Lately we give a lot of responsibility to the family as a role in the formation of our children, however I can assure you that there are many definitions about what the family is in itself and the roles that exist within it. We are currently facing an opening and a redefinition of what we can understand as a family, because challenges and changes come to propose ideas or judgments that, at times, put in suspense what we can understand on this fundamental social basis. Therefore, below we talk about the different family roles and all that they bring to children and the community in which we live.
Basically what happens is that it is usually considered retrograde or closed-minded to define the family only if there is a man and a woman united by some contract, and that as a result of this pact they have children who are responsible for their formation. Today, due to the same situation of change that exists in our society, rather than speaking from that point of view, a modernization is being proposed to us in our way of investigating that community. More than talking about the father or the mother, we are being encouraged to define the roles that exist within this social base.
When I speak of roles, it is important to specify that I mean the mission or function that it performs and that it must exist within this social group. This means that this task can be performed by any member of the family, be it the father or the mother or –in some very specific circumstances-, the children or the grandparents. We are going to talk about each of these roles, although, as we already mentioned, they are continually being redefined and, therefore, sometimes they do not correspond to the classic family figure.
The role of the father for children
Let's start with the paternal role. The same term refers to who has the objective of executing and managing the community project itself. I do not mean that he is the main responsible and owner of this group, but rather the one who plans and guides others in his life outside his territory.
I prefer to point out with this example: I remember a family of a student of mine. Although he had a father and a mother, his father's great-uncle lived in his house. It turns out that it was the true voice of conscience, it was the inspiration and the word of advice that guided the decision-making of all members of the family.
This paternal role was the one who gave the necessary tools to all the members so that they could live fully in the world that was outside their home. That is why it has that origin derived from the 'pater', because in its essence I wanted to give you what you need so that you can defend yourself and act out of your comfort zone.
The mother and her role in the family
The maternal role, meanwhile, is the space where we can see each other's faces. It is our cushion or place of containment, where we can relate and draw our emotions. It is the area where we can cry and express our emotions. Motherhood suggests being the space where we can express and discover our inner world. That way we can see each other in the eye and recognize ourselves in the mirror.
This function is vital, because although they give us weapons to be able to go outside our house and develop ourselves, if we do not know who we are and recognize ourselves within our interiority, our own life will be presented in a disintegrated way; since in itself we will not know who we really are. I do not want to close myself to the possibility that this function should be performed by a woman, because I have been able to show in some families there are parents who have fulfilled this function. What should not be allowed is that there is an absence of this space to rediscover oneself.
The very important role of grandparents
The memory and living history is represented by the role of the elderly. I once heard that grandparents are the ones who allow us to see the past alive. Thanks to them one can experience what were those stories that are described in the books, and if it were not for that experience We could not develop a hope for our own future.
If we do not create that real encounter, perhaps it is very difficult to reflect on the real meaning of our life. How much need we have today for this meeting. Today we tend to put aside or forget about this role that grandparents occupy in our family. And the sad thing is that this loss of identity is becoming real.
Children, the present and future of the community
And the sons? It is the fruit of this community. It is the future or contribution that each community offers to the world. The pupils will be the true meaning of forming this community: forming people who want to maintain and form an integrated society, whose mission will be to be able to experience a fullness that allows us to live in peace and thus be able to leave a mark on this story that is presented to us in this lifetime.
Now I can understand when actor Michael J. Fox defined the family as a whole, because in this community so many fundamental roles merge that allow all of us to be people who live with complete peace of mind on a day-to-day basis. This actor once said: 'Family is not something important. It's everything'.
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