“ Today, families define themselves, for themselves, through their interactions.”( pg. 5). The Crosby family is a two-parent biological family consisting of Charles, Susan and their four children Jennifer, Ashley, Charlotte, and Charlie. Charles and Susan recently decided to separate from one another, the family still upholds a two-parent family system, both parent’s share responsibility for the children equally. The Crosby family is made up of six individuals with strong personalities. Although at times there are bumps in the road the family’s love and support for one another is clear.
“Consensual families are high in both conversation and conformity strategies their communication characterized by pressure for agreement, although children are encouraged to express ideas and feelings ”(p.173). The Crosby family is connected through their values and attitudes, conversation is a constant in this household, there is very little that goes unsaid. The Crosby kids have always been encouraged to express their personal ideas and feelings. These characteristics indicate the Crosby family as a consensual family.
“Family members strive for emotional closeness, loyalty, and togetherness with emphasis on some individuality” (pg.31). The Crosby family is a close emotional unit, spending as much time as possible together, sharing important family and individual accomplishments is important. Loyalty is strong and important to the Crosby family. There is emphasis on individuality within the members of this family. All individuals are encouraged to share their individual feelings and beliefs without judgment.“Through their communication family members develop, maintain, or change their patterns of cohesion” (pg.31).
“Rituals convey a variety of meanings and messages in emotionally powerful patterns; they remind members who they are, how much they care about each other, they reflect a family’s relational culture,” (pg.113). As a family the Crosby’s share many rituals, all special holidays and occasions ( Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, etc.) are celebrated together.
Decision making is the process by which family members make choices, reach judgements, or arrive at solutions that end uncertainty” (pg.194). Family decision making is done as a family, if it is something that will directly effect each member. Ultimately, the final decision generally falls on the parents. When it comes to individual decisions, the family often involved one another for advice on how to make the final decision.
“The effects of family conflict and the way in which parents manage conflict can have profound effects on children and their relationships with family members and others, particularly as they grow older and develop their own intimate relationships”(pg.211). The Crosby family is made up of six individual members who although all share the same values and beliefs also hold their own strong opinions & feelings and are not afraid to voice them. Conflict arises often as a result of misunderstandings within the family unit.
“Secrets create or reinforce boundaries- whether between the family and the outside world or around individuals or subsystems”(pg.88). Secrets within the Crosby family are often between individual members of the family, however, it is hard to keep secrets from other members of the family. So often one persons secret that he/she only wanted to go to one other member in the family becomes a entire family secret. Within the family, secrets are important kept secret, there is extreme loyalty within the family. Which has been tested at times by outside influences trying to disrupt the family unit.
“If you had to create a mental image or a root metaphor for your family, what would it be-” (pg.38) Being that I chose to do this assignment on my own family, I decided to take this opportunity to use my family image slide and speak about it from a personal place. Unlike the image from the first slide that is recent, this image shows where we started. Since my parent’s have recently separated this image allows me to hold onto my family as a single unit. Although my parent’s are separating there is still a knowing that the bond that we share as a unit cannot be taken away.
Each of these elements help to explain the Crosby family system. The closeness and loyalty of the Crosby family helps to keep this family connected, through the good and the bad the family’s over arching beliefs and values will get them through anything.
Galvin, Kathleen M., Carma Lee Bylund, and Bernard J.Brommel. Family communication: cohesion and change. 8thed. Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon, 2012. Print.