A Family Model
In a positive, nurturing, child-developmentfamily model, two adults strive to raise children that will become self-reliant adults that will provide for their own livelihood and contribute to the overall well-being of society. Such a family will provide a social environment that leads to children being able to learn how to strive toward meeting their own needs as adults.
A number of things should be made clear regarding this “family model.” The information included here presents different ideas than that typically found in books and articles on raising children. The challenge with them is that they don’t take into account the many dynamic factors that influence children, parents, and families.
First, there is no such thing as a generic child. Because of DNA all children are different and raising one must be partially based on that child’s genetic profile. Two children of the same parents are different even at birth. Because of this alone there can be no generic process for raising all children even within the same family.
Second, there are no such thing as a generic set of parents. This is because of all sets of parents are different because of their DNA, their upbringing by their parents, life experiences, character, and personalities.
Third, there is no such thing as a generic home environment. Social factors found in homes are very different. How do the parents strive to meet their own needs? Do both parents work outside the home? Does one parent frequently travel out of town on business or is in the military and often deployed? Are the parents divorced and living apart, but still committed to successfully raising their children?
Fourth, a child is brought up based on the society he or she is born into. Societies can be very different and greatly influence the child rearing process. There are many possible outside-the-family social influences. For example, in some societies a male responsible for “parenting” a child may not be the biological father, but an uncle. In some societies two males or two females may function as a child’s parents.
Today, social environments in New York City are different from living on a ranch in Montana. In a hunter-gatherer society raising a child in a tribal village is different from raising a child in a class-based society.
Additional information will be discussed later dealing with families and raising children in complex societies.
These dynamic factors, and others, influence approaches in raising children.
© Joseph L. Bass, EdD, May 2020