CHILDREN – FAMILIES
While it is true that the parent is the child’s first teacher, I sometimes wonder in this day and age, are parents (or guardians) actually doing that good a job in raising children? Sometimes having a child does not always make a good parent.
Far too often today many children aren’t even being taught good manners and proper behavior. They are rude and disrespectful, and don’t even take the time to think of how they hurt others with their actions alone. Parents aren’t disciplining them without teaching right from wrong. Even some of the basic and simplest of things. When a baby is little and can’t write a thank you note for a gift it’s normal for the parents to do that for them, but when they are old enough to write (even if they can’t form the words correctly) they should be doing this themselves. To this day, I still do this when I receive a gift or even sending a note when I have been had an outstanding visit with someone I still send a very nice handwritten note. Yes, I am aware that there are good parents out there but it is not always readily apparent. I’ve spent a great deal of time working with children and end up spending extra time on the learning of proper behavior (such as please, thank you etc.) since they are not learning it at home. Who can truly say where the fault lies in this regard?
The normal definition of a family is a group of people that are related by blood, or common ancestors. Anthropologists generally classify family organization as a mother and her children; a husband, his wife, and children; and an extended family in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent’s family. Today, there are many families with one parent as well as a family where the child is being raised by their grandparents. Also, there is a new definition of a family in today’s society, where the parents are of the same gender. Many couples who are unable to have a child the natural way, often adopt a child via an orphanage or even through the foster care system. Many also use a surrogate to have a child. In today’s society many seem reluctant to even discipline their child for fear of repercussions as well as the possibility of being reported to the authorities on suspicions of child abuse.
Society began to relate to the child not as a miniature adult but as a person of a lower level of maturity needing adult protection, love and nurturing. Children learning disabilities may need extra help to develop social skills. Children with poor attention spans may not tune into social cues in their environment, making it difficult for them to learn social skills through experience. The age at which children are considered responsible for their society-bound actions (such as marriage, voting age and more) has also changed over time, and this is reflected in the way they are treated in courts of law. Unfortunately with bad experiences children can fall through the “cracks” and end up in a life of crime. I realize that this is not always the case; there are good children out there as well.
Family is also an important economic unit. One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons, biologically and/or socially. This can occur through the sharing of material substances the giving and receiving of care and nurture, ties of rights and obligations; and moral and sentimental ties. Thus, one’s experience of one’s family shifts over time. From the perspective of the child, the family is a “family of orientation”: the family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their socialization. From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a “family of procreation,” the goal of which is to produce and socialize children. There are some that still see a split in what is expected of the sexes. Where a woman’s place is to be in the kitchen and the man is to be the primary bread winner. How have times changed!!!
Family arrangements in the United States have become more diverse with no particular household arrangement representing half of the United States population. The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions. In terms of communication patterns in families, there are a certain set of beliefs within the family that reflect how its members should communicate and interact. These family communication patterns arise from two underlying sets of beliefs. One being conversation orientation (the degree to which the importance of communication is valued) and two, conformity orientation (the degree to which families should emphasize similarities or differences regarding attitudes, beliefs, and values. No longer are marriages arranged for political or economic gain, and children are not expected to contribute to family income. Instead, people choose mates based on love. This increased role of love indicates a societal shift toward favoring emotional fulfillment and relationships within a family, and this shift necessarily weakens the institution of the family. As an agent of socialization, family is the primary source of influence behind the formation of personality and the growth of a child, due to its influence on the basics of personality and its role providing gender identity. There are children, whose parents are either separated or divorced, It’s important for the child (or children) to understand that it’s not their fault that mommy and daddy can no longer be together. And that their parents still love and care for them and will always be there for them no matter what. The parents should not use the children as a go between them and make the other parent look bad in the child’s eye.
A wise person has stated that children often learn by example. This is true, but unfortunately they can’t always distinguish between a good example and a poor example. They need more of the good in their lives and less of the negative.