Reduced family education
Decline in family education
In the developing and the developed world, the teaching of adults and children appropriate ways of living as a family remains limited. In traditional and rural communities the process of socialization included preparing young people and children for the process of living as a family member. In today's urban environment and with the nuclear family much of this capacity is not passed on to individuals and so parents are left on their own to discover ways of being a family unit. While many nations teach sex education few teach sexuality. House keeping for men or women is frequently not passed from one generation to the next. Developing and using a family budget is seldom taught. The processes of making decisions within the context of the family is make shift at best and frequently inadequate. The techniques of decision making are not taught. Social interaction within the family is unclear and interaction between the family and the larger community is haphazard. Because of the development of the nuclear family and the loss of interaction with elderly people children never understand the process of growing old and are insulated from death. Generally it is only the religious schools that consciously teach any form of morality or ethics, so the bulk of students learn from example and the media. Parents often feel inadequate to teach ethics further exasperating the problem. The structures of formal education is left to prepare the child for job and social responsibility but for the most part schools never deal with the problems of being in a family.
We wish to call your attention in a special manner to the present-day lamentable decline in family education. The offices and professions of a transitory and earthly life, which are certainly of far less importance, are prepared for by long and careful study; whereas for the fundamental duty and obligation of educating their children, many parents have little or no preparation, immersed as they are in temporal cares. The declining influence of domestic environment is further weakened by another tendency, prevalent almost everywhere today, which, under one pretext or another, for economic reasons, or for reasons of industry, trade or politics, causes children to be more and more frequently sent away from home even in their tenderest years_.And this should be done not in a merely theoretical and general way, but with practical and specific application to the various responsibilities of parents touching the religious, moral and civil training of their children, and with indication of the methods best adapted to make their training effective, supposing always the influence of their own exemplary lives. (Papal Encyclical, Rappresentanti in Terra, 31 December 1929).