A truly complex issue

I believe support for healthy families  is a multi faceted and generational issue-families manifest in many ways and not confined to traditional expectations. So maybe we need a modern definition of a family, if one doesn't already exist.

To me, a family's needs change over the life course. I'll use a largely traditional model as my example, but it should be able to flex according to situations.

Starting off, a couple might decide to live together. They need to be able to do this from choice and not economic neccessity as is often the case in NZ where cost of living is so high. It seems people move in together perhaps far sooner than they might because it is easier to afford, rather than when they are truly ready from a relationship standpoint.

There also needs to be firm grounding in what a healthy relationship looks like-including how to communicate, what behaviours are OK etc, how to argue constructively, fair division of labour etc. It really feels like society has lost the way on this, with violence being a default response to some and unrealistic expectations causing grief. 

I actually think part of the co-habiting process or marriage process, relationship property issues should be discussed as a requirement and addressed at the start.

All the usual life skills such as nutritious cooking on a budget, looking after garments including mending, basic home maintainence  and budgeting skills, growing veggies in whatever setting you are should be well taught. I know this sounds a bit twee but it would help, I believe. 

All parents must have access to a safe place to take a baby if the parent is at risk of harming it. Communities can create the solution to this that works for them (police vetted volunteers/ network of volunteer Aunties/Community hospital -whatever works.). Supportive care should then be immediately given to the parent.

The issues around our poor housing stock and gender wage disparity are well known and must be fixed.

There should be a way for society to make the return to one parent staying home until a child starts school possible-up to the parents which one that should be, and maybe limit it to 2 children in 5 years or something. Businesses should provide more opportunity for flexible working hours/job share/work from home where it is possible.

ACC should take account of the roles and work family members do and support those being replaced during a time of injury. Just as an example my husband was injured and they expected me to wash him before I went to work (shift starts at 0700), then do all the farm work he did after my work day-not realistic or doable!!!

Where children aren't a factor there might be other family pressures-ill health, aging family members, bereavement etc etc that might be able to be supported similarly. 

Certainly, where there is a caring need for a sick/disabled person within the family that must be properly supported in terms of the level of social care/respite/financial support so that the carer doesn't struggle.Caring for a family member with behavioural/mental health and addiction issues is especially challenging and there should be specialist advice and support for these.

As the family changes over time, support can be titrated against need. There might be a time where little is needed, then as the challenges of ageing kick in-including menopause, support can increase.

There are no doubt many other interventions, but these are my main ideas.

Why the contribution is important

Because we have to do something to stop the increases in family violence, poverty, breakdown in society and other problems if we want healthy families.

by AngryofEketahuna on March 19, 2023 at 10:39AM

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  • Posted by L3tzRol April 23, 2023 at 18:17

    Yes this sound amazing, but in reality is there or could there be this much support for help to those who are suffering because of the challenges they are going through.
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