In Family

Types of Families and Finding a Definition Of Family

What is Definition Of Family? 

Family, an evolving unit of blood relations, ties by marriage or people who come together through necessity or love, defines a country’s culture. Television programs give a timeline of family evolution from the 1950s to present. Though most writers sugarcoat the hard issues, the basics of society’s ideal family life flash in black and white or technicolor into living rooms around the world.

Many definitions of family and types of family structure exist, however; television gives a better look at family life’s timeline. From the clean-cut, family oriented sitcoms of the 1950 to the tattooed, animated foul-mouthed modern families on television now, accurate pictures of the ever-evolving family comes to view. What is the definition of family?

Family definitions

The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definitions of family:

  • “A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household”
  • “A group of people related to one another by blood or marriage”
  • “A person or people related to one another and so to be treated with a special loyalty of intimacy”
  • “A group of people united in criminal activity”

The Urban Dictionary gives this definition of family:

“A bunch of people who hate each other and eat dinner together”

The word family means something different to just about everyone. As social norms shift and realign, the dynamics of the family change too. One permanent, all-encompassing definition of family does not exist nor does a single word accurately describe the many facets of a modern family.

The fact family definition:

A fact family is a group of numbers that are related to each other in that those numbers can be combined to create a number of equations.”

Language family definition

A language family consists of all the languages related by decent from a common ancestor and passed through generations

Family dynamics definition

Family dynamics explains how you and others in your family interact and relate to one another.

Family structure definition

How your family organizes roles, power and rules as components of a hierarchies in your home.

Ideal family models change depending on where in the world you look. Nuclear families make up the socially accepted normal family in the Western part of the world even though images of this family type began fading 50-years ago.

Family oriented definition

Family oriented means you get great satisfaction from spending time with your partner and children. Your family makes you happy and your life centers on familial activities. The familial definition expands on family oriented by including extended family members in gatherings and other activities.

Nuclear family definition

The definition of nuclear family is a social unit normally made up of a married couple and their dependent children.

The nuclear family became the picture of perfect life on television shows like Father Knows Best; Leave it to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show. These families had stay at home mothers who wore dresses and vacuumed in high heels and pearls. The father worked outside the home, usually as an accountant, lawyer or in advertising. The children did not back talk, they learned from their mistakes and they did not lie.

In reality, the show’s stars struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and had little or no money when the shows ended. Their real lives looked nothing like their television lives, but; television audiences wished for the ideal family life as seen on television.

From these programs, America learned the definition of family oriented. If you feel incomplete without a spouse and children, or; if you work for the good of the family, you are family oriented. Nothing comes before the people in your immediate family.

Immediate family definition

People considered immediate family includes:

  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Spouses

The definition of extended family and the definition of immediate family includes non-biological members like your spouse’s siblings, parents, nieces and nephews who live nearby or in the same home.

The nuclear family still comes to mind when you think of families living in the Western hemisphere, however; many factors have led to changes in the nuclear family architecture. These changes include:

Single-parent families have grown in number over the past 30-years as many countries have divorce rates of 50-percent and higher. Russia leads the world with more than 63-percent of all marriages ending in divorce. The United Kingdom divorce rate of 53-percent beats the United States, which has a divorce rate of 49-percent.

In the 1970s, television shows like One Day at a Time and Alice introduced single parenthood to America. The television networks, not wanting to ruffle feathers, made the mothers widows left to raise the children alone. Single mothers dated, but never remarried.

Around 70-percent of divorced parents will enter new romantic relationships within 5-years of their marriage failing. Most of these will remarry and their children from previous marriages will live in homes with a stepparent.

Blended family definition

A blended family is a married couple with children from previous relationships and children from the current relationship.

In 2014, you probably come from, or know at least one, blended family. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have one of the most famous blended families in the world. They adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam and have two children of their own. Rumors of the couple looking to adopt another child in Ethiopia have made the news.

Brangelina, as Brad and Angelina are known in the press, set a good example for the extended family definition.

Blended families often have trouble adjusting to the living arrangements when children from the first marriage have visitation or live with that parent most of the time.

The end of the 1970s saw the blending of races with Diff’rent Strokes. Racial issues, child molestation, gangs and drugs worked into the half hour stories of the two African-American children adopted by a wealthy white man.

The Brady Bunch made blending a family look easy. The kids argued often in the beginning, which separated the sexes, not their parentage.

Making a blended family work without some struggles rarely happens. Avoiding failure in a blended family takes careful planning and a lot of communication. How you handle your spouse’s children can break up the marriage faster than any other problem.

The stepparent’s role

A rule to follow when dealing with the children of your spouse is to act more as a babysitter. Only a biological parent should discipline. If you step in and begin punishing or lecturing your spouse’s children, resentment from the kids and your new partner grow quickly.

Remember to let the children’s biological parent make the important decisions and hand out punishments for their kids. Do not expect the kids to call you mom or dad or demand they do so. Choose a title that you find respectful without making your partner’s children uncomfortable or resentful.

A smile or eye contact may be the closest you ever get to your stepchildren, not because they hate you, but; they may feel that if they like you, they have abandoned the parent whose role you have taken.

The definition of a family

Your family does not have to have bloodlines or relations through marriage. A family can exist when a group of people who have a lot in common, band together for survival, security and family love. The definition of family love encompasses any social group with members who genuinely love one another.

Whether you define the ideal family as nuclear or blended, families hold society together. You can recognize a mother’s distressed look in any country or feel a father’s displeasure on any planet. Family forms your morals and readies you to start a family of your own. Without family, the world would spin through space empty of life.

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