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Monday, July 29, 2013

On family, children and relationship

The basic unit of society is the family. The family is the very heart of the society, men’s system of living together in this world. The family is the first socializing agent and the source of strength and stability of its members. A child that is brought forth in this world belongs to a family. The family, therefore, especially the parents, play a vital role in instilling values and attitudes to the children and able to support and give them a bright future.

However there may be instances when a child is left by his biological parents in the care of another entity mainly because of poverty. There could be many reasons why the mother would be willing to give up her child to be taken care of by grandparents or relatives. Another reason could be separated parents with both of them having another family again. The child may have been left an orphan as a consequence of the death of parents, either the father or the mother. It may also be because one or both parents went abroad to work because of economic pressure.

Poverty and the demands of daily living have pushed not only the father to work but the mother as well. This has caused a departure in the mother’s traditional responsibility of child rearing and doing the household chores. In addition to child rearing, the responsibilities of housekeeping are already being shared by the husbands of working mothers. But considering that both husband and wife need to go out to work at least 8 hours a day for five days a week to maintain the standard of living of the family and provide for the needs of their growing children, the latter are left to the care of non- biological parents either in another home and in schools. This situation, according to Huh1 has created child rearing and upbringing problems that develop implications in the growth and development of the child. Palispis2 says that any person or institution that shares a person’s values and behavior is an agent of socialization. Although these agents are particularly important in the early years of the life cycle socialization is a lifetime process that continues across the life span.

The causes of change in the family, according to Spocks,3 are the mass media, peer group, parents, and technological change. The media like the television, radio and other broadcast media as well as print media play a very important role in the process of socialization. The radio or television program, to which the child is exposed to, will certainly influence his personality, values, and belief system. Among peers, socialization focuses more on the children’s interest and activities than on the priorities of adults. 

While peer groups are important to all adolescents, they are especially influential when parental guidance, affection and attention are lacking. Alienated and delinquent adolescents are more deeply affected by their peers than adolescents who are not alienated from their families and do not have history of delinquency. Some parents get separated from their children because of economic pressure. 

They know that going abroad raises the household’s standard of living. But emotional, strain, loneliness, and anxiety become major problems both of husband and wife. In this kind of situation of the family, there is tendency that couples separate and children will suffer a lot of difficulties. As technology develops, there are newer video games, internet and music videos. Video games much more than violent movies have the ability to capture children imagination and train their emotions to accept violence because with video games children are active participants. The majority of household now have cable television and with it music videos. Most of these videos contain sexual images often bordering on pornography. Violence is common, including violence against women. There are chat rooms where people can participate in round table discussion in every imaginable subject. Because of these changes, having a healthy family is hard to achieve.

In our society today, it is observed that the children have different behaviors from those of the earlier generation. These behavioral differences may be rooted in the way the different aspects of life are handle, one of which and probably the most influential is how the family has been treated.

The researcher chose this study because of her great concern for the growth and development of the child. It is observed that the major issue in the educational system is the declining standard of education. According to Paloma,4 teachers are accused of being incompetent. It is easy to blame teachers and school administrators when our children bring home failing grades. While it is true that some teachers are not the most skillful, some children are clearly able to learn from them. And even though schools do not have the best facilities, some children manage to get an education there and go on to graduate from college and universities. Why, because what happens at school is only one part of education process. The parents, also, have a vital role in determining the children’s success. Parents may not have realized it, but children’s teachers want help. Most teachers take pride in their work. They are competent and dedicated. Nothing gives greater satisfaction than helping others develop their talents. Through the researcher’s observation as well as those of her co-teachers, the behavior, and attitude of pupils are worsening and their academic performance is decreasing. The reasons are some pupils are observed to be lazy in their seatwork/homework, projects are not accomplished because of poverty and some parents and guardians of pupils are less supportive and guiding at home because majority of parents and guardians have attained elementary level only. There is no challenge or motivation to pursue higher levels of education, there is lack of ambition and are contented with their present life situation dictated by their economic environment so the needs of the children in the school is inadequate. According to the writer and her co-teachers, pupils are seen to become bullies, clowns, hard headed, noisy, selfish, dependent, tactless and aggressive. Others are observed to be kind, attentive, considerate, helpful, polite, independent, obedient, tactful, talented and respectful. The academic performance of some of those who are under the care of biological parents are of low average, some are high as well. This was confirmed based on their Form 137 and Form 138. With these observations, the parents and guardians must be aware of the problem of their children. The researcher would like the parents to teach their children to value education, to do their homework/seat work, to have the right use of television, to communicate, to be honest, and to respect authority so that the children would become successful in their studies.

It if for this reason that study was conducted to find out the child care practices of parents and guardians of pupils of Santa Isabel Sur Elementary School and its effect on their academic performance.

1Max L. Huh, Psychology: The Science of Information Behavior (New York: Harper & Row, 2004).
2Dr. Epifacio S. Palispes, Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology (Rex Book Store, Inc., Samploc Manila, 1996).
3Dr. Benjamin Spocks. M.D., Baby and Child Care (The One Essential Parenting Book, New York, 2004, Revised by Robert Needileman, M.D.), pp. 465-479
4Epifania N. Paloma, “What Teachers Wish Parents Knew About School,” Modern Teacher (Vol. LI, No. 7, 2002).

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