Family life in many communities is merely a misinterpretation of values. Traditionally, the standard protocol for a successful family life was one that welcomed one parent working outside the home and one parent predominantly working within the home, as part of a dual partnership structure.
In this traditional family setting, the non-working parent was responsible for creating and maintaining a home structure. This is not to say that two-parent working homes are unsuccessful but recent research supports that the traditional setting produced better results overall as adults who as children grew up in a traditional setting where either the mother or the father primarily remained in the home. This article will not write ideas in stone but will examine and discuss the results research is proposing. It will also introduce possibilities in the form of philosophy based on observation and results from previous research.
In our current society, self-seeking lifestyles appear to bombard the conscious of family members. Mothers and fathers seem to no longer hold themselves accountable or take pride and/or value in their individual roles. The creation of rituals for family members to live up to and maintain a healthy interdependence amidst all family members appears to be optional.
Family members today seem to not know the vitality of their role. Today, it is not uncommon to hear of mothers who decide in the midst of their mother-journey that they would rather be single again or of fathers who head out for that infamous loaf of bread and never return. Overall, family values amongst many parents of this century lack the strong vines composed of a commitment to nurture the family unit as a measure to intertwine and loop a secure family bond. Instead, family values seem to be a bi-product of an id infusednature.
Under these id (as in id, ego, or superego) infused characteristics, family-values appear to be a mere excretion of what is left behind after self-righteous, self-seeking, self-preservation characteristics and ideologies have spilled over into the super-ego. This dysfunction leaves the standard protocol of family values and family structure in the hands of foreign contributors to the family system that further malign the ultimate goal of a secure, healthy family; particularly in the Black community.
In researching the traditional family, it appears that society readily welcomed ideas of a home life where one parent worked outside the home while the other parent worked to maintain the inside of the home. In these families, self- seeking attitudes seemed to be at a minimum.
Traditionally, women were deemed the stay at home parent. In time, women who felt uncomfortable in that role sought to make the best of being a stay at home parent by interacting with other stay at home mothers as a method to maintain the loyalty of their devotion to create a healthy functioning home via their role as wife and mother. The goal in the traditional family setting was maintaining a secure foundation for the children; it is not clear if that is still the role today.
Traditional 50’s families seemed to be a great model but a fragile one as well; where some of those 50’s families lacked interpersonal parent-child relationships as children were mostly, “seen and not heard.” Thus, much dysfunction was created in the “trial and error” of the 50’s family.
Research produces many conclusions as to why some families in the 1950’s family model resulted in dysfunction but, the majority of ethnologist conclude, that despite the consistency and security, children were devalued (i.e. “ no wire coat hangers” or “ children are not allowed in the study Beaver”) and grew up with feelings of inadequacy leading them to drug abuse and further dysfunction.
Research supports that optimal family success is dependent on a family setting that does not favor one gender over another when it comes to the idea of one parent primarily caring for the home while the other parent works. Statistically, families produce mentally healthier adults when one, or both parents, place emphasis on making a home rather than merely living and working to pay for things that keep the “home” afloat.
In Black communities, where the need for a father in the home has been maligned and perpetually voided as a way to maintain dysfunction, possibly for the preservation of the prison system, preservation for a particular social class system or a number of other possibilities, Society damages success in the stay-at-home-father role by equivocating such behaviors to a “pimp” mentality amongst men who are not the financial providers.
The “pimp-mentality” kills several birds with the same stone in that it 1) gives the father a superficial sense of power that is unnecessary for the situation; for example the father might be willing to stay at home but feels effeminate if and when performing household duties so, rather than focusing on building a home, some fathers may opt to engage in more “manly” task like hanging out with their “boys” rather than giving in to embracing their “inner Martha Stewart“; their own natural domestic instincts.
While hopefully this may not be a shock to some but, many fathers dream about creating the right home and home setting just as mothers do, most fathers interviewed thus far, admit that they have, or have had, anxiety about the rearing of their children and want to do more.
Many men who see what the other parent lacks refrain from adapting to the role out of fear of loss of respect, loss of manhood.
Unfortunately, the “pimp-mentality” also leads to 2) the woman who resents her man in the stay-at-home-father role which then creates 3) problems within the marriage like; infidelity as partners began to seek comfort outside the home and infidelity stirs while the children witness and the characteristics of the id infused, self-righteous, self-seeking, self-preservation ideologies and patterns mentioned earlier within this article are not only born but fueled with negative reinforcement from the community.
The lack of support for the stay-at-home-moms in the Black communities usually creates the same dysfunction, but in reverse; men develop a not going to be, “captain-save-a-hoe” mentality and the pattern mentioned in the previous paragraph soon follows with similar results.
Traditionally, the non-working parents were responsible for turning houses into homes and maintaining the homely aura. Instead, self seekers are motivated only by that which pleasures them. The father trying to create a secure healthy home is stagnated not only by the “pimp-mentality” but also by his friends, family and community who mock the very essence of it. Mother’s, trying to create a secure, and healthy home, are stagnated by fear of not taking advantage of women empowerment opportunities when in actuality these empowerment opportunities are not being oppressed or even threatened amidst this setting.
In relation to parenting as a whole, the single family structure completely maligns the family system overall. Statistics have shown that no matter how “great” the single mother or single father, the likelihood of adults who grow up to be in some form or another dysfunctional persons is the major result of single parenting. Mothers and fathers are needed in the home, not only as a present-meaning one should not just be lucky to have but, their positive and secure influential presence is vital.
What research is showing us is that parents, need to grab the reins of parenthood, leave self seeking attitudes and malignant bias behind if they want to witness their children grow up to become drug-free, happy and successful adults.
Parents need to realize that we are not merely people who make children. People who make children are not parents, they are animals. A parent is responsible and takes responsibility for not only the birth of their offspring but also, a parent should take responsibility for their children’s mental, physical and educational health.
Currently, I, the Black/African American Issues Examiner, am conducting a survey on parenting. The study involves parental related questions and is a simple random sample. The population is a derivative of parents, grandparents, guardians and foster parents of the Sacramento and Northern California community. The survey will be conducted through email, phone and in person via a paper questionnaire. Results and research of the raw data will be displayed within a future article. Meanwhile, please feel free to comment and share your opinion or ideologies in relation to this topic.