Types of Family
The first contact for every individual in this world is his family. The family is the most important part of a man’s environment. The first contact of an individual in his environment is through his family. As civilization advanced the family continued to change which become more eminent due to industrialization and urbanization. Hence it is important to examine and understand the structure of the family in the modern setting. In general, the family life cycle can be divided into three major stages.
● The beginning family
● The expanding family
●The contracting family
The nuclear family is the traditional type of family structure. This family type consists of parents and children. The nuclear family was accepted by society as the ideal family type to rise. Children in nuclear families receive strength and stability from the parents and generally have more opportunities due to the financial ease. Today’s generation live in a nuclear family unit.
Single Parent Family
The single parent family consists of one parent raising one or more children on his own. Mostly a single parent family is a mother with her children and there are single fathers as well. The single parent family is the biggest change in the society which has changed the family structures. Single parent families are close and they have to solve problems and divide their household chores. In this type of family only one of the parents will be employed. This will limits the income and their opportunities.
The extended family structure consists of two or more adults who are related, either by blood or marriage living in the same home. This type of family includes many relatives living together and working towards common goals such as raising the children and managing the household duties. The extended families include cousins, aunts or uncle and grandparents living together. This type of family structure has more financial difficulties because older relatives are unable to care for themselves alone. Extended families are becoming increasingly common all over the world.
Majority of people think of family as including children, they are couples who either cannot or choose not to have children. The childless family is sometimes the “forgotten family” as it does not meet the traditional standards set by society. Childless families consist of a husband and wife living and working together. Many childless families take on the responsibility of pet ownership or will have their nieces and nephews as a substitute for having their own children.
Now days many marriages end in divorce and these individuals choose to get remarried. This creates the step or blended family which involves two separate families merging into one new unit. It consists of a new husband and wife and their children from previous marriages. Step families have more problems, such as adjustment periods and discipline issues. Step families need to learn to work together to ensure these family units run smoothly.
Many grandparents today are raising their grandchildren for a variety of reasons because the parents are not present in child’s life. This could be due to parent’s death, addiction, abandonment or being unfit parents. Many grandparents need to go to work to find additional sources of income to help raise their grandchildren.