It is in the family that he acquires and organises his experience. It is in the family that he acquires many of the social patterns, habits, manners and attitudes which determine his future adjustment.
Again it is here that he learns how to speak, talk, eat, wear clothes, live neatly and greet others respectfully. Thus, family is the first and most intimate social unit, which plays its important role in the socialization of the child.
Family acts as a medium for transmitting vocational knowledge and technical skill to children. The boys learn from their fathers and girls learn from their mothers. In this way, children are prepared for future life.
Although the present-day family life has undergone many rapid changes in our country due to various social, economic and political factors, yet in the rural India, where about seventy percent of our population lives, vocations are still hereditary.
Home is rightly called the primary school of civic virtues. It is in the family that the child learns the first lesson of citizenship. He receives good training in discipline and self-control. He learns to obey a common authority and to show proper respect to those who are older than him in the family or in the neighbor-hood. He also learns the importance of mutual rights and duties. It is also in the family that we feeling is born and developed. It is also in the family that the sense of belongingness takes roots and developed.
In the family, the child acts as the others act; he thinks and feels as other members of the family do. He also learns to behave after them. He thus accepts the home-code as an essential pattern of his life. If the parents are honest, truthful, hardworking, courageous, disciplined and industrious, children will also imitate them in their day-to-day behaviour.
After all, morality is practical which must be expressed in behaviour and not in words. It is in the family that the child learns to show reverence for all that is noble and to strive after truth and purity of thought, word and deed. It is again in the family that the child forms the habits of industry, perseverance, self-control, courage and discipline which ultimately lay the sure foundation of moral virtues like truthfulness, honesty, conquest of brute passions, fair dealings, sincerity, justice, temperance and nonviolence.
Defective discipline and lack of good moral atmosphere at home are considerably responsible for anti-social crime and delinquency. It is a pity that most of our present-day families, due to poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and backwardness, do not discharge this function to an appreciable standard. Still no one will deny the importance of character formation and moral training as the basic function of home.
(e) Religious and Cultural:
Home also pays special attention to the religious and cultural development of children. In a family, religious ceremonies and festivals are celebrated with full faith and devotion.
On such occasions all the members of that family observe certain formalities of prayer and meditation, behave in a noble manner and practice many virtues, like charity, generosity, fellow-feeling, pity, kind-heartedness, humility, emotional control and the like.
All such good practices are inherited by the children and preserved as traditions of the family. In this way, the continuity of culture and religion is maintained in the family.