‘Home is an ideal setting for family life education’ – Essay

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No other agency can replace its functions entirely. At home, children get an initiation into living together in family. Parents are the first teachers of a child. They ensure a secure environment for children who learn their roles and try to do various tasks according to their age and ability.

They get personal and emotional space to express themselves without any inhibitions. Home is where children are educated in values, in human relationships and in social skills. This makes home the most vital place to impart family life education.

Role of Home in personality Building

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Personality is a product of heredity and environment, both of which depend on the family. Home is the primary environment, which has formative influence on the development of a child’s personality.- The child develops integrated personality, learns self-control, acquires confidence, and learns skills to handle situations and relationships by observing the family members.

If parents ensure family reunions with other relatives of the extended family, share sorrow and joys with each other then it also helps the child realise the importance of relationship and bonds.

Moreover, the trust and attachment that parents share strengthen the belief of children that relationships can last irrespective of problems at times. On the other hand, family disharmony can have negative impact on children. In the extreme case of broken homes and disintegrated families children show personality disorders, adjustment problems, and inability to handle relationships.

Children who see domestic violence and disharmony among parents are prone to repeat these in their own adult lives. In this way, family provides continuous learning to children.

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Home and Marriage Roles

Marriage is a universal institution in our society. Home performs the task of educating children in marriage values and roles mainly by presenting them a model in their parents. Children learn their future roles as wife and husband by observing their own mother and father.

They observe the various tasks performed by their parents to make a home out of a house. They learn how husband and wife share household work and family responsibilities and cooperate with each other. They also learn a great deal about parenting from the way their parents bring them up.

Home and Sex Education

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Marriage legitimises sexual relations with a partner of the opposite sex. Sex has an important place in marriage bond and family life because it develops intimacy, care and emotional attachment between the spouses. Sexual satisfaction of the couple is an important factor of the success of family life.

Sex education, thus, becomes an essential component of family life education. Nowadays, due to exposure to mass media and cinema, children get to know about sex-related facts very early in life. Any wrong or incorrect notion and behaviour can cause immense harm to the psyche of children besides, having repercussions in their married life later.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents to remain watchful and provide adequate guidance and counselling to their children in these crucial matters.

Challenges Before Parents as Family Life Educators

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There is no doubt that parents have the primary role in educating their children about family life. But they have to meet with certain challenges in fulfilling this goal. These barriers are often to their own making. Hence, they can overcome these by self-reflection and analysis.

Sometimes parents are over-protective of their children to the extent of impeding their spirit of exploration. They do not let the child learn the practical skills of life. On the other extreme are parents who have unrealistic expectations from their children that hamper their self- worth. If the child is not able to meet their demands, they grow doubtful about his/her potential.

Excessive engagement of parents in professional work leaves the child lonely who has no opportunity to learn in company of adults. The child has no one who would listen of his/her daily happenings and events and help in areas where the child needs support.

The child may feel rejected, develop hostile nature and may grow detached from family life. Some ‘strict’ parents are too rigid to allow their children any flexibility to do what they like.

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It creates fear in the child’s mind, who gradually becomes meek and submissive. On the other hand, if parents allow too many comforts and luxuries, or become over protective the child may not learn to become responsible or take decisions independently. The child also has a mind and will.

Opportunities should be provided to him for the exercise of independent thinking and freedom of action. His/her likes and dislikes should be duly taken care of. He/she should be allowed to participate in family matters.

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