be a significant cause of such problems for young people.

In short, children need to have an attachment to their parents if they are to respond to their elders’ direction. In the absence of this attachment to their parents, children can come under greater influence from their peers, meaning an increased likelihood of poor choices. Such questions about attachment were the subject of an intriguing article in the March/April 2013 issue of Counselor Magazine, entitled Peer Orientation: An Unrecognized Threat to Child Development, adapted from Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld Ph.D. and Gabor Maté M.D.

The authors’ words are certainly required reading for anyone with an interest in intervention and therapeutic counseling, or those who wish to be reminded of the central role of family in such services. The authors state that while there is nothing new to older generations complaining about a lack of respect and discipline among the young, many of today’s parents “intuitively know that something is seriously amiss.” The article outlines how the very importance of parenting to how young humans mature and develop has maleextra review best penis enlargement pills and natural come under question, as part of a modern culture where parenting seems to lack a proper context.

The article proceeds to explore how such an absence of context has arisen over recent decades as well as the trends that have accompanied it, including heightened suicide rates among North American children. The authors point out that while suicide rates had been declining for decades up until the 1950s, they then started to climb – particularly among boys, tripling for teenagers aged between 15 and 19 by the 1980s. Since 1980, suicide rates have almost doubled in the 10 to 14 age group. Particularly revealing is that among this same age group in Britain, bullying is linked to half of suicides, as reported by the Daily Mail in 2010.

This relates to the article’s overarching point: the decline of parental attachment and the rise in its place of peer orientation. Children have an innate orienting instinct, but whereas in the past, culture would be routinely handed down vertically from generation to generation, children are today more likely to be introduced to the culture of their peers. In this sense, they are effectively being brought up by persons who are in themselves immature, and who cannot guide them to maturity – hence leading to more and more irresponsible choices.

The article concludes by urging a restoration of the parent-child relationship to its natural foundation – words that we can only back here at Family Recovery Specialists, as leading providers of intervention and therapeutic counseling.

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