I will speak about the picture of family emerging from Polish textbooks for middle school students. The third stage of education was picked purposefully, as it ties in with an important developmental phase for students. Early adolescence is when young people shape their identity in an extraordinarily intense way. They do so by carefully observing the world and, making use of their more clearly defined moral autonomy, by critically assessing the behaviours and attitudes of adults around them. Taking into account the strongly declared, in the 1999 reform, formational approach to teaching Polish in middle school, it should be assumed that the literary and cultural materials chosen by textbook authors will first and foremost serve to create a particular picture of the family. It is therefore worth checking to what extent the resulting picture of the family is a ‘model’ construction, significant for the authors’ perspective on to proper upbringing, and to what extent it is a true reflection of contemporary experiences that form a part of middle school students’ everyday life. This issue is an important one because the textbook narrative is only one of the numerous aspects of formational discourse that reach young people in middle schools; very often, it is not the most important aspect. The ultimate purpose of my analysis is not to reconstruct the picture of family existing at present in the educational discourse, but rather to answer the question of how the messages in textbooks fit with contemporary societal challenges (changes in culture and customs, the shrinking private sphere).