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Families Need to Take Accountability

15 Jul

There have been over 270 murders in the city of Chicago to date.  In smaller cities the numbers may not be as high, but the fear and prevalence of violence persists. Thousands of people silently suffer from mental illness and even other physical illnesses but those closest to them refuse to acknowledge the truth. Who is supposed to acknowledge the illness or the murderer? Who is to be held accountable for the actions of the young? For the apathetic attitudes of our teenagers and young adults? For the unhealthy behavior of those in need of medication?

Families need to begin to take accountability. 

If reading about our current state in a book, I would believe that the people of the world had inherited a psychotic diagnosis that was only getting worse with each birth. I would believe that there was a plague of apathy that spread across the globe. But since I am not reading about the world I live in in a book, I hear stories, experience, and listen to first hand accounts about sadness, hopelessness, and death. To clarify, not just death- murder, genocide, greed, and emotionally unstable individuals that form cliques, formed gangs, formed community, take over. On the less traumatic end of the spectrum, we have mass obesity, rampant sexually transmitted diseases, and students struggling to be labeled literate.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

Why do we ignore the unhealthy behaviors we notice in either ourselves or loved ones early on? Or the learning challenges our children and nieces and nephews struggle with when they attempt to practice what they learned in school at the kitchen table? Who is supposed to love their relative enough to say “you may need to eat healthier…”, “you have to turn yourself in”, “you will never make it if you keep that up”, and all of the dead on phrases and statements that acknowledge the need for help and healing. What do you do when your cousin is the gun man or rapist? I recently read a quote that said “blood makes us related but loyalty makes us family”. This made me think about the term loyalty. Although it is important to be loyal to people, one has to know where loyalty to self, moral and spiritual beliefs, and to the greater good outweighs loyalty to one person.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

Hypothetical scenario: two people I am loyal to get into a fight. Friend A harms friend B. What am I do to as a loyal person?…….Harm is the keyword. Not a simple argument, but damage. Hard one to answer right. Why? Because of cliche terms and phrases such as loyalty that allow us to ignore unhealthy behavior. We become proud of our families reputation for owning the block or controlling the school with bully tactics. We use loyalty to avoid truth and decision making.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

If you and your family struggle with similar issues here are some simple yet may be challenging solutions to begin your plan for accountability.

1- call a family meeting and discuss your priorities for the young people in the family, in particular high school and younger. Ask the hard questions- do we have the resources and internal mentors to help our young people? Do we need to seek out local programs to ensure our young people reach their greatest potential? Whatever you think needs to be discussed- discuss it. If the family meetings are in effective after six months you may need to reconsider.

2- go to family therapy. If you do not have insurance seek a therapist that accepts Medicare or Medicaid. Maybe your family can pitch in $5 per family meeting and once a month have a mediator attend the meeting. This will help ensure you have someone to provide resources and professional assistance.

3- be consistent. Unfortunately families respond to similar situations differently depending on who the relative is and the connection to others within the clan. This sets a competitive tone and makes it difficult for the younger generation to understand family expectations and boundaries. If the family is consistent in their response (both disapproval and reward) system, values will be embodied and passed on for generations to come.
What are some ways that you and your family take accountability?
Below is a link to an article that discusses the need for accountability in a families culture.
I would also recommend looking for a therapy company such as SoulWork LLC. A home-based private practice in Chicago that offers reputable therapy services and accepts various insurance (including medicare and medicaid) and flexible payment plans.
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