ERIC Number: ED197815
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Family and the Pre-School Child. Discussion Paper No. 2.
Edgar, Don; Ochiltree, Gay
This paper comments on and suggests alternatives to assumptions concerning child-rearing currently held by many Australians. That family-child relationships change as societies and economies change is a fact not commonly taken for granted, but is a conclusion reached by scholars examining the history of childhood. Recently in Australia, as elsewhere, a major change has taken place: child-bearing is no longer the main function of the family. More than a million married women have entered the work field--a domain which is still geared to male expectations of full-time employment and continuous careers. Such expectations are likely to change, however, and new forms of parenthood may emerge in the near future. Under these conditions, child care providers should recognize that (1) protection of children need not be only the parents' responsibility; (2) the satisfaction of children's needs is not necessarily more important than the satisfaction of parents' needs; (3) the biological mother need not continuously and exclusively provide child care; (4) there is no one right way of being a good parent; and (5) the family is not the only institution responsible for rearing children. For both social and professional reasons, early childhood educators should prepare for the emergence of new forms of parenthood and prepare, as well, to make their expertise available as a resource to new forms of family and to the preschool child. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne (Australia).
Note: Paper presented as the Mary Gutteridge Memorial Lecture to the Institute of Early Childhood Development (Melbourne, Australia, July 14, 1980).