What has worked for us before is not present today!
From the very beginning, our very survival depended on people working together to hunt, gather, protect, eat, reproduce and nurture. We had to learn how to communicate and read intentions of others to help. We had to develop a sense of what others were experiencing and reach out to make life better. People are here today because we developed relationships. Connections that worked, nurtured, endured. Who we are, our Identity, is a product of relationships. We need each other. We learned to love.
Love is learned. Love requires healthy, nurturing, caring experiences with significant adults in our life. That is the value of family but, unfortunately, that is changing. For over 150,000 years people lived together. Generations of one family together in the same dwelling. Human interactions were deep, rich, present. The ratio was 4 adults to 1 child. Any one of those adults held the responsibility of educating, loving, saying no and of course, yes. That is our evolution. That is what our being, our brains, have thrived on and have come to expect.
About 150 year ago the average family size was 6. Now it is 3 or less. 25% of Americans live in a dwelling all alone. Televison shows are the human connection. A daycare can hire 1 adult to take care of 5 children. Adolescents are turning to peer groups for relationships much sooner. Kids are turning to schools for positive adult connections, guidance and nurturing. Love can never be taught in our present educational system. Teachers are too busy managing, creating, learning an expanding and changing curriculum.
It can happen that many of our children are not directly exposed to love as a learned experience. Learning how to love others and be loved comes indirectly, by chance. Love is often experienced by watching television. Many of our kids are confused, lost, alienated with little awareness of how to be loved and to love others. The present is confusing and the future is uncertain filled with fear. So much of this can be rectified with healthy loving relationships with significant adults. Teaching how to love, be loved, think of others, walk in footsteps not belonging to you.
What to do? Be there! Be present in their lives. Interactions with love creates the internal reward of pleasure. Adult and child linked together. This is the bond that creates healthy relationships. What reward is your child looking for? Attention, approval and affection. A young person cannot experience any if significant adults are not present. This adult-child interaction creates the model for all future relationships for your child. This is learning how to love, be loved.