Discuss the five important family functions. Describe how and why these functions are so important in the healthy development of school-aged children.

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The main function of a family is to provide offspring in order to keep the human race alive. Through sexual intercourse, a man and a woman are able to create new life, which will then become a new member of the family unit. Sex is a natural urge, and a family provides a safe environment for this to happen. As children develop, they learn that procreation is a perfectly normal human instinct, and through their family, they see that this is the best and most stable environment for creating a family. Therefore, they will seek to copy this once they are adults themselves.

Another function of family is to provide protection. If a child is ill, the parents will ensure that it receives medical help. They will care for the child and look after it. This also includes the adult members of a family—if an adult falls ill in a family, then the other adult will usually step in and help them with whatever is needed in order to get better and to get on with their lives. Receiving care or medical help when being ill is absolutely vital for the development of children. Naturally, this also forms part of a child's health and hygiene education.

Socialization is another very important function of family. Through the exposure to the other family members, children learn how to deal with other people in a social context. They learn that life is not just centered around them but that other people matter, too. This will definitely help children at school, as it will make it easier for them to socialize with their peers in class.

A family also provides a safe home for every family member. Because of the strong sense of community and belonging, people feel safe when being surrounded by their family. Children view their parents as role models and seek help and support from them when needed. Family therefore provides significant emotional stability. This trust is absolutely important for children as they grow up. At school age, for example, it is very important for children to know that they can always speak to their parents about any problems they may encounter. Even if they are in trouble, children need to know that their family will be supporting them.

Finally, one could argue that a family also provides the financial means for each family member in order to lead a good life. The parents go to work and earn the money needed in order to pay for the family home, food, clothes, and any other expenses. This helps children at school, as they will be able to purchase everything they need in order to get a good education. Even if a family is poor, parents can help their children to receive a grant or a scholarship in order to continue their education. This also provides a good financial education for the children, which they will benefit from when they are adults themselves.

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