- Do You Have a Wholesome Family?
- by Gary Direnfeld,
In an email survey of 1,400 recipients,
persons including parent educators, day care providers, nurses,
church and school personnel were asked to respond to the following
Is there such as thing as wholesome
families? If so, what does one look like and what advice would
you give to parents looking to develop a wholesome family?
While the dictionary definition
of wholesome includes tending to promote health and
free from danger or risk, when applied to families
today, it seems to be an outdated term. Perhaps as interesting
as the replies were, is that fact that only 36 replies were received
at all. The replies ranged anywhere from I'm not sure we
want to go there to suggestions of other descriptive terms
such as effective or strong or resilient,
to lengthy descriptions of what a wholesome family looks like
and what parents can do to promote wholesomeness.
At heart, families with wholesome
attributes were considered those where the parent or parents
or guardians strive to instill values, trust, security, morals
and open communication.
Several of the replies included
a spiritual component such as maintaining a clear religious or
spiritual affiliation with active practice.
Often when we think of wholesome
families, we are transported to the TV shows of the 1950s
that were exemplified by families like the Cleavers or parents
like Ozzie and Harriet. As such, several of the respondents in
this survey were quick to point out that whatever is considered
a wholesome family, it first must include the variety of families
seen in present day life including single parents, same sex parents
or alternate guardians and caregivers such as grandparents or
Given then that wholesome families
do exist and still is considered of value in our modern day society,
the next issue becomes one of how parents (of any kind) can develop
and reinforce the attributes of the wholesome family. To this
end, the following tips are suggested:
1. Have as many meals together a week as possible
with all family members present and at least once per day.
2. Maintain a religious or spiritual affiliation
and participate with appropriate practice.
3. Provide the necessities of life to your children
from nurturance, to nutrition, to appropriate shelter, to education.
4. Use appropriate discipline techniques, particularly
those that do not include hitting or belittling, but rather discussion,
restitution, or loss of privileges.
5. Be an appropriate role model in your adult intimate
6. Participate as a family in volunteer or charitable
Do you really think the concept
of wholesome families is outdated? Perhaps it is time to return
to this basic concept and instill a sense of decency and caring
to some forgotten.