Most social problems all derive from the family household. Considering its great standing in today's world shouldn't the family be almost perfect? Shouldn't it stay intact until its death? Don't we all want a clean, socially adapted country?

Surely, the answer to these questions is yes. So, what can the family do to bring about this change we all desire and need? There are several ways, both psychologically and physically.

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The environment that a family lives in says a lot about the way it operates and, more than likely, how it will end up. In The Bahamas if we go places like Kemp Road etc. we don't think very highly of the families and 'thugs' that live there do we? This is what I am trying to imply. If families that wanted to be free from troubles and social problems they should find a better environment. Say some may not be able to afford it. From this point of view they are forced to stay where they are.

But letting their children 'frolic' with the thugs outside does not say much for their future. In fact the families are unintentionally grooming them to become future criminals. This grooming, "7.5 out of 10 times" develops the children into criminals, thus polluting society and creating more social problems for Bahamians, tourists and the government to deal with. Also, when tourists may happen to pass areas similar to this they are likely to think the same as us, therefore discouraging them to visit The Bahamas again, and this leading to economic problems then into more social problems.

Child Abuse

Child abuse in families is becoming more and more popular. However when someone says 'child abuse' they immediately think of a father beating his child. It rarely occurs for a mother to be thought of. In fact, 15 out of 20 people surveyed immediately pictured a father beating his child when this phrase is exposed to them. But what people don't know is that physical beating is not the only kind of child abuse. They come in many, many forms.

Sexual Abuse

This is when a child is sexually harassed by one of their parents. This frequently leads to pre-marital sex, teenage pregnancy (a big social problem) and other sexually connected problems. Sexual abuse inside the house then lures the child to do more, outside of the house. Sexually related social problems are very common and are increasing day by day. It normally comes from problems within the house. Any form of sexual experiments involving and unwilling child is referred to as 'child abuse'. "Rape, molestation, prostitution, incest, or sexual contact with a child or using a child for any form of sexual exploitation including making sexually explicit videos or pictures". Sexual abuse leads to these factors of social problems and disorders within a child:

* Teenage pregnancy

* AIDS/HIV and other diseases

* Pre-marital sex

* Corrupting children's minds

Sexual abuse is common but not nearly as common as physical abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse most of the time comes up because of "over-discipline". It is when parents inflict physical pain among their children. This is the most common type of child abuse. Because of its cruelty it may lead children to develop a hatred, grudge and miserable life. This miserable life translating into school and social life.

Frequently the husband inflicts the abuse not only on his child or children but research shows that wives frequently become abused as well, due to the father's uncontrollable anger.

Physical abuse, in my opinion, definitely leads to social problems because of the way it corrupts a child. It easily develops a miserable and meaningless life for the poor child.

Child Neglect and Mental Damage

Just as scars can remain a lifetime from physical abuse, child neglect and mental damage done to a child is worse. Child neglect may include:

* "Inadequate supervision

* Lack of physical or mental support

* Lack of economic needs for the child

* Lack of education given

* No support

* Expulsion from the home

* Lack in Health Care

* Lack of emotional support"

In short, a child's basic needs. Neglect may lead a child to believe that he/she is not wanted in today's world, forcing them to think that 'running away' from this life is the only solution. There are people in The Bahamas that are constantly looking for children to abduct believe it or not. They rely on runaway or lost children. The 'abductor' raises the child as his own and develops the child into a social menace. It may not be common, but this is just one of many scenarios.

What can families do about it?

Families can do a number of things to resolve these kinds of problems:

* Remove, repair or break down the source of stress of the family as much as possible to allow easier flow between the families

* Save up as a family to try and move into better neighborhoods

* Try and not expose the children of the family to negative factors if they live in an unstable environment

* Get rid of the person or report the person inflicting the child abuse

* Try and develop affectionate relationships with children to avoid them feeling neglected

In conclusion, environment and child abuse are the main factors that families are to work on to make it a better Bahamas. If families played a stronger role in raising their children our future would be brighter than it already is.