i wanted a space where i could share ideas, success, and challenges that many families have experienced, and how they overcame, were sometimes even destroyed, yet continued to revere that sacred bond of family.
After months of observation and further thinking about family, I come to realize that although family is actually birthed by parenting, that it’s family that provides 1) evidence of the quality of parenting through it’s immediate and delayed feedback system(s), and 2) helps, if not determines, the shape of effective or ineffective parenting. This may not be earth shattering to most, but for me it’s monumental to reach this level of empirical understanding. This is major. It’s actually reasonable to think or entertain this perspective. As an active parent, I observe how my children live. I also observe how the organization of our culture functions, which includes the full and short range family system. Each of the family members are largely independent, but also highly interdependent or ecological. There’s distance, but also connection. They may respond to the parent, but they also may respond differently. Parents are indeed a member of the family, only with different responsibilities and authorities. Parents gave birth, but did they give personal authority ? They expect for young children to grow a general routine of dependency, and therefore, rest on low grade authority. Of course, there are exceptions. I’d like to approach that later. Right now, I’m fond of taking this new perspective of family even further.
There is a continuum to parenting. And the evidence shows when consideration is made through an observation of the children, or “members” of that family. If children “act bad”, then it’s assumed they imitate the teaching of the parent. If parents “act bad” then there’s an assumption they are acting independently. Is that really true ? Is family the “higher order” of human interaction ? And therefore serves as the principle authority that really “governs” both parents and other members of this ecological group ?
I’ll leave this for now. just for now.
The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of New Families (PEW, November 10, 2010)