“Families, in all the diverse patterns, sizes, creeds and colors they come in, are, indeed, the heart and soul of our society.” – John DeFrain (2001) Beliefs about Families and the Human Experience There is no one way to define a family. While looking at Dictionary.com, one would find many different definitions of the word “family:” some involving children, some including phrases such as “related by blood,” and a wide array of other definitions. My definition of a family is based on the importance of the members making up the family. A family can be whatever the individuals themselves consider it to be. They are their own definition. An established relationship between two or more persons based on the importance of the individuals in the relationship stands as a foundation for what I believe a family is defined as. The family can consist of husbands, wives, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I feel that family is an important part of life and without my family, I would not be where I am today. Family provides the amount of support and love one needs to become successful.
Purposes of FLE
Family Life Educators are important to our society because they provide the knowledge necessary to have a successful family life. Family Life Education is found in many different settings and is helpful to a number of different populations. Although Family Life Educators should not be too “interventionist,” I believe they need the necessary problem-solving skills in order to achieve success with each individual they are working with. Family Life Educators exist to provide insight on what it takes to have a successful family life in regards to life events that may occur. Family Life Educators take on the role of helping to prevent problems before they arrive, or demonstrate more positive ways to deal with problems once they arise.
Beliefs about Content of Outreach FLE
Families need to know the research and information about what is correct and incorrect in terms of family life. At the same time, they may have experiences that have led them to a way of thinking that may or may not be correct. If a Family Life Educator has strong values about a certain topic, he or she may feel the need to spread awareness and education about that topic to families. The Family Life Educator should, however, leave out his or her own personal biases when working with families. For example: say a Family Life Educator is pro-life, rejecting the idea of aborting a fetus. That Family Life Educator may choose to focus on topics such as the adoption process, single parent living, or resources in the community for young mothers. This is just one example of the many topics Family Life Educators can teach families about. They are there to give information and spread their knowledge of families to better both the individual and the family as a whole.
Process of Learning for Families in Outreach Settings
I believe that families and individuals learn most effectively by setting precise learning goals. Setting goals for oneself and one’s family is very important when dealing with life events that may impact the family.