The White Family The white family is a two-parent biological family consisting of Michael the father, Susan the Mother, and three children Stephanie, Mark, and Sam. The structure of this family is very common as we typically live the American dream, in Canada. My family has inherited American traditions from my father as well as Canadian traditions from my mother. Both traditions are similar and help us to remain strong and enmeshed in each others lives.
Family MembersFather: Michael is a loving husband and a father of three, who is veryrespected by the family by providing for them as well as enforcing strictrules. He is often approached for advise and help when a conflict arises,as he can find a solution in almost any situation.Mother: Susan is a loving wife and mother of three, who also is respectedby all family members. She provides for the family by working part-timeas well as taking on the duties of a house wife and mother. She can alsopolice any situation and help the family get through conflicts.
Family Members Older Sister: Stephanie is a smart and mature young woman who is always looked up two by her two younger siblings. Michael and Susan are her two biological parents and she comes from a strong, enmeshed family. Younger Brother: Samuel is the youngest and is often smothered by our biological parents. Our parents are very enmeshed in his life as he is the youngest. He can cause conflicts but is not the one to hold a grudge. Middle Child: Mark (ME), I am the middle child who respects all members of my family. I can often take on leadership roles and looked up to by my younger brother. I am very family oriented, and plan to honor my family traditions.
Cohesive“Family members strive for emotional closeness, loyalty, andtogetherness with emphasis on some individuality” (p.31).At a young age my parents were very enmeshed in each of theirchildrens lives, however as we have grown older they haveincorporated cohesiveness and promoted individuality.
Family structure Flexible: “Family members experience high levels of change, shared decision making, and shifting rules and roles” (p.32). In recent years there has been a lot of change in my family. We constantly restructure how we operate and adapt so that we can meet the demands of other family members as well as our own.
Family Communication “Every family becomes a rule-governed system; family members interact with each other in an organized, repetitive fashion, creating patterns that direct family life”(p.83) At a young age my parents engaged us children in a rule-governed system where we always show respect to not only each other but our elders. This essentially became a pattern and an un-written rule in our family which helped everyone get along much easier.
Family Communicationwith Secrets “A whole family may own a secret that is not to be shared with outsiders; a pair of siblings may share a secret; or an individual may maintain a secret known to no other family member” (page 75). In my family everyone is very open and honest about what goes on in their lives. We typically don’t keep secrets from each other, however we do have secrets as a family that we choose not to share with the outside world. This ultimately displays loyalty and respect to each family member.
Relationship Maintenance “Partners develop routines and become more aware of their spouses’ flaws. Eventually couples face relational reality, inculding disenchantment”(p.107) In any romantic relationship couples can sometimes move on to reality, and everything just becomes a routine where we actually start to pick apart each others flaws. My parents typically like to keep one or two nights a week to them selves where they can break routine and do something for themselves. This ultimately allows them to keep their routines and romantic relationship much healthier.
Parent and child RelationalMaintenance “Maintaining relationships takes attention and effort. If family members take time to think about each others’ lives and consciously focus on keeping their relationships strong, they are rewarded with strong ties”(p.111). In my family it is very important that everyone supports each other in their endeavors. Even when times are rough it is crucial that a family sticks together. This will help the family build a strong relationship in the long run.
Family Theories & Systems “If a family member loses a job, wins a scholarship, marries, or joins the military, such an event affects the entire family system; the impact depends on each person’s relationship with that individual”(p.59) Recently in my family my sister graduated from college and accepted a really good job. She found her own place and is now moving out of the house. Although she is moving away from the family, it actually brings everyone closer together. “If a family member chooses to withdraw from a family by pulling away, they actually shift other members into closer relationships”(p59).
Family Decision Making “Decision making is the process by which family members make choices, reach judgments, or arrive at solutions that end uncertainty”(p.194). In the White family when a conflict arises, or there is a decision to be made, all aspects and suggestions are taken into account by each family member. My parents, however, will be very involved and will usually have the final say in any decision.
Process of Conflict “Family members who confront their differences are more likely to improve their relationships and experience more joint benefits that increase love and caring” (p.210). In my family my parents have always enforced confrontation. I agree with this concept as it allows the conflict to be presented and resolved in a reasonable amount of time. It also avoids grudges and other issues that can hurt a relationship.
Family Rituals “Commitment implies intense singular energy directed toward sustaining a relationship” (page 129) Commitment is not only important in a romantic relationship, but a family relationship as well. One of our unwritten family rituals is to stick together through the rough times and the good. This custom is something that has helped my family remain strong and happy. I plan on implementing this strategy when I start my own family.
Work Cited Galvin, Kathleen M., Carma Lee. Bylund, and Bernard J. Brommel. Family Communication: Cohesion and Change. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon, 2012. Print.
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