Saturday, September 20, 2008

10 Stressors

As if it isn't hard enough to raise a kid or be a kid, modern society creates and influences a lot of stressors that affect the daily upbringing of children:

1. Finances- a financial crisis (or a poor economy, like our current situation) affects children. In fact, the financial status of a family is almost like a domino effect; it works it's way into other stressors of a family.
2. School- The academic importance of our society effects a family: whether or not a child can handle the requirements put on them and how much assistance a parent can provide for their children. In addition, the school is not the only influence that stresses academic importance. Each family holds a different level of significance on the importance of education.
3. Extracurricular Activities- Many American families after school/work time and weekends are filled with soccer practice, ballet class and flute lessons, etc. Just as with school, society and families place an importance on these activities to "build" a child into a successful member of society.
4. Marriage/Divorce- The nature of a marriage and or separation of the caregivers in a family unit greatly affect the daily lives a family. Whether or not there is a two person household, single parent, mom and grandmother, children seeing their parents every other weekend, etc. change the nature of a family and the development of a child.
5. Neighborhood/Community- The location of a family can be an added stressor as well. As it's been seen in the Kotlowitz reading, the neighborhood that the children live in affects how they get to school, the kind of children they hang out with and how they grow up. Whether the neighborhood is one like in There Are No Children Hereor something similar to The Beverly Hills, the pressures to fit into the community become a stressor to a family.
6. Siblings- The relationships between siblings and one another and siblings and their parents is another stressor for families. The pressure siblings sometimes feel to be better than one another or to gain attention from their parents creates stress for a family. These relationships often become a bigger stressor when in coordination with pressure to do well in school, sports, etc.
7. Careers- In our modern society where two parents often both hold careers, a stressor lies in finding after care for children, job transfers and maintaining a strong family relationship.
8. Media- As has been covered in the textbook, the media greatly affects children. The need to be popular, up to date on all the new technology and listening to popular music while wearing the latest fashions affects a family when those items cannot be purchased, or kids are not accepted by their peers without them. A child's need to belong affects the relationships in the family when they are unhappy.
9. Health- When a family is crippled by an illness, accident, or disease many facets of the poor health become a stressor for a family. Whether or not good health care is provided or the worry about whether the family member can get treatment, cures or recovery add stress to every relationship in a family.
10. Finally, another stressor for a family is addiction. This does not affect all families but the addiction of any family member to nicotine, alcohol, drugs, gambling or even lesser addictions like food, a hobby or T.V. alter the relationships husbands and wives have, kids have with their parents and that they have with each other.

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