Family An Intimate Look Into TheErickson/Foster/Joyner/Foster-Adams/Kempton Family
G e n e r a l l y, family can be identified as“networks of people who share their lives overlong periods of time bound by ties of marriage,b l o o d , l a w, c o m m i t m e n t , l e g a l o r o t h e r w i s e ,who consider themselves as family and whoshare a significant history and anticipatedfuture of functioning as a family” (Galvin, etal., 2012, p 8). All quotes and textual references uses text: Galvin, K.L., Bylund, C.L., and Brommel, B.J. (2012). Family Communication Cohesion and Change. 8th Ed. Glenview, IL: Pearson Education, Inc. For the purposes of this project, I will explore my immediate family (husband and children as well as that with my parents and siblings).
A photo from Easter Sunday back in 1997. In thispicture contains members from both my mother andf a t h e r ’s s i d e o f t h e f a m i l y * . A l l a u n t s a n d u n c l e s a swell as cousins are present from both families. At thisp o i n t , h o w e v e r, t h e r e a r e a f e w m e m b e r s w h o a r e n olonger part of the “family” due to divorce. *Photo is missing my mother’s parents
Foster Family: Annual trip to Funtown/Splashtown My father’s parents, one of his brothers and most of the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also in this picture are two of my siblings and their partners (one homosexual relationship and the other bringing a child from a previous relationship to the family); my cousin’s daughter and her half siblings; and my other uncle’s girlfriend and her grandchildren. This is demonstrative of the extended definition of “family”
Foster Family To the left: my father, and his brother’s, Uncle Guy and Uncle SteveTo the right: my father’sparents, Nana and Grampy
Erickson Family Below in the back row: Uncle Dick, Uncle Bob, and Uncle Donald Middle: Mom, Aunts Cindy & Eileen Front: Nana and GrampyAbove: My mother’s parents and mostof their grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.
Family To the right: my mom and dadTo the left: Missy “Squeezie”,Mikie, Me, and Dawn (oldestsister)
Foster-Adams Steen and Squeezie Fosters Tara and Adrianna Thomas, Mikie, The Four of Us Brady, Griffin, Michael and Meghan & Our Families KemptonsChris, Me, Logan and Paycen Joyners Steve, Dawn and Addison
More of My “Family”Some members are biological/legal and others are not(there are still some not included)
Level of Adaptability FOSTER KEMPTONRigid Families Structured Flexibility Flexible Chaotic Families While I grew up, as a Foster, in a very structured environment, I find myself as a parent (Kempton train), I am more of in the middle of structured and flexible. Having young children contributes some to this positioning.
Boundaries Our family (with my parents and siblings as well we that with my husband and children) preach and practice open boundaries; flexibility, free flow of information and exploration of differences have been and are encouraged.
Interdependence While growing up and even as adults who have started our own families, there is still an interdependent. While the degree of interdependence has decreased, the change one member makes influences us all, especially emotionally Having a young family, with daughter 5 and 3 years of age, our interdependence is very high. A bad mood or rough day will impact all of our evenings
Creation of Communication Patterns Family Communication RulesThe communication ruleswe were taught growingup appropriate titles forelders, what language wasappropriate to use and inwhich environments, etc. Unspoken rules between my siblings and I was one of reliance and dependence. With my older siblings’ responsibility of after school care, we trusted and respected the role they had in our lives; these relational rules are now more of a joke to us all as adults.
Creation of Communication Patterns Family Communication RulesGrowing up,constitutiverules such asdemonstration ofaffection weretaught throughteasing orrough-housingwith oneanother. Our regulative rules have, for the most part remained in tack; such rules keeping everyone in the loop with one another’s life activities.
Creation of Communication Patterns Family SecretsSecrets between my oldestsister Dawn and I encompassmany functions. We rely uponon another for support, honestyand sounding boards. Maintenance Privacy Bonding Defense
Creation of Communication Patterns Family Communication Networks Balance between high face/voice communication and high mediated communication For the most part now that we are all grown adults, the chain is horizontal
Creation of Communication Patterns Family NarrativesNarratives have developed,across generations to besomething shared bygrandfathers with theirgrandchildren. Beginningwith my grandfather’s storiesand now my father’s storieswith his grandchildren.
Relational MaintenanceCelebrations and Ceremonies Many traditions in our family surrounding celebrations and ceremonies are of high importance and occur frequently
Relational Maintenance Relational Currencies Positive verbal statements Self disclosure with my husband Listening Nonverbal affect displays Touch Food Favors Time together*My husband and my brother and his children are absent from the above photo Staying in touch Aggression Food Favors Time together
Specific Role FunctionsThere truly is a balancebetween my husband and Ito provide for our childrenin all aspects (basicresources, kinshipmaintenance and familymanagement, nurturanceand emotional support;individual development andgender socialization)
PowerPower in my family (parents and siblings) resides primarilyin the hands of two peopleThey bothshare in thepoweroutcomes My sister controls the My father primarily power process through holds the power bases, but as we’re grown there manipulation, is less dependency upon persuasion and threats one another
InfluenceThis process occurs when family members use their power to try tochange other’s behaviors or beliefs. Direct: reasoning Indirect: withdrawal and asking and hinting
Decision Making“Because familyrelationships are bothinvoluntary and lengthy,members may usenegative messages thatironically function tomaintain the familysystem while reinforcingseparate identities ofmembers” (p. 195). My sister is in a position of power, influence and decision making because most members of the family would rather do as she wishes than be without her as a member – based upon consensus by most and accommodation by few.
Conflict StylesConflict style amongst the six of us is primarilycompromise. With the exception of my relationshipwith Squeezie and the minimal involvement of mybrother (due to life and schedule, rather than To maintain familyexclusion or chosen withdrawal). collectiveness, my relationship with Squeezie falls into the accommodation and avoiding styles. Chris and I represent a more collaborative style of conflict between ourselves. When in conflict with our 5 and 3 year old, we aim for a compromise (if applicable).
Unresolved Conflict “We doubt that the cessation of arguing means that conflict has been resolved” (p.223). There is a commonly known and accepted unresolved conflict between my sister and I. Per my family interview results, there is an apparent, but never spoken about, unresolved conflict between my brother and parents.