[Letters] Keeping family bonds strong

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[Letters] Keeping family bonds strong

“Blood is thicker than water” is an old saying with which most everyone agrees. Does everyone today also think that their home is a place where they can feel comfort and relief?

Unfortunately, the answer might be “no.” There seem to be signs that indicate the family is in a crisis - a lack of communication among family members, the bonds between them weakening, and so on - that threaten to seriously damage our society as a whole.

A society consists of many relationships, and the most important and fundamental among them is the family, which makes its members real “social beings.” What then if families come to near collapse? Maybe the society they belong to might also be weakened and undergo terrible chaos. These crises are occurring today, not in the future. Why are these things happening?

Most of all, with children tired out by long school days and [cram schools], parents lose opportunities for meaningful communication with them and thus fail to make them feel sincerely loved. Why? They come home tired and go directly to their rooms, shutting the door and playing computer games or watching TV. With these in place of their parents, they feel comfortable, though devoid of human connection. As such, they regard their home only as somewhere they could escape from harsh reality. The increasing numbers of families with two working parents is another reason families are on the verge of failing. How then to overcome these problems?

Remember, the roles parents play in families are of great importance. They should pay attention to their offspring with a view to assuring them that home is not a hideout but where they can really rest. They should try to know a lot about them, their feelings, their situations, rather than pressuring them about school grades. Parents only devoted to children’s grades are not being true parents, and only make their children feel depressed and stressed.

Parents should applaud and give encouragement to their children rather than just scolding and punishing them. Sometimes parents may need to scold children, of course. In today’s nuclear families in particular, where children might grow spoiled, it is imperative for parents to make them aware and responsible for their faults, thus helping them to become real social beings.

It is important to turn off the TV at night when all the family members come to gather at home. They must not allow the images and noise of the television drown out conversation. The less they talk with each other, the more danger their bonds could weaken.

Children, too, have to do their part. They should try to have conversations with their parents, not just play games and watch TV at home because they are tired from studying. You will realize how delightful it is. Cho Hee-ju, student, Gyeonggi Academy of Foreign Languages

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