If we are to agree with this definition of ‘Family’ then we accept that family is not only about blood ties. We also agree that there is a ‘head’ of the family, but that head is not gender specific. We would also agree that whether we live in the same dwelling or not, we are still members of a family and have responsibilities as such.
Nuclear family – typically, parent and child/ren
Extended family – Includes aunts, uncles, grandparents
Reconstituted or ‘blended’ family – any element of one family joining with another as one
Disjointed family – elements of the unit not living under one roof or under the one head (separated/divorced families)
The dynamics of a family is how they relate to each other and the role they play as part of that ‘team’
Working Parents – Where both parents work either in or outside the home
Single Earner Parents – Where only one parent works either in or out of the home
No income Parents – Where neither parent works either in or outside of the home
Lone Parents – Where only one parent is actively responsible for the child/ren, not to be confused with a disjointed family where the parents may not live together but both play an active part in the raising of the children.
Same Gender Parents – where neither parent has a specific identified gender role
Adoptive Parents – includes children from both known and unknown sources, commonly orphaned children will be raised by extended family creating a blended/adoptive family
No parents – Some families have no ONE head and work as a team to maintain the home. This may happen due to death of parents or a group of people living together sharing domestic responsible and joint income.
Whatever our personal family consists of, it needs to meet the needs of the people within it. It needs to provide, protection, security (both physical and emotional). These needs will constantly be changing with the development of the family as a whole and the development of each individual within the unit. The head of the home needs to be able to recognise the needs of the family and cater for them. Where the head of the family has a deputy/assistant/Vice or whatever term may be appropriate, these people have to work in conjunction with each other to maintain the stability that each family needs to be successful. Where there is a ‘sole’ head of a family that person will need to be aware of the times where their own resources, skills etc. may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the family and be prepared to draft in help.
It’s not so much ‘what’ a group of people do that give them the title of family, but ‘how’ they do. Families, work together in order to move forward. Whether that be parents working in factories in order for their children to go to college, or children taking on chores in order for parents to go take second jobs to keep food on the table or a roof over their heads. No ONE role in a family is more important than the next, each is to be carried out with honour and each is to be respected. It is said a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So it is with family. If any one role is not fulfilled, the family becomes weakened.