How do we introduce a common family

family

Families are different - but not all receive the same recognition. But what does family mean in general and who is a family? Defining family is not that easy. We present different types of families and address the importance of family, child protection and children's rights.

Homosexual couples have been able to get married in Germany since October 1st, 2017. For this they and their supporters fought for a long time! A majority of the German population supports #EhefuerAlle. However, heated debates persist about who should have the right to marry, raise children, and be recognized as a family. Why aren't all families accepted?

What is family

Family is first and foremost a group of people who somehow belong together. By biological relationship, marriage, or freely chosen. Together under one roof or scattered all over the world. With two people, or 100. Complicated? Maybe like this:

If you ask people what family means to them, on the one hand it is about responsibility, love, trust, support, security. On the other hand, a lot of injury, violence and hatred happen in families in particular: "Home is the most dangerous place in the world, because that's where the most terrible things happen" (from: Podcast ZEIT Crimes "How Ms. L. had her husband killed" April 24, 2018) . That is family too.

Importance of family

In the course of history it has not only changed who belongs to the family, but also what importance it is. For many people, family was and is a community of fate that ensures mutual survival. For example, by caring for children, old and sick people or working together. The importance of family also depends on which families and which epoch we are looking at. In times of monarchies, for example, family primarily meant important political connections for the nobility: whoever married whom here rarely had anything to do with love or affection, but with whom alliances should be created or through whom power should be established.

The importance of family today is controversial. With welfare state support such as pensions or social assistance, family is not (always) necessary to ensure survival. Some complain that the family has lost its importance. Nevertheless, family is important to most people: emotionally, as support, or as a demarcation. Depending on their economic background, many people still need more than one earner in order to have financial stability. There is also still a lot of care and nursing work done within the family, especially by women. One thing is clear: family is important. Whether positive or negative, it matters.

Families are different

Children who grow up with only one parent; Families with adopted children; Young people living with social workers; gay and lesbian parents; Friends who raise a child together; WGs that see themselves as families; Families with many generations under one roof.

So what is a family? Perhaps exactly what many find great and important about family: people who take responsibility for one another. Those who are important to one another, who care for one another and are there for one another even in difficult times. For many people there is all of this with parents and relatives, their so-called family of origin. Others experience conflicts, exclusion or violence in their family of origin, so that a family of choice made up of friends and / or partners is all the more important for them. It would be great if all of these families received recognition and support.

More about family forms

Many families have children

And there, too, as there is about marriage for everyone, there are many discussions: Who is allowed to have and raise children? How do children grow up safely and happily? This question is actually not that difficult to answer: In order for children to grow up well, they need love, security and support. For this it is not important what gender and what sexual orientation the parents have, whether they are in a love relationship with one another and whether they are married.

Children need a place where they can learn, play, try out, grow up and be children. Protecting them means ensuring all of that. In everyday life, of course, all of this is not always that easy: Parenthood brings a lot of challenges with it. Women in particular often juggle work, child-rearing, love relationships, friendships and their own needs for rest or leisure. This is even more complicated for single parents. That is why parenting deserves support - regardless of who the parents are.

Child protection is also about children's rights:

Parents and government organizations (e.g. schools) must enable children to know and exercise their rights. For example, children need to know that they have a right to physical integrity. Beatings, beating, other physical violence and all forms of sexual violence are (also) forbidden in the family. Children also have the right to be informed about various ways of life and love. It is therefore important that all of the family forms discussed above appear in books and films, but also in school lessons. This enables all children and young people to take part in the lessons and to find their own way.

More about children's rights

Early sexualization - what is it?

“Early sexualization” is a term used by opponents of sex education and education on sexual and gender diversity. They think it is dangerous to talk about sexuality with children and young people because it interferes with their natural development. In her opinion, diverse lifestyles, genders and sexual orientations should not have a place in the classroom. It seems to be about protecting children. Sexuality, gender and sexual orientation are important issues: Children and young people have a right to learn something about them in a way that is appropriate to their age.

More about early sexualization