Effective Living, 1952

Unit Four: The Family and Effective Living

Introductory Statement

The establishment of a happy family is one of the greatest goals two human beings can ever achieve. Contrary to fairy tale, Hollywood and magazine publicity, the "happily ever after" sequel does not automatically follow the marriage ceremony.

What is the goal of happiness in the family? Is it a fine house, a car, and a "ten thousand a year" job? Is it fine clothes, parties, and annual trips to the country? Or is it perhaps built out of the thousand common-place, seemingly trivial tasks of everyday family living -- the catching of the eight-forty bus to work every morning; the doing of the family laundry; the talk by the fireside; watching baby take his first steps; encouraging, comforting, helping each other, sharing in sorrow, laughing together in happiness.

In some ways each family is like all other families, and in some ways each family is like no other family. Each family must build its own happiness in its own way. There is no simple formula. It requires tolerance, understanding, and a willingness of both marriage partners to plan and to work for it. It may well be that the foundations for that happiness are being laid in the childhood days of the future marriage partners.

This is not a "preparation for marriage" unit. It is rather an attempt to guide the pupil into thinking along sound and constructive lines. It endeavours to suggest to him some of the fundamental human qualities found in every happy family. It attempts to counteract some of the illusions and false values by which marital happiness is so frequently measured. In their place it attempts to develop for the pupil an appreciations of some of the worth-while and permanent satisfactions to be found in the truly happy family.

The approach to this unit should be a positive one. Statistics on divorce and causes for marital unhappiness should be discussed, but the emphasis should be placed on marriages that do not break down, and they are in the great majority. The enthusiasm and idealism of the young person should never be treated with cynicism or cold indifference. Considering the significance of the subject and the results it may achieve, this unit, perhaps more than any other, offers a challenge to the understanding and resourcefulness of every teacher.

Course Content/Teaching Notes and Suggestions

British Columbia. Department of Education. Division of Curriculum. Effective Living [1952], p. 144