Family is more than an organizational unit; it is the bonding relationship between parent and child that can flourish based on true love and mutual trust. If we build stronger families and more trusting family bonds, we will have stronger schools and stronger communities.
Thoughts on the International Day of the Family 2021
By Josef Gundacker, Family Forum Austria
The International Day of the Family is celebrated to recognize the importance of the family as a fundamental unit of society, and the family policies are aiming to accept all family models. This is to promote greater partnership and equity. It is emphasized that all family-models are equal. Some families have children, some do not, some consist of one parent, others of several. It does not matter whether couples only live together on a non-binding basis or choose to marry. A good work-life balance and „quality“ childcare should make it possible for everyone, women, men, mothers and fathers, grandparents, and children to be happy and satisfied all around.
On this International Day of the Family, however, I would like to remind you that this portrayed image of colourful, diverse family models has a lot of scratches and shards. It overlooks the fact that modern family models are characterized by broken family relationships. The high number of divorces and patchwork families are an expression of the fact that the „family system“ is very unstable and relationships are often strained and broken.
Family is seen in our pluralistic/materialistic society as the sum of individuals. Family is the human capital of the economy and thus the source of economic prosperity. Behind this is this belief that people, and their time must be managed and controlled. This control mentality has been carried into families. It dominates the way we interact and communicate with our spouses and the way we try to manage, motivate, and discipline our children. This is exactly where the problem lies.
Family is more than an organizational unit; it is the bonding relationship between parent and child that can flourish based on true love and mutual trust. Where there is only conditional love and little trust, growth is also severely limited.
If we build stronger families and more trusting family bonds, we will have stronger schools and stronger communities. The Family Forum therefore encourages us to go beyond gender equality and think more deeply about family values and the value of the family, thus promoting a true family culture. Although nowadays so much emphasis is placed on individuality and personal freedom, nothing brings as much joy and satisfaction as a happy, fulfilled family life.
A FAMILY CULTURE – that is the atmosphere, spirit and character of a family, characterized by the depth, quality and maturity of the relationships among family members.
Family is not only problem – Family is also the solution!