CULTURAL INFLUENCES IN DEVELOPMENT

CULTURAL INFLUENCES IN DEVELOPMENT

12

CULTURAL INFLUENCES IN DEVELOPMENT

CulturalInfluences in Development

Part1

Singlemums

Beinga parent is a challenging responsibility. However, the challenge ismagnified if the parent is a single immigrant mother living in aforeign country. Majority of the cultures in the world are maledominated. There are many challenges that face single mothers as theytry to fit in the society, balancing their parental responsibilityand other social and economic responsibilities such as work. Althoughall single mothers are faced with a lot of challenges, immigrantsingle mothers have limited or no family support, which worsen thechallenges they face. Some of the challenges that face single mothersinclude financial problems, social isolation, problems in makingcritical decisions, feeling of guilt and fatigue. Basically, asingle mum does the job of the father and the mother, which isemotionally and physically tiring (Hill, 2011). The workshop shouldprovide services that are aimed at cushioning single mother againstthese challenges, such as offering social and moral support to enablethem balance between work and family life. The services are aimed anempowering the women to become better individual as well as betterpersons. Specific services that will be offered to single mothers atthe workshop include communication skills and strategies, economicempowerment and independence, children development and stages andparenting programs. These programs are structured with based on thecultural and social context of the targeted single women.

Communityliving

Communityliving after long term incarceration is a challenge to manyindividuals leaving correctional facilities. This is more importantwhen the same individuals are faced with a wide range of social andeconomic challenges such as lack of stable income and employment,discrimination based on their race or immigration status and socialstigma associated with long term incarceration. Reentry supportservices are essential for these individuals. The social supportservices increases the chances of the individuals being accepted intothe society and thus reducing the risk of recidivism, improvingpublic safety and supporting the whole persons to ensure that thereis full rehabilitation. Some of the essential services may includefinancial support, psychosocial support, drug abuse and addictiontreatment, assistance in seeking employment, family reunion andprovision of basic needs such as housing. Basically, the workshopwith provide three category of services, which are employment andfinancial services, educational services and support services.Through the support of partners, these individuals will be able toovercome the social, cultural and economic hurdles in reentering thesociety.

Caregiverparents

Thereare an increased number of aged individuals in the modern society.Majority of these elderly members of the society requires specialcare since they are more venerable and suffer from terminal medicalconditions. This means that there are an increased number of membersof the society who taking care of their parents as well as theirchildren. This results into an emotional, financial and physicalburden. Many caregivers are more likely to ignore their physical andemotional wellbeing while taking care of their aged parents.Additionally, the financial burden of taking care of elderly andailing parent is enormous. This is more important for families thatare faced with social and economic challenges such as immigrationstatus, lack of employment and poverty. Therefore, caregivers needpsychosocial support as well as material support associated with caregiving. Some of the services that will be offered in the workshop forcaregivers include opportunities to share experiences and motivateeach other, enhancing social networks and communication skills andsupport services.

Parentingteens

Itis the desire of every parent to raise well behaved children.However, they approach the teenage years with fear and caution forknown reasons. This is especially important for the first children.Before teenage years, children are relatively more predictable. Dueto the development milestones children undergo during teen age years,this changes significantly. Consequently, parents are challenged bytheir own children and the parentage responsibilities. This is mainlydue to the many factors that are likely to have an impact on thechild life. The situation is direr for parents faced by otherchallenges such as unemployment and economic challenges. Theseparents tend to concentrate more on dealing with the challenges,ignoring their children. This can be attributed to lack ofinformation or ignorance. Programs that educate parents in thecritical issues affecting teenagers and how to effectively deal withthem are essential.

Part2

Singlemums

Studiesindicate that low income single women in employment are faced withincreased burden as they try to balance between family and workresponsibilities. The limited resources and other challenges faced bysingle mothers increases work family conflicts. Although majority ofstudies have focused on professional women with white collar jobs andrelatively good income, disadvantaged women have more aggravatedwork-family conflicts. This is especially important for singlemothers living in a foreign country with a low paying blue collarjob. One of the most important challenge facing single women is thebarrier to employment. These women have limited education andtherefore can not access white collar jobs. Additionally, due totheir family responsibility, they can not be engaged in some of theavailable jobs. This is mainly because they have limited workinghours, have less flexibility, lower levels of autonomy and are lesslikely to work in non standard shifts due to their parentalresponsibilities. Blue collar jobs are physically and tiring whichenhances the work-family conflict. In addition, immigrant women arefaced with more challenges due to the cultural differences that havenegative impacts on unconventional families (Hill, 2011).

Thereare several reasons why single mothers are faced with challenges inbalancing between family and work responsibilities. Both the familyand work setting have inherent potentials of conflicts. Theoverwhelming demands of a blue collar job as well as the family andparenting responsibilities of a single mother increases thelikelihood of conflict. As a result, majority of single immigrantmothers find it difficult to work. The challenges facing singlemothers in the home setting have a direct impact on their relationsand performance at work (Son &amp Bauer, 2010). On the other hand,challenges facing immigrant workers in the blue collar job settinghave negative impacts on their family responsibilities. This resultsinto a huge challenge for the single mothers. The ability of singlemothers balance between work and family responsibility cansignificantly reduce stress and enhance their qualities as mother andworkers. A balance between family and work will also enable them dealeffectively with the challenges facing immigrant women (Hill, 2011).

Todeal with these challenges, communication is very essential amongsingle mothers. Due to the cultural and social factors that have hugeimplications on the lives of single mother, they find it difficult tocommunicate the challenges facing them. Without effectivecommunication, they are unable to access support services.Additionally, poor communication results into more challenges due topossible conflicts. The workshop services will identify some of theappropriate communication channels that can be used by singlemothers. Positive communication is essential in balancing betweenfamily and work demands. The workshop will also address issuesrelated to economic empowerment. Single mothers find it difficult tomake wise career choices and make sound financial decisions. Servicesthat enhance their financial skills are also critical. Single motherare also faced with a huge responsibility of raising their childrenalone. Therefore, one of the workshop services will address thedevelopmental stages children go through and the role of the parent.In some communities, there are specific parental roles of the fatherand the mother. Helping single mother deal with these parentingchallenges is critical.

Communityliving

Whenindividuals are incarcerated in rehabilitation facilities, thegovernment through the various agencies has the responsibility oftaking care of the safety of the criminal and the wellbeing of thesociety. The main mission of incarceration is to protect the societyand property from the individual through incapacitation anddeterrence. However, the ultimate aim of incarceration is torehabilitate criminals and make them better members of the society.As a result, reentry programs are essential aspects of the criminaljustice system. The programs are aimed at offering support servicesto individuals released from correctional facilities to ensure thatthey transit successfully into the community life. However,individual’s characteristics as well as a variety of challengesindividuals are likely to encounter in the prison life cansignificantly impend the transition into community life. There hasbeen argument that the modern correctional facilities are hostile andviolent, thus hardening the criminals incarcerated in thesefacilities rather than rehabilitation. Individuals are alsointroduced to drug abuse and gang activity while in thesecorrectional facilities. On the other hand, individual and socialfactors may also hinder the smooth transition from prison tocommunity life (Ross &amp Richards, 2009).

Individualsliving in disadvantaged societies, for example immigrants, face morechallenges in transiting from prison to community life. Already,these individuals are faced with the challenge of being consideredsecond class citizens due to their legal status, immigration status,and countries of origin or race. They face discrimination andprejudice in the society. When these factors are combined with thespecial challenges facing individuals after release from prisons,they are faced with numerous social and economic challenges. Thisincreases the likelihood of recidivism and other psychologicalproblems such as stress and drug abuse. Although correctionalfacilities have programs are aimed to easing the transition into thecommunity life, there are some inmates who have specialcharacteristics and require special services and programs.Additionally, based on the high rates of reoffending, there is nodoubt that these initiatives are not working for majority ofoffenders being released from incarceration (Ross &amp Richards,2009).

Theworkshop will identify some of the main challenges facing individualsreleased from the correctional facilities and develop appropriateprograms and services to support them. One of the major challengesthat are likely to face these individuals is financial problems andlack of employment. This is due to cultural factors and stigmaassociated with incarceration. The workshop of offer services such aslinking the individuals to potential employers and advising them onopportunities that are available to them. The workshop will alsooffer education services that are aimed at preparing the individualsfor reentry into the society. For example, the workshop can offertraining that prepare the individuals for job offers or advice themon educational opportunities available to them. Most importantly,the workshop will offer support services to the individual. Therationale of the support services is to prevention of drug abuse,anger management, family reunion, legal assistance and mentoring.

Caregiverparents

Statisticalevidence suggests that the modern society is aging. This is due tothe advancement in medical technology which enables people to livelonger. Majority of the elderly in the society require full time caredue to terminal illness and incapacitation due to old age. Although agood number of elderly persons are able to live independently withminimal support from family members, care giving to the elderly is animportant concern to millions of families. Millions of adults offerlong term care to their aged parents, in addition to theresponsibility of caring for their own children. Since this caregiving is unpaid, it significantly affects the financial status ofthe care giver, quality of life and emotional and physical wellbeing.The primary care giver in the family setting is a spouse. However,this applies for ill or temporally disabled individuals. In the caseof elderly individuals, the children are the main caregivers(Bengtson &amp Lowenstein, 2013).

Theyare many challenges faced by caregivers in the home setting. Onaverage, a home caregiver spends at least eight hours every weektaking care of sick and elderly parents. In the modern society, bothmen and women are employed due to changing roles. Therefore, majorityof caregivers have to balance between work responsibility and caregiving, unlike in the past when women duties were confined in thehome environment. Care giving to the elderly is more challenging indisadvantaged families who are struggling financially. This includesimmigrant, unemployed and poorly paid semiskilled and unskilledworkers. In addition to the responsibility of taking care of theirchildren, these individuals have additional responsibilities oftaking care of their aging parents. They have to juggle withcompeting financial responsibilities of taking care of their childrenas well as their parents (Bengtson &amp Lowenstein, 2013).

Moraland emotional support is very essential for this group ofindividuals. They also require material support to meet theirdemanding responsibilities. To deal with the emotions and physicalstrain, these caregivers require social support groups where they canget encouragement and emotional support (Bengtson &amp Lowenstein,2013). The workshop will play a critical role in supportingcaregivers to deal with these challenges. The workshop will give thecaregivers an opportunity to motivate each other by sharing their ownexperiences in discussion forums. Experience of other caregivers willmake them appreciate the fact that they are not alone. Additionally,through interactions in the workshop, individuals will be able tocreate social networks and support group. This will enhance theircommunication skills and make them better caregivers. The workshopwill also provide social support indirectly by educating thecaregivers where they can obtain specific support, for example incase of emergency.

Parentingteens

Teenageis the most challenging stage of life. The stage of life is bothchallenging to the teenager as well as the parent. Majority ofprograms are aimed at supporting teenagers while ignoring thechallenged faced by parenting teenagers. Teenagers are more likely toget involved in violet behaviors, depression, substance abuse orreckless behaviors that are likely to land them in trouble. Thecommon assumption has always been parents are aware of how to dealwith these behaviors in teenage children. However, in reality, manyparents are faced with despair and emotional distress due to failedattempts to initiate communication with their children, endlessfights and excessive recklessness and defiance. Majority of theseparents live in fear of what their children will become in the longrun. Parenting these trouble young fellows may seem to be animpossible task. The task is more challenging when parents are facedwith other social and economic challenges. In the modern society,parents spend less time with their children long working hours andother responsibilities. Some parents are ignorant of the impact ofspending less time with their teenage children. Additionally,children are brought up in multicultural environments which exposethem to varying cultural values and standards (Riesch, 2010).

Theworkshop is aimed at equipping the parents with skills that arenecessary for parenting teenagers. There are many ways through whichparents can be assisted to help their children transits fromchildhood to adulthood. Most importantly is how to identify and dealwith undesirable behaviors in teenagers. In some case, teenagers arespoilt because of parental approach to deviant behaviors. Mishandlingbehaviors among teenagers usually results into resistance and poorrelationship between the parent and the child. The workshop willtrain parents on appropriate ways dealing with deviant behaviorsamong teenagers. This has a negative impact on the parenting role.The workshop will also help parent to understanding the changes anddevelopment taking place in the teenager’s body. It is wrong toassume that by the virtual of being adult, parents understand teenagechildren. This is essential in avoiding unnecessary conflicts(Riesch, 2010). Dealing with a teenager with deviant behaving is anemotionally challenging experience for some parents.

References

Bengtson,V. &amp Lowenstein, V. (2013). GlobalAging and Its Challenge to Families the Life Course and Aging,Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0202366324.

Hill,K. L. “Single Mothers – How Are They Doing?” Journalof Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict,15.1 (2011): 1-10.

RieschS. K, et al (2000). “Topics of conflict between parents and youngadolescents”. Journalof the Society of Pediatric Nurses,5, p 27–40.

Ross,J. &amp Richards, S. (2009). Beyondbars: rejoining society after prison,New York, NY: Alpha.

Son,S. &amp Bauer, J. (2010). “Employed rural, low-income, singlemothers` family and work over time”, Journalof Family and Economic Issues,31, p 107-120.