Lack of time and materialism:
This is one of the commonest. Most parents are just too materialistic to be effective formators. They are obsessed with moneymaking that they forget their duties towards their children. They fail to realize that there is no treasure that they could possibly acquire that will be greater than raising good and responsible children. Moneymaking is good of course and is even necessary for the upbringing of the child, but adequate nurturing surpasses all that money can do in the training of the child. Proper nurturing imparts true humanness in the child and makes him open to life in all its realities. Parents must change their lifestyles as soon as a child enters the home.
Lack of Preparation:
This is also lack of training. Most people disregard the teachings of the church regarding the family. Some people are too impatient to follow the recommended process in preparing for the sacrament of matrimony; even with all their ignorance as to what this vocation entails. They do not know, among other things, that the formation of children is the most difficult/tactical one and must be learnt before one can succeed in it. There should be knowledge of basic psychology and of ecclesial teachings concerning the family and the upbringing of children. There must be a sane understanding of life in general and of marriage as a vocation. Where there is any imbalance formation becomes more difficult/incomplete. Again, there should be good preparation in a person’s life; character and attitude towards things in general. A person who has a poor social life for instance, might be unfit for the marital state for he may not be able to live in a community. I believe that anyone who wishes to have a stable home must begin to work on himself; must begin to gain personal stability which he/she hopes to find in the family, for it must come from persons; the man and wife. This is an important point for the youth who wish to go into this state, for them, it is easier to build stable homes if they are able to learn from the mistakes others have made and try to put it right in themselves while there is yet time.
Lack of Mutuality for Children:
Some parents are just too over dominating that they leave no breathing space for the children. This problem is prevalent and can hardly be noticed by the ones that have them. This is the situation where parents do not treat their children with respect. As I said earlier, many parents do not really think their children are humans. They find it difficult to honour their opinions or respect them in words and actions. They forget that respect is reciprocal; that when their children are mistreated in this manner, there is every chance that the children will not love them (the parents) when they are older. They could simply be tolorated, but really wanting them around would become an uphill task for the children.
Close Spacing of Children:
Children need about four years of particular and full dedication from parents (this does not imply that after those years they are to be disregarded). A child suffers some harm when he gets only about two years of attention before another comes to usurp his place in the house. When this is the case, parents should tactfully follow the situation trying not to make the other child feel forgotten or “thrown in the background”. They hardly show this but it has an effect on them even without their knowing it. Many families in this part of the world observe two years spacing, this is not exactly bad anyway, however, there is need for more tact and care in carrying everyone along, in order not to make anyone feel lonely or unloved. The warmth of parental love must be able to reach all.
Consumerism and materialism:
The voracious urge toward wealth causes great disorder and damage. In addition to what has already been said materialism could give the children another interpretation to our purpose in life. When children learn materialism from parents, it is always difficult to make them abandon it. Their lives are entirely changed, they suffer great disorders. For instance, they can no longer make good leaders, for this habit may lead to embezzlement of public funds, to bribery etc.
The greatest major difficulty is that the void left in the child because of inadequate nurturing cannot be filled with another thing; there is no substitute to love, trust and affection. They are not things you can pick up from the mall and “fix” in them at will. The early years of the child cannot be replaced with other times of his life. You cannot postpone the love and understanding he should receive when he is 3 to any other time.
Those early stages when properly utilized will help build a true human being, but when disregarded could result in serious harm. Whatever a child will be throughout his life, whether good or bad, begins at birth. It is therefore left for the parents to prune; helping nurture the good qualities in the child and patiently uprooting the bad ones and healing the wounds that this “uprooting” may leave in the young heart.