I rise from a family of four that is composed of my father, my mother and a younger sibling. My father acts as the head of the family. My father is 52 years old, and my mother is 48 years old. The two were married 24 years ago after having known each other for quite some time. They have had a well-founded family that has seen them raise my brother who is now 16 years old and I in a comfortable environment where their provision has never failed. My brother and I are dependent on our parents for the provision of necessities such as food, housing, and medical needs. We jointly depend on our parents who together cooperate in provision which has seen my sibling and me being raised well in a secure environment and one whereby we have always felt safe and protected. We also depend on our parents for other needs such as schooling and reaction and both of them have been up to the task for provision.
Occupation, Educational Achievement, Ethnicity, Faith Background, Social Class
My parents are hardworking individuals who have different professions. My mother is a high school teacher at a local school. She has been working at the school for the last 22 years. She has advanced education wise, and five years ago she graduated with a Masters in education. She is interested in education probably because she is a teacher and she soon seeks to pursue a Ph.D. in the same field. She has a modest salary that sustains her personal needs as well as her contributions to the family. My father, on the other hand, is a businessman and concentrates heavily on his business. He started his business just after he was through with campus and has since then managed to expand the business from a small business to a large business that employs about 7 workers. Both our parents are Asians and though they have an affiliation to Hinduism, I cannot explicitly state their religion. From their income, however, we could place our family in the middle-income social class kind of family.
The community where we rise from is one where there are minimal interactions between families. Probably because of the nature of the way that families are constructed, everyone in the community seems to just be considerate of their own families. There are very few interactions among members of different families. The community could thus be said to be family-centered and disconnected at the same time. Parents, for instance, are only concerned about the welfare of their children. They are likely to educate their children and cater to their own family needs inclusive of medical interventions without involving other members of the family. Due to this culture, therefore, our neighborhood can thus be summed as one that is disconnected while at the same time, family-centered.
Interaction with Extended Families
The culture of Asian families is that they are so connected to their extended families. My family is, therefore, one that subscribes to this culture. Once in a while, we are likely to visit other members of our extended families from both parents side. We sometimes visit our aunts and uncles and sometimes spend two or three days at their place as a family especially while on our holidays. There are also family interactions that are arranged periodically by our parents that enhance the whole extended family comes together, and their offspring get to know each other. There is, therefore, a strong connection not just between the parents but also among cousins. A strong connection, therefore, exists between our family and our extended families. Meeting them is always one of the activities that we look up to as a family.
Upon evaluating my family using the couple and family map, I realized that my family is rated within the global rating of 6 in cohesion; it was rated at 5.5 in flexibility which was conclusively truncated to 6, and was rated at 4 in the global rating concerning communication. With regards to cohesiveness therefore, the family stands as one that is extremely cohesive. We are also a flexible family but one whose level has not yet been chaotic. Also, I realized that the communication in the family is good as per the global rating. Using the couple and family map therefore, the family can be evaluated as one that is performing in quite a good manner.
The first dimension I used to evaluate my family was that of cohesiveness. After taking all the considered particulars, my family scored a global rating of 6 in cohesiveness. Therefore, according to the three dimensions of family cohesion, I realized that our family is cohesive. In the aspect of togetherness, I realized that there is high cohesiveness in the family. There is more togetherness in the family in the element that everyone thinks of the family not just in their aspect but when doing everything; one considers the impact of their indulgence on the family first before considering their own position. I am likely to hear my father say that he would not take a specific course that he had decided stating that it would have a negative financial impact on the family as opposed to the view that the business that he operates is his.
A high level of closeness is also characteristic of our family. For instance, I find it okay to share something that is traumatizing top me with any of my parents and even with my brother. I see that my parents are also likely to share with me details especially when their experiences at work have been tiresome or have been enjoyable. The family is also one where loyalty is profound. Our basic view as a family is that loyalty is about concealing matters of the family to ourselves and ensuring that anything spoken about the family in the public is only that which is desirable. The loyalty in the family is explicated in keeping family secrets. We believe that matters of the family belong to the family alone and hence it is hard to also speak of family quarrels whenever they happen and each in the family works hard towards the restoration of unity. Also, we are likely to engage in activities together. For instance, we hold our birthdays as a family together and also go on vacations together. Lastly, we as children are dependent on our parents while our parents are dependent on each other in raising the family and us at large. For a conclusion therefore and in line with the global rating, our family is one that is cohesive.
As for flexibility, I realized that our family is one that is flexible. Over time, as a family, we have changed the way that we do our things. In the past for instance, when we were children, our parents used to be so harsh on us and expected us to abide by their directives to the letter. However, the same has changed in the recent past, our parents have changed to more democratic individuals. They expect that we as children are able to behave with discipline without being directed. They too have no set rules in the house but they are able to share duties and leadership activities in the house for instance when making decisions regarding family activities. The sharing of roles in the family is also quite dramatic. Even when we expect that our father is the head of the family, we will often find that our mother does some things without consulting him. There is, therefore, quite some good sharing of roles such as cooking amongst all of us.
Though there are no written rules that should be followed in the house, there are some rules regarding activities like the handling of chores, among others. Some of the rules have changed but rarely. The rules have changed to engage some degree of responsibility such that everyone can be able to check their behaviors by themselves. Some of them include like everybody can make meals whenever they wish unlike the past when one could only make meals under the permission from the parents. Therefore, there has been a significant change in the way that family matters are handled. The unwritten rules have somehow changed due to frequent family negotiations that have created a greater understanding within the family. From the global rating, therefore, our family is one that is flexible in a reasonable manner.
As per the communication viability in the family, the general communication in the family is good. From the global rating, a score of 4 is achieved by the family. The family is one where communication evidently happens. Everyone in the family maintains some level of communication with the other member of the family. We value communication as we see it as the fabric that weaves the family together even in times of difficulties. Family members seem to communicate with each other and feedback for instance while I am speaking to my mother is characteristic of the communication. Good listening skills are therefore illustrated in the family as well as excellent speaking skills. There is also a high level of self-disclosure among the family members. It is often the practice of the family to share some of the most tormenting moments at work or at school, our fears and also our achievements amongst ourselves.
One of the most instrumental things that I have learned in my family is respect and regard for every family member. My parents stress so much on the need to respect other members of the family, an activity that has made to have such great regard for my younger brother. Even when there are issues that need to be talked over in the family, our parents will casually and respectably tell us to be prepared for some talk with them at a certain time of the day. There is some level of clarity that is always maintained while speaking such that everyone understands the message regardless of their position or age and hence my brother and I easily understand some of the things our parents do not want us to engage in. The topic of discussion for instance in family meetings is always maintained for that purpose and is rarely changed. Therefore, from the analysis of the communication in the family, using the family map rating, our family has quite commendable communication.
The results from the study were to an extent a surprise to me. By being raised in the family, I never realized that I was brought up in a family that is quite as good as established from the results. Basically, because of being raised in a family, one gets used to the behaviors of the family they are brought in. I once thought that my parents are not rational for leaving some house chores for us but then I decided that the family line is one where roles have to be somehow divided. From the reflection, however, I realized that roles of the family have to be shared and thus I realized that my parents are even flexible as they do not lay so many burdens of chores on us.
Rating my family was hard for me throughout the process. One of the hardest issues that face a human being is being biased. In some instances, I could find myself biased while rating my family, For example I while doing the rating, even when it was personal for the different particulars of the three divisions, I would find myself concealing the wrong characteristics of the family. I also felt the feeling that if my family scored low, it would be underrated. However, I strove to overcome the fear of bias and rated my family accordingly to analyze as real as it should have been and also for my own sake.
The cohesion dimension was hard for me especially while deciding on matters such as the closeness of the family. In that case, it was hard for me since even when I am close to my parents and brother, I rarely understand the closeness between my parents even when I see them make great communications amongst themselves. I, however, liked it when I realized that there is ample communication and I loved the interdependence amongst us that has united us for a common purpose which is the prosperity of the family.
Upon assessing my family, it was my pleasure to realize that I live in such a cohesive family. It is one that has given me the hope to also raise a strong family. I feel that the position where our family fell on the family map is good enough and going into the future, we would be better if we rectified issues such as clarity and improved on self-disclosure.
Couple and Family Map
According to the global ratings, I find that the family is flexibly connected, yet flexibly cohesive as showed below;
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