Taoism Perspective on Roles Inside a Family

The Taoist way of living a life is always the most natural and beneficial to everyone, because it promotes flowing with nature and doing what nature sets us to do. If we are born to walk on legs, why do you want to start walking upside down with your hands instead? That’s not going to make it better, but worse!  Many families don’t really specifically assign a role to everyone in the house, and they try to do whatever each feels like, which often ends up in disagreement, arguments, and conflicts. Taoism has its own way to assign the roles to people according to nature’s pattern, which can at least teach you how to set the standards and reduce conflicts in the house.

In a family of 3 or 4, there is always a father, mother, and children or child. If you look at the pattern of creation, there won’t be a child without the sperm first, therefore the father is the first one in the lineage tree. We say that the father is like the sky, which provide resources for the life to be born. Some say we need to treat female and male “equal” these days, but that isn’t the case for Taoists. Yes, you can both be as important, but the female is born to take the sperm and not create them.

The mother’s role is like the ground, they take the “seed” which is the sperm, and cultivate it, giving birth to the actual life, which is the child. The mother shall not see herself as a leader in the team, because the leader is the one who gives the seed, which is the father. Some might think this is sexist or maybe not fair, yet when did nature tell us this world is about “fairness”? Nature builds up like a pyramid structure, because time sets the standard. Whoever start things is the leader, and that’s basically how nature works. Who comes first, who is the leader of the next generation. The mother’s role is to take care of the seed and grow it, make it turn into another life, a baby, a child. Just like “the ground,” the mother keeps feeding the child as they grow up, feeding them with normal food, and also brain food that teaches them how to be a proper human being.

The Confucianism way says “the child not learning is the father’s fault, the teachings are not strict enough is the teacher’s fault,” but somehow Taoism doesn’t agree with that. We say that the father is the provider and leader. Therefore, the father’s role is to make sure the son has a future, and knows his direction and such. Giving the proper vision of life to the child is important, because he needs to know where he is going, why he is here, and the goal of his life. After that, it’s the mother’s job to make sure the child is learning, strict or not, is up to the mother, because she plays the role of a manager, while the father is the big boss above.

The role of the child is to be the final “product” of the sky and ground, which means he is responsible for producing the fruit, the future, and making sure that the next generation can be produced for the future. What does that mean? What if the child doesn’t want to have babies with another person and just wants to stick to himself for the rest of his life? That’s fine too. The pattern is, he should be “the future creator,” which means he needs to invest his time, energy, and life into making sure he can grow up and have the ability to make a living and provide a FUTURE for the family later on. In short, he should aim to give back to the parents and make sure the family can keep going.

The common issue out there is that the father is overpowering and trying to “teach” the kid a lot while the mother is backing off and trying to be the laid-back type. The mother is not doing her job and the father is overpowering like a CFO in the company who bosses around people like he is the manager. The child cannot take it because it is against the nature’s pattern.

The father should be more inclined towards being a “sun,” and burning himself for creating light for the world, while not interfering with things so much. By being a good role model himself, this is already a way of teaching his son. Most fathers these days can’t even act properly themselves, so how can they expect the child to do better? What do you expect?

When the child has issues, it is the mother’s role to inject wisdom and teach the child, also give them the right amount of pressure to keep them moving. If the child is lazy, the mother should get them motivated and help them to get back on track, just like a good manager at work will do to his employees. Just being a bitch doesn’t help though - imagine a manager who only knows how to scold people and not look out for them? It’s not going to work! A good manager always tries to fuel the lowers and help them push and move forward, thinking for the lowers and always pushing them to move forward.

The Taoist way of living a life and seeing the roles in a family is very “natural” because it is how nature works and the way how nature operates. However, if you decide to go against nature, then you will see the negative results on your end, and life just gets much harder than it is. You are trying to fly and sail against the wind, what do you expect? The theory is simple, and you get it already, but when it comes to actually doing it, that’s another story. Therefore, you should ordain and learn, because that also translates to real life teaching and guidance, which a reader in this blog won’t have.