Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Child-Rearing – An Ancient Formula – I. The Clan Upbringing

After living in North America for more than forty years, I still find myself totally bewildered by some of the false notions that exist in this part of the world. Take child-rearing for example.

We find it normal to raise our children in a small cell made out of mom, dad, and the kid sister. Sadly, this goes against the dictates of our species. We are social and intelligent animals. We need in our formative years the influence of many other adults besides our parents.

We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child. However, most of us do not have a clue as to what that means.

The first humans lived in clans (a small group of people), this was followed by tribes (a larger group of people), and finally in agricultural settlements (villages). Under these arrangements, children were a shared responsibility. To put in different terms, they were exposed to many views and, therefore, viewed the world very differently than modern children.

In many parts of the world, children are raised by a group of people (I will refer to it as the clan upbringing). Unfortunately, because these parts of the world are beset by many problems, the benefits brought on by the clan upbringing are obscured. I will, however, later on, talk of how I have benefited from the clan upbringing.

How are children, and later adults, affected by being raised by their parents only?

It opens the way for intense relationships. We expect our parents to provide us with everything we need, be it physical, emotional, or mental. That’s impossible! They are just two human beings laboring under many constraints (personal, work-related, financial, etc.). They do their best, but they are destined to fail as parents! They will do well in some areas, be average in others, and generally perform poorly in most areas. (Abuse, which is inexcusable under any circumstances, is not addressed here.) Remember, they are trying to do the most difficult job we will ever be called upon to do: raise children from infancy to adulthood all by themselves.

We have in our society many individuals who need therapy. This can range from counselling to resolve a particular issue, to psychiatric sessions which can last for many years. I am all for providing this kind of help when it is needed. Where I take issue, is the fact that parents are often discussed and their relationship with the patient dissected. Don’t misunderstand me, I am neither blaming the therapist nor the patient. What I am trying to do is go back to my starting point and raise the following questions: Is the fact that parents today are raising their children in a way that is incompatible with the needs of our species ever discussed? Is the field of psychology even aware of the problem?

Intense relationships, and the accompanying problems, do not develop between parents and children only, but they start there. Let me provide two more examples.

We expect our spouses to provide everything for us. Not unlike what we expected from our parents. We therefore, sooner or later, are going to hit a brick wall. We can recover and face reality, and in this case our marriage will recover and may be even stronger; or abandon ship and have, what is politely referred to in our society, a failed marriage. The high percentage of failed marriages and its ramification is probably the biggest social problem we have in our society right now.

Relationships with our friends can be intense; this is especially true for teen relationships. Friendship should never be intense, rather, it should be more diffuse. For example, an adolescent with a problem should not accept the opinion of her best friend only. She should get a second and third opinion, preferably from adults rather than other teens. We all have a horror story to tell; something that happened to a niece, a grandson, or even our own children. It can range from substance abuse, an unwanted pregnancy, and on to criminal activities.

Identifying a problem is one thing, suggesting solutions is another matter. I will discuss one solution to address the above issue. However, before doing so, I will describe my own experience with the clan upbringing.

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