Civics Form 1 Topic 6: Family

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Family members have rights depending on their status in the family. For instance, parents have rights like bearing, guiding and advising children. They are also free to teach community values to their children and be respected by their children.
On the other hand, children have rights to basic and other needs such as food, shelter, clothes, education, health-care, rest and leisure. Their opinions are also supposed to be heard, they are to be given names and be registered, live with their parents, be protected from harm and be treated equally without discrimination.
Family stability
This is the situation where the family is firm, steady and not changing or disturbed in any way. In a stable family, there is trust, respect, harmony and good behaviour.
Analyse the rights and responsibilities of each member in the family
Responsibilities of family members
A responsibility is a duty or a job someone has to do, and would be blamed if one fails to do it or does it wrongly. Each family member has his or her own duties for the benefit of the family and the community at large.
(a) Father
In most African societies, the father is the head of the family and therefore has more responsibilities than others. Such responsibilities include making decisions for the family and organizing family activities. He also provides security and requirements for family members like food, clothes and good shelter. Additionally, he teaches children customs and traditions of their community and maintains family discipline and peace.
(b) Mother
The mother always assists the father in maintaining the family. But in some societies, the mother plays a significant role in day-to-day family matters. She is the closest assistant and organizer of family activities. She also gives birth and cares for both her husband and children. Lastly, she is a bridge of love between parents and children as well as maintains family stability.
(c) Children
Children are an important component of the family and nation at large. They are good assistants in domestic work and in take care of younger siblings. Additionally, they are a bond of love and joy in a family. Therefore, they have to respect parents and elders, and learn from them.
Assess the consequences of failure by family members to carry out their responsibilities
The consequences of failure by family members to carry out their responsibilities include the lack of basic needs. This is because children cannot get basic and other needs if their parents fail to work hard. It can also lead to family conflict, family breakdown and children becoming street kids. For instance, frequent misunderstandings cause quarrels and consequently, the absence of peace and security to family members. Finally, family instability may be witnessed as  children may acquire bad habits and create trouble in the society.
Behaviour can be defined as all the actions and reactions of objects or organisms, usually in relation to their surrounding environment. Human behaviour implies one’s actions, manners and attitudes towards other people. Normally, people’s behaviour fall within a wide range – with some behaviour being common, some unusual, some acceptable and some unacceptable – depending on the limits of acceptability. However, the acceptability of behaviour in certain societies or communities depends on theculture’s norms, customs, taboos and traditions.
Therefore, some behaviour may be accepted in a given society according to the people’s norms, traditions and customs. To be accepted in the society, ones behaviour should conform to its special morals and ethics. The behaviour of someone is reflected in the way he or she talks, eats, plays and lives with others.
Types of behaviour
There are two main types of behaviour, proper and improper behaviour, as explained below:
Proper behaviour
This is the kind of behaviour that is acceptable to all members of a family, community and society. Examples of proper behaviour are cooperation, solidarity, love, generosity, charity, helpfulness, kindness and being responsible. Therefore, proper behaviour is taught according to the norms of a given society.
Elements of proper behaviour
There are a number of elements indicating proper behaviour, which include:
  • Love, peace and security among people
  • Respect for the law and rules guiding the society
  • Cooperation
  • Polite language when speaking to other people
  • Being responsible
  • Participation in community activities
  • Payment of taxes and duties
  • Respect for oneself, others, property and authority
  • Knowing and doing what is morally right
  • Obedience and effective communication
  • Honesty, i.e. always telling the truth and never cheating
  • Adhering to instructions
Explain the importance of behaving properly
Proper behaviour helps to reduce crime and evil in a society. It also brings a culture of unity and cooperation in order to solve various problems, hence bringing about family stability.
Furthermore, a peaceful environment stimulates economic development in the society. Proper behaviour also helps to develop a sense of love, respect and solidarity among community members and the society at large. Lastly, it contributes to the stability of government and the state in general.
Improper behaviour
This is the kind of behaviour that is not morally acceptable to a family, community and society at large.
Elements of improper behaviour
There are a number of elements indicating improper behaviour, these include:
  1. Unlawful acts such as killing and stealing
  2. The use of abusive language
  3. Love of violence
  4. Aggression, feelings of anger and hatred that may result into threatening or violent behaviour and boasting
  5. Segregation
  6. Arrogance, incivility and rudeness.
  7. Excessive drinking of alcohol
  8. Irresponsibility
  9. Immorality
  10. Corruption, dishonesty and disobedience
  11. Indiscipline
Causes of improper behaviour
Improper behaviour is caused by moral deterioration, drug abuse, lack of discipline and poverty. It can also be caused by wealth superiority (wealth abuse), excessive alcohol drinking and bad peer groups, especially among the adolescents.
Consequences of improper behaviour
Improper behaviour can result in misunderstandings in a family, community or institution. Also, the number of commercial sex workers and other crimes can increase in a society due to improper behaviour.
Moreover, loneliness due to discrimination, increased number of dropouts/dismissals/expulsions and poor performance of students in their studies may be witnessed because of improper behaviour.
Finally, improper behaviour can lead to inability to overcome various problems and causing family unrest. Early marriages, adolescent pregnancies, spread of HIVIAIDS, divorce, frustrations and deterioration of health or death due to over drinking, and drug abuse can also be a consequence of improper behaviour.
Measures to correct improper behaviour
Several measures can be taken to correct and reduce improper behaviour. For instance, adherence to family planning education and religious teachings, such as God’s commandments.
We can also correct improper behaviour through law enforcement, punishing law breakers, e.g. thieves, bandits and corrupt people, discourage the importing and use of drugs (e.g. marijuana) which are harmful to one’s health.
Lastly, parents should be careful to teach their children good and acceptable conducts, through providing civil education and employment to the youth so as to reduce the rate of poverty, which can also be helpful in correcting improper behaviour.
Other types of behaviour
The following are basic types of human behaviour:
  • Assertive: this refers to strong expressions intended to make other people recognise one’s rightful authority. It also refers to doing something by behaving confidently. It relies on honest, direct and appropriate expression of needs, wants or feelings as a first resort.
  • Avoidance: this is used to avoid any confrontation. People practice avoidance because of possible consequences or because one does not wish to be bothered by the consequences. Avoidance can be exercised in many ways, refusing to get a diagnostic test, not answering a phone/or a letter to certain people or avoiding making any contact with them.
  • Submissive: this is also known as accommodating behaviour, which reduces the anxiety, guilt or fear in others by letting its own views or thoughts be misconstrued, ignored or taken advantage of. Submissive behaviour is instilled in children by parents, school and society. It can lead to building up resentment, leading to an aggressive outburst.
  • Aggressive behaviour: this refers to behaving in a threatening way, and always ready to attack. This type of behaviour offends or tramples on someone else’s rights. It is a showing of anger. Sometimes, aggression can be an expression of fear, lack of self-esteem or the inability to control a situation in any other way.
  • Appropriate behaviour: this achieves necessary and desired goals without infringing the rights and the needs of others. For instance, maintaining healthy eating habits, showing satisfaction for a service, and not annoying others.
Decision-making is a process of thinking to select a course of action from among many alternatives. A person can, through voting, decide who should be his/her leader. Again, one can decide whom to get married to and when. One can also decide when to start a business or which course to take in a college. On the other hand, responsible decision-making is the process of making the choice after considering all options available through a particular criterion.
Explain the meaning and importance of responsible decision-making
Decision-making is a continuous process in life. It helps in the development and management of material and human resources. It is the situation in which a person, who makes a decision, is accountable and takes the blame for the bad outcome of the decision. It happens when each member of the society feels obliged to participate in the formulation of policies, organising and developing resources to realise societal goals.
The power to make decisions is given to people who do certain tasks, like planning, formulating national policies or organising family matters for the betterment of the society. It depends greatly on experience, feelings, cognition, sensing, judgment, reasoning, instruction and sometimes the level of education and a person’s profession.
Rational decision—making
This involves reasoning and critical thinking before making decisions. It implies making a healthy decision.
Illustrate skills needed to make healthy decisions
In making a healthy decision, there are clear steps to be followed so as to realise the intended goal. We propose seven steps as shown below:
  • First step:define the problem/identify the problem. We should ask ourselves if there is a problem and how we can solve it correctly. Also, identify the importance, urgency and magnitude of the problem so as to determine the resources needed to solve it.
  • Second step: generate possible solutions/alternatives
  • Third step: generate the criteria for assessing the objectives. Ask yourself: am I measuring the right thing? Find out if the merits outweigh the demerits of each alternative.
  • Fourth step: select the best solution/alternative, especially when the merits outweigh demerits. The decision made will be a healthy one.
  • Fifth step: implement the chosen alternative.
  • Sixth step: evaluate the success of the chosen alternative.
  • Seventh step: modify the decision and actions taken, based on the evaluation done in step six.
Levels in decision-making
There are three levels at which decisions are made, the family, community and national level.
  1. At family level: the members of a family (i.e. parents and children) are involved in making decisions on different matters. But in most cases, parents are the main decision makers because of their age, experience and authority.Some decisions, especially those which touch directly on the interests of children, must involve both children and parents. For example, if a father wants to buy something for his family, he must first seek the child’s willingness and preference before buying it. Therefore, it is important for family members to ask and respect each other’s opinions before making decisions.
  2. At community level: decision making at this level can be made by the people who are in power. These are people who have been given authority to make plans on behalf of other members of the community. On the other hand, some decisions are made by the whole community. The community members gather to discuss some matters, such as building hospitals, schools and roads.
  3. At national level:at this level, broad decisions are made, and important national issues are decided upon. There are some organs which share in making national decisions, these are: the parliament, which makes laws; the executive, which implements the laws and policies of the country, and the judiciary which interprets laws and see that justice prevails in the country.
Importance of making responsible decisions
It is important to make responsible decisions because it ensures the careful use of the limited resources for the betterment and development of the society. It also helps to build a sense of commitment to decisions made on behalf of the people.
Responsible decision brings a sense of making a collective effort, as one element of a democratic society. Finally, it develops a sense of equality and freedom.
Factors influencing behaviour
Factors which affect human behaviour are as explained below:
  • Influence of parents — Patenting styles influence the behaviour of children. Some characteristics are inherited by children from their parents, which influence behaviour, such as bravery, anger or aggression. Aggressive parents may influence their children’s behaviour. On the other hand, kind parents may transmit kindness to their children.
  • Peer group — Some behaviour are acquired by individuals from peer groups. These groups are found in schools, at workplaces, clubs and other places where people of the same interest and age meet, who may have different behaviours.
  • Influence of technology — Changes in technology, especially, communication technology, plays a major role in molding the behaviour of people, especially adolescents. Adolescents and children imitate and adopt a lot of things from the internet, videos, television, magazines and books.
  • Lack of employment — When people lack employment, they tend to get involved in improper behaviour such as robbery, rape, theft, drug abuse and smoking bhang (marijuana) or using some illegal drugs.
ALL TOPICS FORM ONE
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