Let me begin by stating what family means. Family is a basic unit in society, traditionally consisting of parents and their children. It is an important unit in society because it serves various functions. The underlying function is reproduction. A man and a woman usually start a family when they want to have children. Family also provides unconditional love and support to all its members. It also helps with socialization of an individual and it provides education, not only to children, but to parents as well. We can learn how to communicate with others, how to share, how to be empathetic and how to show our emotions so that they would be understood and accepted by others.
We can differentiate several types of families. The most common one is a nuclear family. This type typically consists of a father, a mother and their children. Another frequent type of a family is extended family. These are, for example, our grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. Thirdly, there are families, where children live with just one parent. It is known as a single-parent family, either mother or a father. This type of a family may be created due to loss of one parent. Next, we have a blended family, also called step-family. In this case, parents, who are divorced or widowed, re-marry and live together with their children and form a new family unit. Sadly, there are children who do not have any parents, either because they gave them up or died. Luckily, they can be adopted by couples who cannot have their own children or those who just want to help and lastly, we have a type of a family which is becoming more accepted every day, a same-sex family. In this family structure, the parents are of the same sex. All types of families should provide nurturing environment to all members.
Nothing in the world is ideal and families are not exceptions. Families struggle with many problems. Usually, when a child is very young and they do not get what they want, they show it in a way of tantrums. They start crying, screaming and sometimes they use physical violence either on themselves or on others. This behavior makes parents crazy. When a child becomes a teenager, it doesn´t end - at that time a generation gap is more visible. They start to have problem communicating what they want and that imposes stress not only on them, but also on their parents. Teenagers stop talking at home just because they think, nobody “gets them”. Another problem that families face is financial instability. Although, there are families which don´t have this problem, there are also parents who struggle to support their children. It can result in frequent quarrels or even divorce.
Families change all the time. When I listen to my grandmother talking about her childhood, I cannot imagine living like this. Let´s stop for a minute and consider the different roles that women and men had in the family. In the past, a father was a breadwinner. He earned money for the family. On the other hand, there was a woman who took care of the house and children. She did not earn money. She spent all her day at home – cooking, cleaning. When we look at the family structure nowadays, it is certainly different. The chores are divided among all family members and it is not only a man who supports his family, mothers also go to work and earn money. It can even build their careers.
I have to admit, I´m a lucky person. I love my family and even if we had some of the mentioned problems, our parents never let us know. They solved it by themselves and we had the happiest childhood. I come from a family of four. I have an older brother. When we were little, we argued a lot, but our relationship changed overtime. Now, he is my best friend. He is the first person I go to, when I have a problem or when I´m really happy. He is patient and kind. He always understands and never judges. I have a lot to learn from him.