First and foremost it’s a blessing that we have life. It’s a blessing that we woke up today. Obviously our purpose has not been fulfilled and when it is we will join with those who have gone before us. As I’ve traveled across this country and had the opportunity to meet young people of all different races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds and I have found a startling similarity; our young people are angry. Not all of them but too many. You would think that their anger would be based upon their neighborhoods, schools or their living conditions but it’s much deeper than that. Don’t get me wrong we are all agitated at times at our current condition and the majority of us want more for our lives but their anger is deep seeded. James Baldwin said, “In the history of mankind young people have always failed to listen to the adults but they have never failed in imitating them.” It’s amazing that we as a adults try to recruit our young people to some of our religious institutions which in some cases are more corrupt than the streets that were trying to save them from.
As I sit and listen to the stories of our young people I’m shocked at how they have made it this far. Stories of physical, verbal and sexual abuse flows from their lips like water from a faucet. Young girls who have been labeled problem children by their administrators cry to me as they recall being inappropriately touched by their own fathers. Can you imagine that? The man who should be protecting them is instead stealing away their innocence and now this princess has thoughts of taking her own life. I’m not making this up!!! Our young people aren’t angry for no reason, their anger is the effect. Its our job to find the cause and remove it. So what is the cause? Is it fatherless homes? Is it motherless homes? What is the best family structure for our children? Before we can answer those questions lets break down the four types of family structures
According to Toby Shelton who is a writer and researcher on products in the Health and fitness field explains that a “Family structure, like society at large, has undergone significant changes” Most of the time when we define family we imagine a mother, father and children. It seems that we care more about the structure then how healthy it is for our children. In my travels I’ve found that you can have the “traditional” family structure and the children can still end up extremely dysfunctional. There are four types of families structure; Nuclear, Single Parent, Extended, and Childless.” I want you all to take a look at the four types of family structure and see where you fit.
The first structure from the four types of family is Nuclear. A nuclear family consists of a mother, father, and their biological or adoptive descendants, which often called the traditional family. This without a doubt is the most admired of the four types of structure. It can be a great environment in which to elevate the children as long as there is love, time spent with children, emotional support, low stress, and a consistent economic upbringing. Toby makes a great point that we must acknowledge and that is just because a father is in the household doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s best for the children.
The second structure from the four types of family structure is the Single Parent. Children are most likely to live in a single parent structure for reasons other than the death of a parent. One in four children is born with their mothers not married, usually teenage mothers. Many of us grew up in this situation and because of the struggle it has made me the person who I am and I’m sure you feel the same.
The third structure from the four types of family is the Extended Family. Extended family is two or more adults from unlike generations of a family, who share a household. It consists of more than parents and children; it may be a family that includes parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster children. At times children are raised by their grandparents when their parents have died or no longer can take care of them. Extended families can be found all over the world in different communities and countries.
The fourth and last structure from the four type of family structure is the Childless Family. A childless family is basically a group of people from all variety of backgrounds and all walks of life who, for whatever reason, have never had children.
I realize that there is no greater impact on our children than their parents. I’m not saying that school, music, their peers don’t have an impact but the overwhelming majority of the young people that I have come across are angry because of the love that they have not received from their mothers and fathers. Our young people don’t listen to us, they see us so they implement what they see not what they hear. It all boils down to family. An African Proverb read that the universe will always be off balance as long as the family is. So what is the solution? Well first to my young people I want you know that you may have not had a choice how you got here but you can choose where you’re going. No matter what family structure you find yourself in you must know that your destiny is in your hands. We must use our anger to fuel our greatness! To the adults we must prepare for our children long before we meet there father or mother. We must break the cycle! We must break the cycle! We must break the cycle! Family Matters!