Free «The Nature of Family Life» Essay Sample


In any society, the family is an irreplaceable social unit. Family gives you a sense of understanding, support, tradition and stability and is important for every person. In happy families, parents treat their children with respect without bossing or moralizing them, they are honest and frank with their children, and children in their turn learn to form a relationship among their equals and how to treat other people. In a family, that is friendly, people are: loving, respectful and gentle. The importance, in times of need, of one’s family is unquestionable. Young children, for proper living conditions, rely on their parents, who in turn, in caring for and raising their children, receive help from their aging parents. There also comes a time when elderly parents themselves in arranging nursing help or with household tasks, require assistance. The exchanges of practical support are not limited to the importance of family relationships sketched here. During all the stages of the life-course, the family is also a critical source of support, socially and emotionally. Since, during their entire life, the family for people is an important resource, the degree to which people can, for support, call on their family, changes in the set-up of contemporaneous families associated with parenthood, partnership, postponement and divorce, and re-partnering may pose risks.



An alloparent is a group member who provides some kind of help with rearing the young and is other than the parent such as grandmother, grandfather, uncle, aunt or sibling. Sarah Blaffer believes that, while considering, it is worth our attention focusing on shared childcare. By sharing the responsibilities for protecting and caring for the dependent young, alloparenting frees mothers to begin breeding again is common among many species, including primates and humans. Although a male caretaker, helping the mother care for her infant as an allomother may seem odd to refer to, this means that he is an individual other than the mother.  In all cooperative-breeding species, alloparents play crucial roles; however we define them, in many primate societies where such assistance allows mothers to breed at a much faster rate than would otherwise be possible. Among humans living in foraging societies, to rear any infant at all,  alloparents and/or a supportive mate were usually essential for a mother. Provisioning and protecting, the same forums of care are provided by indispensable alloparents, in a surprisingly broad range of creatures, even where the alloparent is lactating, feeding another female’s infant in cases. Seeking reciprocation, sharing, giving and empathizing with others, are the main principles of collaboration. The process of human evolution was stimulated by these mere phenomena. The future of our species is expressed as a worry, by Sarah Blaffer. The lack of empathy and care in nuclear families, where there are no alloparents, is the reason. A serious and profound issue such as collaborative breeding gets our attention drawn by the author. In rising up the children, the role of alloparents has been accepted on by her. The basis for her assertion is the comparison to the relation by marriage of the biological theory of blood relation and socio-historical theory (Blaffer, 2009).

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One of the most important aspects that influences children development is the environment they live in. This is characterized by public behavior and society beliefs. Rowe states that family is a key institution in the development of a child’s behavior, beliefs and social life. Children learn basic things in life from their family members. They tend to emulate their parents, guardians or close relatives in all aspects of life. Rowe claims that children will also shun away from behaviors’ considered punishable by the same society. The culture of a community also forms an integral part in children’s development. Thus, children will easily adapt to cultural behaviors such as worshipping, rituals and social practices (Rowe, 1994).

Making sense in their social or environmental circumstances, in how babies should be treated, parents readily accept their society's prevailing ideology. Small believes that the society might progress, and the culture may change, but biology changes are at a much slower rate. Despite our modern age, babies are still stuck with their biology, and no amount of bedtime routines or technological devices will change that. The child rearing practices have been compared and explored in several different cultures by Small. Parents in the United States place their babies in rooms of their own to sleep, and they do not hold their babies as much as in other cultures because individualism is valued. Japanese infants sleep with their parents and not left to cry and are held more often. In the East, infants are comforted not just by the parents but by any number of group members and they are regularly nursed because parents believe even more in a communal life. Depicting women and babies, in America, in a negative light, Small exaggerates the parenting of the American culture. One culture is not necessarily better than the other, every culture has its traditions, and we can respect it and learn from others. An adult is very likely to recreate other significant relationships that enjoy the same degree of intimacy as his relationship with his parents. As securely attached as he was to his own parents if he will have children of his own, there are chances that those children will be as securely attached only to him (Small, 1999).


In our evolutionary history, there is a debate over the point at which we developed monogamy of male-female bonding as a primary form. Marriage is essentially a monogamous arrangement. The interlocking of families and creation of reciprocal obligations were the original purpose of marriage. Hence, bonding was not a thoughtful and conscious choice. Females were significantly smaller submissive to the wishes of the dominant male and generally compliant than the males. It is likely that mating behavior in our earliest ancestors involved the dominant and most powerful males securing open sexual access to the female partners. Status and the money factor intertwined among the love feelings, modern marriage is based on love. Changing the definition and meaning of marriage resulted from this change in the nature of marriage. Most people are influenced by romantic feelings when choosing a partner. Both partners take part in earning money and bringing up children, and a woman has an equal rights with a man. Marriage and child rearing are not so close to each other as they were earlier in this modern society and children are becoming less relevant for the marriage. Still, parents want their children to grow up in a family environment. Consequences not entirely unanticipated brought with it the increased emphasis on love as the primary reason for getting married, and the rate of divorce shot up (Coontz, 2005).


Through reciprocal reproaches and accusations, the love within a family totally manifests itself, which entirely is based on the normal family life fervent striving. It is essential to examine the relationships between all the family members to understand this standpoint better. An example is the story of the life of Tyrone family. The story covers a heart-rending and fateful, day at the home of the Tyrones. The resulting dysfunction of the family and addiction is one theme of the story. Mary is addicted to morphine, and other three males are alcoholics. In the story,  the family members deny, accuse, regret, resent, blame and conceal in an escalating cycle of conflict with occasional half-sincere and desperate attempts at consolation, encouragement and affection (O'neill, 1955).


All families experience some issues or tenets which determine the kind of the family they become. The Anderson’s family example as highlighted by Scarf is dysfunctional or severely disturbed. Their teenage son, after threatening his sister with a family gun, is admitted in a psychiatric hospital. The father has a hurtful past. Every member in the Anderson’s family floats in his/her own world, and the family suffers from poor communication. The pain and frustration in the family tend to be exhibited to others through resentment and anger. Proper communication is vital in the family as it allows a safe way of one’s emotional expressions and the psychological dynamics and the Anderson’s family are a clear illustration of it. Families struggle with conflicts and how to resolve them, intimacy and how to attain it, power and how it is to be managed. For the family to live in a harmony all the conflicts must be resolved or well addressed. Progress towards normalcy in dysfunctional families is hindered by the failure to accept the need for therapy for a whole family (Scarf, 1997).


In the fragmented world of knowledge, interdisciplinary studies are very useful. In various applications, the importance of interdisciplinary studies is self-evident. In the form of a model, the common understanding can be established. In a comprehensive manner, this then brings out solutions to the problems. There are also different standards of evaluation between the liberal arts of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities as well as different standards of knowledge. A challenge is poses to the whole process of creating harmony between them by the difference in standards. To form a characteristic which explains a family, the important parts of definition can be put together. For better or worse, the family should be a unit with unconditional support and love and a common goal.


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