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Parents often have a very difficult job raising children to make sure that they provide them a good start to life and are given the tools to stand on their own two feet eventually.

Other things may cause children issues, be it health or environmental. Indicated here are the top points:

This year there has been a lot in the press about children being obese. This is quite a hot topic because children should be active, fit and healthy. Many of today’s environmental factors may be contributing to this health issue. When I was growing up all I remember is playing outside, riding a bike and running after my friends; now-a-days, children like to sit in front of a computer or Xbox and play games, this is ok providing the parents keep an eye on the amount of time their children are sitting in front of a computer or television. Also, heightened fears about kids’ safety while playing outside can curtail some of their activity. While they are sitting down they are far less active, this could have other implications on digestion, concentration, even delaying going to the toilet. I have seen many children with bad posture, due to long periods of immobility, or the longer they play the more they slouch. Lack of exercise will make children obese, they use less energy, get into bad eating habits, or are allowed to eat in front of the TV or while playing their games.

Drug abuse is also a big problem in today society. I’ve read horror stories of drug dealers hanging outside schools. Peer pressure. Rap music has also been blamed for behavioural problems and drug taking. Smoking is number three on the list. Again most kids smoke because their friends do it and they think it’s cool. Teaching children from a young age that these things are dangerous and of the implications of getting involved may help by encouraging them to go to the library and find information about these topics.

Number three on the list, bullying. When a child is bullied at school, they will make every excuse not to go to school. Try and get your children to open up to you and explain the situation. Talking to the bully’s parent may be an initial step in resolving the issue. If not, bringing it to the headmasters attention may be advisable.

Number four on the list is internet safety. There are many different types of internet security that you can install on the computer. I know of one called net nanny, which I heard about through my husband. You can also use parental options to lock down things you don’t want your children to see. The Xbox has a family timer, from 5 minutes upwards, select an appropriate time for the Xbox to switch off. Stress in number five. Kids may be affected by stress due to exams, problems happening at home, abuse. Depending on the severity of the stress and what is causing it, parents should seek professional help. Often someone neutral could help and the child may open up to them further. Children need stability and a routine, and of course rules, to adhere to.

Teen pregnancy is also on the list. One of parent’s worse nightmares is for their daughter to become pregnant. Again this is something that parents can talk to them about before they start secondary school. I personally do not think that letting a 9-year-old watch a programme about teen pregnancy is wrong, providing it is educational. Showing them newspaper clipping of stories relating to this topic is educational. Being open with your children and building a good relationship is also important. As parents we should be showing them the way and supporting them.

Teaching them the difference between making love and having sex, diseases like HIV, Chlamydia. Sometimes if the parents have had a hard life themselves, it may be about breaking the cycle, to give your own children a better start.