Feeling connected


Many families take vacations during the summer. This time is more important than many parents may realize.

Because family members have the opportunity to spend time together, they solidify the ties that bind them to each other. They create new traditions and build on older ones.

All time with your children is quality time. You donít have to be spending buckets of money on your child to enhance the experience. Just be there. Or else.

Or else what? I take a look around me and I see that there are some prices that individuals and society pay when people grow up not feeling connected to their families. Here are some of them:

  • Graffiti. Graffiti is a plea for attention. It says, "Look at what I did" and "Thatís mine." Children who have been recognized within their own families, whose parents have paid attention to their accomplishments, do not have to make their mark or mark their territory on other peopleís property.
  • Tattoos. Tattoos are a mark of identification. The person with the tattoo has a need to express to both himself and to others who he is. Why does he have a greater need to do this than all the other people who do not have tattoos? Because the identification hasnít been internalized the way it has in families that have given their children a sense of belonging within.
  • Gangs. A gang is the family of those people who have not been welcomed into their own families. People want to belong to a group. If they donít get it at home, they find it elsewhere.
  • Piercing and scarification. These are ancient tribal rites that give identity to members. Any person who wants to pierce his or her body will be able to cite many friends who have done the same thing. There is a longing to belong to that group.
  • Loud music. Anyone who has to blare his music at high decibels has a huge sense of his needs being more important than those of the others around him. A familyís purpose is to help children get a balanced sense of themselves in relation to others.


This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents.

All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.  Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use.  There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication.  To receive that permission, contact   Jay Davidson