All I want for Christmas is a happy family”

This is what a 9 year old told his class teacher this week. This is not a looked after child who is longing for a family, this is a child who lives with his own family but is so aware of how unhappy it is. His family consists of adults who constantly argue and fight, mainly verbally but sometimes physically, and two older siblings who are often in trouble with other local teenagers or the police, which puts yet more strain on his parents who are already stressed. The combination of these factors coupled with alcohol misuse which increases over the festive period, does not make for a very happy family. For him, the material aspect of Christmas holds no attraction, what he wants more than anything is for the relationships between members of his family to be more peaceful and harmonious, not too much to ask for, or is it?

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