Who is My Neighbour? καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον? Pedagogical Treatment of a Partnership and Family Case

Article Information

Franco Blezza*

Full Professor on General and Social Pedagogy, Gabriele d’Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy

*Corresponding Author: Franco Blezza, professor on General and Social Pedagogy, Gabriele d’Annunzio University, Chieti - Pescara, Italy

Received: 19 February 2020; Accepted: 27 February 2020; Published: 19 March 2020

Citation: Franco Blezza. Who is My Neighbour? καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον? Pedagogical Treatment of a Partnership and Family Case. Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Disorders 4 (2020): 31-34.

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A non-nuclear couple, now with two children but desiring for more, and with problems of accommodation and professional practitioner rooms, pose their problem and solve it with the help of a professional pedagogist by widening their near familiarity to a loved uncle widow and alone owner of the big old family house and who loves children.


Pedagogist; Sozialpädagogik; Partnership; Family; Couple

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Article Details

1. The Family Today: A Question of Paradigm

The paradigm of family known as conjugal [1, 2] or nuclear [3] constitutes a recent historical and social phenomenon which had a fairly short duration: it arose in the West after the Enlightenment, the industrial revolution and the bourgeois revolutions of the eighteenth century, with significant precedents in the British reality a century earlier (Trumbach). More than half a century ago it has gone into an increasingly serious and irreversible crisis, without having alternative paradigms available [4-6]. We must shortly remember that before the nuclear paradigm there were the noble family, the patriarchal family, the by-cognate one and so on, going up in the millennia and in the different civilizations. In common language, and unfortunately not infrequently in the scientific one too, the nuclear family is called “natural”, “always existed”, “product of millennia of civilization”, with mutually contradictory attributions with evident rhetorical purpose (convincing to accept the heavy sacrifices, the woman particularly), when it’s not simply a sign of erroneous oversimplification [7-9]. The adamantine solidity of this family, which today is weakness, was precisely its closure on their partners just like a nucleus, having both been educated with absoluteness, strength, indisputability and also violent instruments to an extreme polarization, of the male “outside” and the female “inside”, which were enough for themselves. Even the most intimate elders were not tolerated (mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, ...). or tolerated with heavy difficulties. And precisely this closure, so serious component of the current crisis of family old paradigm, was the problematic nature of the case whose pedagogical treatment is summarized in these few lines, and also the solution.

2. The Couple with Two Children, The Non-Nuclear Family

Sara, 35, an emerging architect, needs an adequate atelier.

Dario, 36, a university professor in his career, would need a home studio with a library and attached archive.

Two daughters, 4 years and 2 years, and third parenting is not excluded. But who follows them?

They live and practice in a city/town in central-southern Italy just over 100,000 inhabitants and can’t change it.

The couple, not married, turns out to be very steadfast, the different lifestyles corresponding to the two professions always seem to strengthen it, and never weaken it.

The home life with little boys is excellent. Both would like more children. The determination seems strong. It’s a typical Pedagogist Job [10-12].

3. The Problem: A Closure Problem

The pedagogical interlocution [9, 12] dialogue takes place in their home for their desire and invitation. This house is kept with care, but is evidently inadequate: an apartment with living room, kitchen, a bedroom and two small rooms. Where to place children, especially if they increase, and in any case as they grow up? Sara needs an equipped and computerized architect’s office in which to receive clients and a waiting room with an independent entrance; Dario needs a huge library at home, and with a separate room in which to complete his studies at the and a writing desk with another PC workstation for his IT operations. The economic availability is all invested in the careers of the partners and in the studies of the sons. Now the living room has the architect’s equipment, a desk considered too small, boxes full of books on all the walls to the ceiling, also in the corridor, and they continue to grow. There is barely space for a few chairs and a carpet for the boys. They need at least 7-8 good rooms and maybe they wouldn’t even be enough, with independent accesses too. They need someone to help them with the children, even the future ones, and in the work relationship at home. And money is barely enough. The problem arises easily, in all its complexity.

«Can’t you do it, closed in yourself? ». «No, we can’t! »

4. Talk to Your Neighbour. Yes; And Who is My Neighbour? κα? τ?ς ?στ?ν μου πλησ?ον?

The Gospel expression (Luca, 10, 29) is inserted in a secular sense, in fact it doesn’t concern the known following parable of the Cyrenius. The interlocution went on, examining first his closest relatives, his grandparents. Sara has his parents about 700 km away (northern western Italy). They love son-in-law and daughter-in-law, they love their grandchildren, but they don’t move from their city (one of the biggest and characteristic) except for short visits and. in any case. they have an even smaller house. Dario, on the contrary, would have parents in the same city, both retired, and with a fairly large house. All right? No, because his mother violently condemns the union without marriage, and has heavily offensive words towards Sara who keeps her son and those poor creatures in grave sin. Is there no solution then? No: who other can be your neighbour?

5. The Right Neighbour, The Meeting with the Lonely Uncle

The interlocution continued by examining other relatives and conditions that could be neighbor. But the scan stops early, when they both exclaim: «Oh yes! There is also Uncle Al!! Dear Uncle Al!!!».

Both of them visibly changed their attitude. Uncle Alfredo is the younger brother of Dario’s mother. Widow, 70 years old, excellent psychophysical conditions, he lives alone. Two sons married, the male married in USA, the female married in another nearby southern region, he goes to visit her every now and then, she proposed him to live with them but he will never leave his house, the family home, on the outskirts of the same city)town of Dario and Sara. in the midst of greenery, he has would as only legacy. I agree to the strong encouragement of both to go and see him personally, even if the home visit to a person not directly involved in the interlocution is not part of the pedagogical toolbox [9, 12].

6. The Solution of the Case

The house was a farmhouse, which still bore traces of pre-existing barns, cellars, garbage cans, common rooms and personal rooms for large rural families of the past. A loving care that had led to the high expense allowed him first by a high degree in the public administration and then by excellent repayment and liquidation, had made it a home with many premises, of which mostly he himself did not know what to do. There were certainly more than ten excellent rooms, some of which had entrances independent of the main one. I found a very kind welcome, a rich buffet made with his own hands and served by him. But I saw clear the signs of deep loneliness, silence, penumbra, and a great desire to talk like those who are close to endless silences. It did not take many words: this is the home of the family, therefore also of the nephew. Their business and their sons, two or more; save respect his bridal chamber, the garden and the personal room with the writing desk and his library, also have everything else as they think. His loneliness is ended, and long last he’ll can care of young boys, with so much nostalgia for when his children were little. Just a contradiction, with his sister, but it’s not a problem.

«Oh yes, I know it, I can imagine all, my sister will also tell me the same bad things she says to our loved ones. “And you take yourself in your home, in the home of our parents, of our family, that little woman and her bastards!” I don’t care. Never mind! »

7. Epilogue

The move was made very quickly. The house now has a completely different aspect, of life and of cleanliness. and “Uncle Al” touches the maximum of joy being able to be a father again, a particular grandfather, but with fullness and waiting that this condition will be repeated again and again.


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