Of the six factors of life I believe that family is the most important. I base my decision on two essential factors.

First, the family is the main contributor to the behavior patterns of their children. The neglected child, the child from a broken home, or the child with an alcoholic parent is going to be directly affected by the actions of his family and especially his parents. Many sociologists agree that many of America's ills are due to a breakdown in the family.

Second, a child needs the security of a family. A family provides a place where most physical needs are taken care of. Also, the security of knowing that help is nearby in any time of trouble reassures the child that he is wanted and loved.

Indeed, nothing can substitute for the love and feeling that is received in a family; it is a fundamental part of growing up. Without it, a child may miss the joys that will mold his character for the rest of his life.

Written by Michael R. Tronick
September-October 1970