Why Theravive Embraces Mothers and Fathers
We believe the best (ideal) place to raise children are by their parents in a loving relationship. We do not consider expendable, a mother or a father. If a society teaches, for example, that a father is expendable and optional in raising a child, what does that teach our young boys about fatherhood? Is it any wonder then, that they may grow up and be uninvolved fathers? Mothers and fathers offer unique attributes in the development of a child that no one else can fully substitute, and this is backed up by research. A fatherless or motherless child, or a child in a single parent home, may still have a wonderful loving home (please do not read this value to mean that homes without two parents are bad). What we mean is that these are not things we would plan for, or wish upon our children when they become parents. Most single parents, for example, never planned on being single parents and wouldn't wish it upon their children. We believe that no matter what path we may have taken in life as a parent, it is always healthy to teach our children the value of marriage and family, and the irreplaceable value of fatherhood and motherhood. This gives them a solid direction in life, and a strong system of values that will guide their future, helping them to become loving, involved, and active parents. We want our children to model the best parts of us, and not our regrets.
In therapy, this means that we strive for healthy relationships between parents and their children. For children growing up in homes where there is no possibility of a healthy relationship with one or both parents, or where there is a deep rift in the extended family, we can work with clients to to help fill the gap by finding healthy and strong role models, such as those in the boy scouts or big sister groups. We also give parents powerful tools that will help strengthen their children's self identity and value system, something especially vital for children who are living in broken homes or where their parent(s) are in a life crisis.
Doesn't Your View of Parenting Exclude Foster / Gay / Single / Step parents?
Absolutely not. Someone who is gender fluid and also a biological parent says nothing about their capacity to love and cherish their child. Who would advocate removing a child from their mother or father due to their sexual orientation? The idea itself is irrational and contemptible.
In regards to LGBT foster parents, again the answer is we make no such exclusion. The founders of Theravive are both foster parents and have a deep admiration for those who have the courage and depth of spirit to raise and love a child who is not theirs, or take on the role alone as a single parent when the other parent has all but left the scene. A loving home is always to be cherished, and this is why the foster system exists, to help give children a chance to be raised and loved by others who have the commitment to do so for the best possible chance at a fulfilling life. And in our support of ALL foster parents, regardless of sexual orientation, we also embrace a dream that mothers and fathers would simply love their children, which would mean that countless neglected and abused children in the foster care system right now would never be there in the first place. To uphold the principle that mothers and fathers should love their children does not put down non-natural or single parents at all. To further explain this question, please allow us to get a little academic for a bit, so put on your thinking cap and read on.
Our value of parenting is taken from the principles of reunification that is embraced by both the legal system and CPS throughout Canada and the United States. Reunification is a principle that ascribes to the philosophy that a mother and father are, by default, not expendable in a child's life, and that in a perfect world, the ideal place for a child is with their natural parents in a right relationship. Now of course, this isn't the reality (hence why we say "by default"). There are many times where a natural parent can be the worst thing for a child, and this is one reason why professional therapy can play a crucial role in helping to untangle some of the chaos and bring light into a dark pain, even if it is just for the child alone.
A natural parent will have default precedence in both a court of law, and in CPS in both Canada and the United States in determining the best home for that child. For example (and we have seen this example more than once), consider a single mother who struggles with a drug addiction and abusive relationships, and ends up having her children taken from her.. These children then wind up in a foster home. Their new home is quiet, loving. It is safe. It is financially stable. It is everything society says is ideal as a home for a child. The two parent foster home (gay or straight, it doesn't matter), on the surface, is far better then being with the single mom addicted to meth in a filthy apartment, who struggles even to pay the bills. But now imagine the mother gets her life under control. She gets treatment for, and is freed from her addiction. She takes all the steps required of her by CPS and the courts. She wants her children back. The courts in both the US and Canada will, by default, take those children right back out of that loving, stable foster home, and put them back with their mother. This doesn't mean that the foster parents were 'bad', and yes it can be heartbreaking. What this means is that if a natural parent can find a healthy relationship with their children, then that is something of great importance. It is a principle that speaks to something greater, something transcendent, that is beyond the reach of double blind studies, the DSM V, or standardized psychological testing. It speaks to a philosophical ideal. Philosophy is altogether beyond the reach of psychology, indeed, it is another realm completely.
We long for a society that teaches children that if / when they become parents, they will be loving and involved. There are far too many parents out there who have no involvement in their children's lives. How many mothers and fathers are out there right now, who have abandoned their own children, either physically, relationally, or both? Let's instill the value into our sons and daughters that says "when you become a parent, you have a responsibility to love and protect them, your role as a parent is not expendable to your child."
To advocate a man who fathered a child or a mother who has a child, to be present and involved in their child's life is a good, sound, and healthy principle to embrace. One we uphold. . To specifically address gay parents, a gay father, for example, has every ability to love his child as a straight father. What we emphasize is simply the father, and loving his child, this has nothing to do with putting down anyone else, it merely is uplifting our desire that mothers and fathers love their children. It is as simple as that. In therapy this means your therapist will be sensitive to involved children and hope for a healthy relationship with their parents, if possible. Remember, your young children are innocent, and they experience pain and trauma much different then adults. We only want the best for them, in all cases.
All of the counsellors listed in our directory have committed to upholding our core values
Your experience with a Theravive counselor should be one that is beneficial to you. You are always welcome to contact us with any question or comment regarding your experience with one of our therapists.
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