Some thoughts on how to successfully raise a child in the midst of a crumbling society.
1. When a child turns 18, many parents, exhausted from child rearing, believe that they can turn the young person loose to find their own way. There isn't enough of a transition between high school and being thrust into adulthood, to just back off on parenting. They need the affection, guidance and support of a loving family more than ever during this bewildering time. They need hugs and approval (from both parents) as they feel inadequate and lost in an adult world. The appropriate time to leave home will differ from child to child, and your child will let you know when he or she is ready.
2. It may be tiring to parent a child beyond what you had expected to, but the repercussions of not becoming your child's best friend, of not listening to him or her, of not encouraging the sharing of dreams† will be more painful than the extra care required along the way.
3. A child should feel welcome and peaceful in their own home. Allow a time for re-entry when he or she has been away. Re-entry time should be a welcoming, re-affirming time when a parent makes time to listen to, and love, the child. This is not the time to assign chores or blame for undone chores, criticize, or reprimand. It's a 'welcome home' time. The same applies right before going to bed.
4. These are distressing times for everybody. A sensitive child will be able to feel the social upheaval. Put extra effort into your homelife to delight, surprise and praise your family. Keep your family close and let happy moments follow in your footsteps wherever you go. Explain to your child in broad terms what is happening to their world and that extra care needs to be taken to create a haven of peace at home. Make a concerted effort to keep threatening issues from being accentuated (don't use the television as a babysitter). Explain to them that they will have to be careful to choose friends that inspire them to succeed in life, because not everybody will be able to flourish in these times of change.
The Seer Almine
†The Dream Dictionary should be your guide about pitfalls and problems your child may not even be aware of.