Buddhism is a peaceful religion that values all individuals within and out of the family structure. While Buddhism gives no direct instructions about marriage or the rearing of children it does value certain individual practices. Marriages are not limited in the number of partners either and ceremonies are not performed by Buddhist monks. These are seen as matters outside of the religion and are usually taken care of in a civil ceremony. While this may all seem a bit confusing, Buddhists tend to lead and incredibly harmonious life within the home. In some cases though, divorce does occur where a couple cannot resolve their differences.
Buddhism does not deal directly with marriage in most cases and provides little guidance about behavior during marriage. Multiple marriages could technically occur at once and monogamy is neither prohibited nor encouraged. It is expected though that partners treat each other with respect and that they value each other. Harmony within a relationship is certainly encouraged as well. Issues of violence or harm do become an issue within the Buddhist culture. Divorce is actually encouraged if the couple cannot resolve their differences. Buddhists believe that this is preferably to ongoing disharmony and violence within the home.
Children are certainly valued highly in the Buddhist culture, but no special rules apply to rearing children. Parents should however value their children and seek to be in harmony with them whenever possible. Buddhism does encourage enlightenment throughout the life cycle though. This means that children will at some point pull away from their parents in their own life’s journey. This is not seen as incorrect in Buddhist homes. In fact it is quite natural and was encouraged by Siddhartha himself. So while children and parent should strive to respect and value each other there are no specific rules for these relationships within Buddhism as a whole.
Like many other areas of the home Buddhism gives no specific roles to either gender about their responsibilities. Once again mutual respect and responsibility seem to be the order of the day. Buddhists should strive for peace within the home and everything else will usually fall into place. This seems to be the way Buddhism has operated for centuries with a great deal of success it would seem even though there are few rules for family life.
Overall Buddhism values each individual without very much emphasis on genders or hard and fast rules about life in general. Within the home if everyone is valued and treated with respect, then harmony will be maintained from children to adults throughout the home life. Marriages as mentioned above are not governed by Buddhism, but may be encouraged to be dissolved with divorce if violence or unhappiness persists in the relationship. Children also enjoy a simple set of rules and very little is mentioned about rules for rearing children in Buddhism. It is assumed though that children will at some point pull away from their parents. This is necessary for enlightenment which is greatly encouraged throughout Buddhism. Even Siddhartha felt the need to eventually pull away from his family while he searched for enlightenment so very long ago.