How You Can Help Care for the Vulnerable

There isn’t a single definition of the term ‘vulnerable people’. In life: everybody, no matter their circumstances, is going to be vulnerable at some point. But some that are more vulnerable than others, and over a far longer extended period of time at that. People who need continuous help and assistance in their daily lives because of physical or mental disabilities, because they are of too old a age to look after themselves properly, or because they are too young to help themselves at all, are some of the types of people who can most specifically be described as ‘vulnerable people’. Because of this, we should do all we can to help them.


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Helping those who are vulnerable because they have special needs is probably the hardest of the areas to enter as, for the most part, you have to be professionally trained and qualified to be able to do so. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are doing so, however, without being professionally trained; you just have to remember to be a nice person. In order to help somebody who has disabilities with a task, you should communicate with them, even when they have a chaperone next to them. If somebody has a interpreter or a nurse by their side doing their talking for them, make sure not to filter the conversations through them and always speak directly to the person in question. Here are ten special needs organisations that you can work alongside.

You can care for any elderly people in your life by tending to their physical well-being. Keeping somebody of an elderly status as active as possible is great way to help them fight disease and reduce their functional age by up to 10 years. But you shouldn’t just seek to combat and watch out for signs of weakness in their physical status — you have to look out for their mental health as well. When it comes to this, signs of forgetfulness, unsteadiness and a general lack of direction are the things to look out for. If you feel that an elderly person needs more that just a little bit of assistance, you could offer extensive companion care on a regular basis. This could include homemaking, driving and overnight assistance, or you could even become a live-in companion.

On the other end of the age spectrum, you should pay attention to any children who you feel may be of a vulnerable status. Like working with people who have certain disabilities, working with vulnerable children, or even just children in general, is something that can only be done by those who are qualified to do so; but there is a free online course in caring for vulnerable children that will help you get the ball rolling if this is something you wish to do. You can spot the signs of child neglect or abuse, however, no matter how qualified or trained you are. The signs of child abuse aren’t always clear cut, especially when the child is too scared to say anything about it, but things you can look out for, and listen out for if you ever have the chance to talk to any children, include: them talking about being left at home either alone or with strangers, seeing a poor bond between them and their parent(s), seeing that they are excessively violent with other children and noticing that they lack the ability to be social, even with other children.

Don’t just help others for the ‘good karma’, do it because it’s a good gesture and because it’ll provide you with a good feeling. You may even find yourself walking down a meaningful career path by doing so.







When Enough Caring Is Enough


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Have you been caring for an aging parent? Maybe they’ve moved into the family home, or you’re helping them in their home. Whatever the arrangement, it’s inevitable that the caring will take its toll. Admitting that you’re struggling can be hard, but it’s important. Caring for your parent when you don’t feel able will lead to short tempers and damaged relationships. Not to mention that your parent won’t be receiving the care they need! Consider following these tips if things are getting on top of you.


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Before giving up, take a little time to think about what improvements you can make. Is there anything you could buy that would help? If your parent is struggling with mobility, could they get a mobility scooter or chairlift, instead of relying on you? Do you have siblings who could help share the responsibility? Taking the pressure off in these ways will make a huge difference to the way you approach the situation.




You may not want to broach the subject with the parent in question, but it’s important you do. If your parent is living in your family home, you might want to invite everyone involved. Even so, it’s important you parent doesn’t feel as though you’re ganging up. It may be worth having a one on one chat to start with. Find a tactful way to express your concerns. Make sure you state that you’re concerned about not being able to give the right care. Once you’ve started the conversation, you might find your parent agrees or has worries of their own. Make sure to use tactful language throughout the conversation. Tempers may be frayed by this stage. Even so, the situation is difficult for everyone, and accusation won’t help. Be respectful to each other’s feelings. After you make a point, ask your parent how they feel about that.


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If speaking things through hasn’t helped, it might be time to consider other options. This may not be pleasant, but it is necessary. Start researching the options open to you. That’s not to say you have to turn straight to nursing homes. Consider whether your parent would be happy to accept professional help at home. Having a carer visit one or two times a week will take pressure off you. It’ll also ensure your parent is getting the level of care they need. If the problem is more serious than that, it might be time to find a senior living facility near you. Be sensitive with this, and include your parent in every aspect of the search.


Conversations like these are never going to be easy. Even so, there comes a time when you can’t avoid them. Once you’ve reached a conclusion, you’ll both feel much better. The strain will lift from your relationship, and you’ll feel able to look forward. There’s no denying that the road ahead might be a hard one. Even so, it’s a journey you can take together.

Is Your Family Dog-Ready? Top Things You Should Do To Prepare For Your Furry Arrival

You will be surprised how much your family’s life will change once you get a pooch. After all, this furry little friend is going to turn your world upside down for the first couple of months. A puppy has so much energy and needs a lot of attention. But ultimately the change can be a wonderful thing as your pooch becomes a part of the family. Nevertheless, you still need to make sure your family is ready for the new arrival. Therefore, here are some top things your family should do to prepare for the furry arrival.




Decide on duties for family members


When you get a job, you are signing up for a whole load of jobs to do every day to keep the pooch happy and healthy. After all, it will need to be fed, walked, and groomed every day. And you might need some extra hands to take care of the pooch. Therefore, you should sit down with your family and decide who wants to do what job every night. It might be that your kids feed the pooch every morning, while you do it in the evening. And your husband might agree to walk the dog every evening. Deciding on jobs before will make it much easier when the pooch arrives. After all, everyone can take on their respective roles to keep the pooch happy and healthy.


Invest in essentials for the pooch


It’s also vital that you get everything you need for your pooch before you go to pick them up. After all, you don’t want to get your pooch home and find that you don’t have the food or toys they need to be happy in your home. Therefore, make sure you go and get all the essentials you need to keep your pooch happy. If you require some advice, there is lots of information online about what you need to get your pet. It’s also worth getting some flea preventives similar to what you can find on That way, if you do suddenly get an issue with fleas on your pets, you can deal with it quickly. After all, we all know how annoying fleas can be; once they arrive, it can be hard to get them to go!


Decide on a sleeping area for the dog


You should also discuss with your family where the dog will sleep in your home. After all, there might be a particular area you think is better for the pooch. You want somewhere which gives them a good amount of space to lie down. And you should choose an area which your family won’t need to go to in the night. After all, this will disturb your pooch and they might howl for the rest of the night. Once you decide on an area, you can get a bed for them so they stay comfortable during bedtime. And remember to decide on any no-go zones for your pet before they arrive. After all, it’s best to set these rules at the very beginning.


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And don’t forget to find a vet to take them to. After all, they will need to be seen by the vet within a couple of weeks to ensure they are healthy.

Divorce and Your Child: A Developmental Mini-Guide to Understanding Their Feelings

Divorce is, for children, a devastating experience. Most parents, fortunately, are more than ready to take time out from their own personal tensions to prioritize the task of guiding their kids through the trauma. It is important at these times to think clearly and to see things from the child’s point of view, but that point of view changes rapidly in the child’s developing mind.

It’s About Feelings

In times of extreme stress, emotions are never far from the surface. Remember that the relationship between feelings and facts is an unpredictable one, especially in a child.

Because divorce affects feelings in so many different ways, it will help if you can find an attorney who has an understanding of the way divorce affects those around, whether you are approaching an online practitioner such as or using a family attorney.

Early Months

Up to about 18 months, a baby has very little conceptual framework to guide her. Everything is centered on the security represented by the primary care-giver, usually the mother. She responds quickly to unspoken tension and may become clingy and tearful.


As the toddler begins to master language, he gets a better sense of the world, but it is a world that is all about him. His parents are the two closest and largest planets in this little solar system so any disruption is going to throw him out of balance. He may retreat to a former secure existence by temper displays and regression to baby behavior.

Early Junior

The child’s imagination is growing, which means she can extend the present distress into the future and conceive of more and worse things happening. So her life can be taken up with fear. Will she ever see the absent parent again? Will both parents disappear from her life? She does not have much concept of time or distance, so separation may seem more absolute and final than it actually is. She needs her parents to be predictable and reliable.

Older Junior

As the child grows, his center of life is beginning to move outwards, but only from a secure base. If that base is challenged by parents separating, he may use his growing mental abilities to protect himself. He may retreat into a fantasy world and deny the reality of what is happening around him, or construct scenarios where he is to blame.


The child is on the verge of big changes, and taking tentative steps to discover her place in the world. The last thing she needs is for her parents’ problems to take center stage in her life. So she is likely to display intense anger which can reveal itself in many ways, but at the same time she is learning to empathize and understand their pain.

Crucial Moments

The effects of a divorce can reverberate for a lifetime, and nobody handles it perfectly. For parents, an effort to understand how their children are perceiving the situation can help to ease the pain and give them the resources to move forward.


Joanne Morrison shares her tips and support regarding divorce and stepfamilies. She uses her own life experiences to write informative articles which appear online at family and parenting blogs as well as relationship and divorce focused blogs.

3 Surefire Ways to Make Moving Easier and Bond with Your Family


Moving is a hassle. Many people report staying in their current home, apartment or condo much longer than they planned solely because they dreaded moving. The logistical headache is bad enough. Even if you hire the best movers in the world, the process of boxing up your more precious items personally, let alone deciding which things that you have accumulated won’t make the trip, is never easy.

Then there is the emotional strain. If you’re moving just across town, at least you won’t be changing your whole life. But if you’re moving somewhere far away, you will have to get used to a new community, new job, new school, new grocery stores and new salon — the list goes on and on. Fortunately, there are ways to make it as painless as possible. A few key pointers will take some of the pain out of relocating and can even bring your family closer together in the process.

Finding a New Apartment

You are likely moving to a specific location for a specific reason. Whether it’s a new job or family commitment, you may not be able to choose the city or town that will become your adopted home. But especially in bigger cities, like Los Angeles or New York, there are many neighborhoods to choose from. Let your kids be involved in the apartment hunting process. Show them photos online of some apartments for rent, using a site like, and see what features seem to be most important to them. Whether it’s having a pool, finding a nearby park or something else, there will likely be one thing that they can get excited about.

Naturally, the final choice will be up to you and probably come down to price, square footage, condition, school district and proximity to work or family. Making your kids feel like they are part of such an adult decision-making process, however, will do wonders to get them eager — not fearful and tearful — about the change.

Packing Pain

Your kids, particularly young kids, will be an emotional wreck if you make them throw away a single possession. Even old items they haven’t touched in years will instantly turn into treasured goods. This is generally more about anxiety over change than it is about an old Teddy bear. But rather than simply putting your foot down, treat them like grown-ups. Give them a quota — maybe 10 toys or lesser-used items — that they must elect to throw out. Offering incentives in the form of small rewards or making it into a contest can help.

Tell them that life is about making tough choices and that they must decide what things are most important to them. If they are convinced that their selection process can really help the family during a challenging transitional time, they will feel more connected to and accepting of the entire experience.

Moving In

Choosing rooms in a new home is never easy. Multiple children always end up wanting the same room — and usually only because their sibling said they wanted it first. This must be handled diplomatically at the outset. Eventually, they will not care, but in the first weeks of the move, they will be looking to lash out at any perceived problem with the new apartment.

If they won’t back down, you’ll need to make a choice. Start with having the kids explain fully, with actual reasons, why having a specific room is so important. Then ensure that they understand that someone is going to have to make a sacrifice. Let them know that whoever steps up to make their sibling happy can be rewarded with other benefits. The selection process can be a good learning experience about how people must sometimes make concessions. In order to move, the whole family needs to help each other adjust. Be thoughtful and truthful about how this needs to be handled. Tell them how change is never easy, and that you also had to leave things behind when you made the decision to move.

If it all goes perfectly, this part of the move can teach them a valuable lesson. When the hassle is finally over, your children may come away understanding that their willingness to help each other out and put their loved ones first is what makes families so special.







Getting Ready for the Inevitable: How to Care for Aging Friends and Family

Sooner or later, the people that we’ve grown used to will stop being themselves. Our parents that used to drive may no longer be able to, the uncle that handled DIY projects like a pro will retire, and the neighbour that watched us grow might not be able to climb stairs. It’s a painful thought, but it’s inevitable. Sooner or later, we’ll be stripped of the actions that we currently take for granted. However, let’s not think that far ahead, and let’s focus on the now.


Caring for the elderly shouldn’t be seen as a job, although it might end up feeling like that at times. However, they need support both physically and mentally, so here are some tips on getting closer to your loved ones and how to support them.


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Speak with Them


The worst thing you can do is cut contact. People don’t realise they’re growing old overnight—it’s a process that slowly eats away at their enthusiasm and health over many years. Don’t be overbearing and scream or mock them for being unable to do tasks they used to. We sometimes take interaction with our loved ones for granted, and we should never let a short temper get the best of us.


If you live far away, then consider calling them at least a few times each week. Teach them to use social media and other internet services so you can keep in touch with “new” technology and not just the phone. Despite their age, elderly usually love to discover modern technology keep in touch using newer methods. For example, there’s an elderly woman that keeps her brain active using a Nintendo DS!


If you live close by, then make sure to visit them on a regular basis. Pass by their place on your way home with some treats that they love. Perhaps some food, some groceries, or maybe offer to help to pick up their medication from the pharmacy. Do what you can to keep them in the loop and keep them connected to family members and friends.


Ensure they Have Support


Not everyone’s got the support they need. Make sure that your elderly friend or family member has a life insurance plan. Learn more at They also might be eligible for extra benefit and income, such as winter fuel payments to help keep their home warm for the cold season.


It’s not always possible to keep an eye on them especially if they live on their own. You can hire professional carers that’ll look after your elderly friend or family member for a price. You might be able to cut the costs with some benefits, so be sure to contact your local medical services and discuss what options there are.


If they don’t like external help, then consider moving them into the family home together with you. Seniors are great with children, and their wisdom and experience make great bedtime stories to tell the children. If they’re still capable of acting on their own without external help, they also make great babysitters, and it allows them to keep in touch with the family and stay social.


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Keep them Occupied


Introduce a new hobby to your senior friend or family member, or perhaps sign them up for local clubs and communities to help keep them active. Don’t expect them to jog around and work out at the gym (unless they’re still very healthy!) but make sure they have friends to keep in touch with and something to keep themselves occupied.


The internet is a great way to give them endless amounts of entertainment. Sign them up for an IT course that’s specifically designed for seniors and they’ll be sending you tweets and Facebook messages in no time. Learning a new skill or hobby is crucial to keeping their minds busy, and it can also be achieved with other forms of modern technology such as video games. They can watch films, participate in online discussions, share their wisdom via a blog, or even relax with online video games.


There are also traditional forms of entertainment such as bingo, scenic walks with neighbours and friends, and of course morning exercises with other seniors at the park. Try your best to get them involved with a like-minded community and you’ll find that you won’t need to stress about keeping an eye on them when they have friends to socialise with.


Look after Yourself


Don’t stress yourself out when you look after seniors. It can quickly become a job, and you might find yourself making sacrifices with your other friends or family members, or waking up in the middle of the night worried if they’re alright. Share the load with other friends and family members, get them involved and rotate yourselves on a loose schedule—make sure everyone does their part.


Living together with them can be emotionally taxing. You’ve spent much of your life working to move away and gain independence, and suddenly you’ll be living with seniors and looking after them most of the time. It can be a real shock to most people, and you have to support them with the same love and care that they did for you. You’ll see their quality of life deteriorate, you’ll notice they forget things, and you’ll have to help them with basic tasks like bathing and cooking.


Make sure you relax now and then. Never put the entire burden on your shoulders, and speak to people to let your thoughts out instead of bottling them up.


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Take it Easy


The key to looking after ageing friends and family is to take it slow. Never rush to conclusions, never over-prepare, and look on the brighter side of everything. You might find yourself screaming internally while taking care of them, or you might want to throw in the towel and hire a professional carer—but never give up! Growing old is an inevitability, and one day you’ll be in the same position they are. Treat them how you’d like to be treated when you grow older.


Easy Ways To Keep The Spark Alive When You’ve Been Together For Years

It’s perfectly natural for the dynamic of your relationship to change over time. Like most couples, when you first met, you were probably completely and utterly smitten with each other. You didn’t fight. Nothing about the other person irritated you. Fast forward a few years, and the chances are that the relationship you have now is very different to the one that you had then.

What it’s important to understand is that it’s perfectly natural for your relationship to change over time. When you’ve been with someone for a long time, the way that you see each other begins to change. The good news is that although the dynamic of your relationship will change over time, there are plenty of ways you can ensure that the spark is kept alive.

For some suggestions for keeping the chemistry good between the two of you, even after you’ve been together for years, keep reading.


Keep the TV off and talk


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A mistake that a lot of couples makes when it comes to their relationship is spending most of their time together in front of the TV. When you sit in front of the TV, you stop talking to each other. So it’s important to keep the TV off sometimes, to ensure that you continue to talk to each other. Perhaps you could make a rule that for an hour each night you’ll sit down together with a glass of wine and talk about your day and what you’ve been up to? Stock up on your favorite wine – to find a wine you love, resources like WithMyWine can be useful – and sit down with a glass each night and have a chat with your partner.


Go out once a week


As well as making time to chat together at home, it’s also a good idea to make an effort to go out with your partner once a week. It’s far too easy to get into a rut with your relationship, so it’s important to mix things up by going out on a date once a week. This could be to your favorite restaurant, to the movies, or to a bar for drinks. It doesn’t matter what you do, just as long as you get out of the house.


Make an effort to be intimate with each other


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The chances are that when you were first together, you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. However, now that you’ve been together for a while, you most probably aren’t as intimate with each other as you once were. Make an effort to show your partner affection by holding their hand, cuddling them, and kissing them. These might only be little things, but you’d be amazed at how much difference they can make to your relationship.


Have a laugh together


It’s easy to get into a habit of moaning at each other more than you have fun together. So it’s important to make having a laugh together a priority. Watch comedy films, go for days out at theme parks, try a new sport together. There are plenty of ways that you can have fun together; it’s just a case of making time to do so.

Believe it or not, even after being together for years, you can still keep the spark alive.



Tying The Knot? Easy Ways To Make Your Kids Feel Part Of Your Special Day

When you are preparing for your big day, it’s so important to think about the kids. After all, it’s going to be a big change for them to have a new step-dad. And you don’t want them to feel pushed out of your wedding day. Therefore, it’s so vital to include them in the wedding planning. Here are some easy ways to make your kids feel part of your special day.


Give them a special role

One way you can ensure your kid feels part of your big day is by giving them a unique role. You might want to make them a bridesmaid or an usher. Or you could ask them to be a ring bearer who brings the wedding rings to you and your hubby to be. Also, you could ask them if they would like to read a poem or a prayer at the ceremony. It’s an excellent way to ensure they feel part of the big day.


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Ask them to assist in making decorations

There is so much to do when wedding planning. Therefore, a small pair of helping hands can help you in ensuring the day goes to plan. And if your child does help you when it comes to decorations, they will feel part of your big day. Therefore, you could get them to help make table decorations. Or they could assist you in creating the invites. It might be just as simple as looking online for ideas for your big day. For example, they could help you to choose ceremony essentials. You can see more ideas online to make your big day extra special.


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Make sure they are in the photos

It’s so important that you include your kids in the pictures. After all, you want some new family shots which include their new step-dad. Therefore, make sure you write a list for the photographer and ask the kids to be in as many shots as possible. That way, they will feel part of the big day!

Ask them to walk you down the aisle

Although it’s tradition to get your father to walk you down the aisle, it’s becoming more popular to get your kids to do it instead. After all, it makes them feel incredibly special and proud if they can give you away. And it will make for lovely photographs if your son or daughter does walk you down the aisle.

Make them part of the vows

So many people are including their kids in their vows. As it says in this article, blended families make vows to each other’s children. And it can make for a heartwarming part of the day. Therefore, get your new husband to make a promise to your kids, and you can do the same to his children. It helps to ensure the kids all feel part of your family. And if they are old enough, you might ask them to do a speech!

And you might even want to consider taking your children on honeymoon with you. After all, you are celebrating being a new family, so it makes sense for them to be there!


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How Do You Help A Loved One Who Gets Seriously Ill?

No family is without its troubles. What makes a great family is the ability to help one another through those troubles. One of the hardest to face is serious illness. If someone becomes chronically ill, their whole life changes. Especially if they are becoming less able than they once were. As a loved one, however, there is a lot you can do to help. It takes a lot of courage to step up, but you’re not alone. Here are some ways you can get help.

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Broaching the topic

Even addressing a chronic illness can be hard for the one suffering from it. They may feel embarrassed, ashamed or angry. That they tell you is a big step. You can then help them broach the topic with others. Make sure that you’re not defying their wishes and discuss who they would like to know. Help them be aware that if members of the family know, they may be able to offer more help.

Fight for their entitlements

The shame some people feel from getting seriously ill can make it hard to see the steps they have to take to look after themselves. But those steps aren’t always easy. For instance, things like social security disability can involve long waiting periods and hard appeals. Help them understand that the process isn’t always going to work in their favor. And how help from people like a social security attorney can be essential.

Adapting their environment

A lot of illnesses can bring with them widespread changes the mobility and physical ability of a person. These changes have to be addressed, especially if your loved one wants to continue living as independently as possible. To that end, changes in the home might have to be made. These changes can be expensive, but it’s worth noting that there exist grants for home modification that your loved one could be eligible for. Otherwise, you may have to consider broaching the topic of having to move home.

Finding them the help they need

Your loved one may have trouble with a lot of day-to-day tasks. Using the bed or the bathroom, cooking, cleaning their home. You and your family should be willing to offer assistance as they may be too embarrassed to ask first. If you are unable to handle all the responsibility yourself, ask if they would like you to help them find a caregiver.

Be there for them

There’s a lot of practical advice you can use to help your loved one. But it’s important to realize they may need help with more than the practical side of things. Chronic illness can be a hard thing to even talk about, but there guides to help you know what to say. Emotional support and listening are vital. Don’t take any steps without talking about them first and don’t push constantly even if you’re trying to help. Being present and willing to help is most important of all.

Being there for your loved one is the most valuable thing you can offer. Ask them what they need and see if any of the advice above can help you fulfill it.


On the Breakdown of the Family: What Does This Portend?

There has been much literature published on the breakdown of the family unit but in recent years a renewed interest in the subject has been stirred by the controversial nature of same-sex marriages and all the press they have gotten. This has reopened the debate on whether or not the breakdown of the family unit is responsible for crime and poverty and as time goes on, it appears as though it does.

However, validation comes not from a religious perspective as many would like to claim when denying the possibility that a two parent household is important in the development of children, but from a purely socioeconomic perspective. As time goes on, it does appear that the breakdown of the family unit is largely, or at least in part, responsible for a rising crime rate and a life of poverty.

How Same Sex Marriages Can Mirror Traditional Benefits for Children

In a recent study undertaken by the combined efforts of two professors from Harvard University, it was their findings that children from two parent households fared better in the long run than those coming from single parent families. Their findings were not biased by overtones of religion but rather stemming from purely socioeconomic factors.

It is extremely difficult to be a single mother/father and raise a family while giving adequate attention to both children and jobs. Whether it is a same-sex marriage or a traditional marriage, having two parents in the household offered better hope for the future. Children from two parent households went, for the most part, optimistically forward into adulthood getting both a degree and a living wage.

Two Parent Households Provide Better Focus on the Kids

There are few, if any, studies that indicate that it is as easy to give your children the attention they need in a single parent household as would be possible in a two-parent household. By the time you have worked enough hours to pay the bills and have done all the household chores, there is little time or energy left to devote to the children.

Again, the thesis that two parent families offer hope to our youth isn’t based on Judeo-Christian precepts. Yes, you can explore sites like OnFaith, a site for all religions to find that all religions commend family life for offering the greatest opportunities for children but you can also see the implicit understanding that economics has a great deal to do with that hope as well.

General Conclusions:

Rather than blame one group or another for this breakdown of the family unit, maybe a good place to start would be to look at some of the facts and figures that have become available due to these recent studies. Across the board in almost every community studies of all racial and cultural demographics, children from two parent homes fared better in adulthood than those of single parent homes.

This is not to say there won’t be exceptions to the rule, it is just to indicate that as the family unit continues to erode, the prospects for the future of society look grim unless another paradigm is found and developed – that of the extended family in the community at large representing multiple father or mother images to take the place of the missing parent. It’s a thought provoking concept that should be explored.