When I think about human’s ideal condition, I picture a human with healthy cognitive and mental functioning living in healthy and safe environment. This description reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which consist of psychological needs, safety needs, love, self esteem, and self actualization. The hierarchy shows that human needs to have all of these to become a person with optimal performance. The psychological and safety needs, in my opinion, are the two most important needs that must be fulfilled and nurtured as early as possible and maintained in the long run. Productive and progressive community could be established when the people who live in it meet their basic needs and are nurtured.
However, we know that a truly perfect condition is rarely happened due to numerous reasons, and as a result, supportive elements are needed to create acceptable living condition that could foster the growth of healthy population. What I am going to discuss here is solely based on my opinion and experience working with families. Through this writing, I hope to share with you how parents and/or primary caregivers have important roles in shaping a person’s personalities and nurture his/her skills into a responsible adult. I also want to show how adults such as, teachers, doctors, and government play supportive roles in helping a person to reach his/her full capacity.
Ronald (imaginative name), is living with his parents and three other siblings in a rented house. Mother is a stay-at-home mother, while father works full-time as an office manager. A lot of crimes in their neighborhood, but the family can’t move because of their limited budgets. Family owns a car, and this car is used by the mother to transport children to school. Mother helps Ronald and his siblings with their school assignments. Mother is making sure that all children eat properly and have clean clothes. She rarely buys new clothes unless she has extra money left. She doesn’t feel shame, when a friend or a neighbor donates clothes and toys to her children. She and her husband want to ensure that Ronald and his siblings could get proper education and graduate from colleges. They believe that having a good education and degree could help their children to get a better job and thus earn more money.
Sandra (imaginative name) is the only child in her family. Her parents are both working in offices. Sandra lives in a nice house and safe neighborhood. Parents are way to busy that they do not spend time with Sandra. No one is supervising her school work and her social circles. Sandra’s friends manipulate her and encourage her to smoke and drink alcohols though she is still young. One day Sandra’s teacher caught her smoking weed and drinking beers at the school parking lot. Sandra is then placed on school detention and have to go through medical tests. Parents are blaming each other because of this. They feel shame because their daughter is taking drugs and is almost expelled by the school.
Rin (imaginative name), is an orphan child. Her parents were dead when they tried to escape from the war in their city. Rin was found by the Red Cross relief worker and has been stayed at the camp since then. Nurses and doctors took care of Rin because of her trauma and malnutrition. She attends school at the camp and soon will be moved to another city that is not affected by the war. Her social worker is searching for a foster family who could care for her wellbeing. Rin finally lives with her foster family, but she still feels scared of them. Her social worker convinces Rin that she will be all right and the worker will check on her on monthly basis. Her foster family is responsible for providing basic living needs such as food, clothing, safe house, education. Rin still needs to see a counselor to help her with her trauma.
Rocky (imaginative name) is a child with learning disabilities. Rocky’s parents hire a tutor to help him with academic work. Little did they know that this tutor often called Rocky name, like “stupid,” and often said”you never ever able to graduate.” Rocky has been begging to his parents to not bring the tutor home. His parents thought he was just lazy and did not investigate more. Years later, Rocky turns into a moody depressed young boy. He likes to hit anyone who doesn’t agree with him. When he beats another person, he says “stupid, stupid, stupid guy.” Rocky is taken to the police station due to his behaviors.
These 4 situations are just a glimpse of examples from countless possible situations that could happen to any human beings. The common theme from these 4 situations is that safe and healthy nurturing environments could lead to positive and better outcomes. When supportive elements are not present, even the naturally good conditions could turn into bad conditions.
It is crucial for parents to spend time with their children on consistent and daily basis. Small things like eating together, reading books could create bond and foster positive interaction.
It is also important for educators to provide healthy learning experience for students in the classrooms. Acknowledging students’ difficulties and working together to solve the problems in the neutral and healthy ways are always encouraged.
Mental health and health practitioners need to educate and spread awareness to community about the importance of creating safe and healthy environment for children by discussing about the long term benefits of creating and maintaining safe environment for children.
Law enforcement and government need to coordinate all segments and work together to promote healthy environment by ensuring that community members have enough food and proper housing and create safe communities.
Finally, the above scenarios require all of us as a community to work and collaborate with each other to create healthy-safe environment and maintain it in the long run. The maintaining process requires every member in the community to educate and remind each other what is right, just, and positive for our community.