Family is the basic unit of society. Moreover, it is an important and essential element of society. Families impact vital values, norms, believes and practices of their members that help them to interact and communicate with other members of society positively (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002). There are three types of families: nuclear families, single-parent families, and extended families. This paper assesses a professional acquaintance family, family A, and examines the impact of functional patterns and role structure, family relationships, communication patterns, and influence on the family health promotion.
Variant Family Form
The three types of families play a vital part in the upbringing of children to make them respectable members of society. A single-parent family is a family that consists of one parent and one or more children (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002). A nuclear family is made up of both parents and their children living together. The extended family, or joint family, is made up of either a nuclear family or single-parent family living with uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandparents (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Coelho, & Hanson, 2014).
Family N is a nuclear family that consists of five members. The members are one father, one mother, and three children - two girls and one boy. The head of the family, the father, is 45, while the mother is 42; they have been married for 20 years. The firstborn, Amy, is 22 years old while the second born, Amber, is 20 years old. Armstrong, the last-born child of the family, is 16 years old. Caleb, the father of the family, is a doctor, and Emily, the mother of the family, is also a doctor. Amy and Amber are in the university, while Armstrong is in high school.
Because of the professional career that both Caleb and Emily have, they are able to provide for their family adequately. Apart from the salary they earn, the two have private hospitals that contribute to their wealth. The family belongs to the upper class. It also belongs to the black ethnic group. Both Calebs and Emilys parents were originally from Africa. Their parents immigrated to the country to continue their education. Both Caleb and Emily were raised in the country; hence, their cultural practice has been influenced by education and the culture of the host country (Kaakinen et al., 2014). However, the two still use their mother tongue when they communicate with each other.
Genogram and Eco map
Figure 1: Genogram
In figure 1 above, one can see that the father has a close relationship with all the children. Emily is controlling to all children, while Amy and Amber have an argumentative relationship between them. Armstrongs relationship with his sisters is harmonious. Caleb has a distant relationship with his brothers. Similarly, Emily and her sister have a distant relation. Caleb and his mother have a close relationship, and Emily and her parents have a close relationship too.
Figure 2: Eco map
In figure 2, the following structure is depicted. Emilys mother shares a close bond to her daughter. Calebs mother offers a strong support to both Emily and Caleb. At the same time, both Emily and Caleb share a fair support from work. All the children show a fair support from school; Emily and her sister share a rather stressful support. The physician offers a strong support to Emily and Caleb, while John and Stacy offer a strong support to the family. Calebs brothers offer a stressful support to Caleb.
Family N lives in Dallas County in the town of Westlake. The family lives in a six-bedroom house with six bathrooms and it has a garden in the backyard. In the garden, the family has built a small greenhouse where they grow some vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, onions, and chilies. The house is equipped with a modern kitchen where Emily likes to spend plenty of her time to cook for her family when she is not at work. When at home, the children like swimming in the swimming pool located in front of the house and chat with their friends. The house has a good view that exposes the green garden in the backyard. The neighborhood is generally quiet as most of the families that live in the area comply with the noise rule and belong to the business community; hence, they spend little time at their homes. According to Boomar (2004), a quiet environment enhances sound mental health. Most of the homes in the area have gates that enclose the properties. Security in the area is high and beefed up with the closed gates to each property. The calm atmosphere in the neighborhood is relaxing. The trees and the cool breeze from the river enhance the calmness in the neighborhood. Because of its location far from the town, all community members use their private cars to go to and from town. The area has a small population of people. The majority of the adults living in the area are between the ages of 40-50 with their children around the ages of 10-20. The community consists of educated people, with most of them having graduate degrees while others only pursue their degrees.
Family N spends little time together because of the career that the parents have, and the children spend plenty of time away from home studying in their respective institutions. Therefore, the family meets during the summer. To keep in touch with each other, the family uses oral communication (Boomar, 2004), written communication, and online communication. The family members generally call each other on their phones. When in a crowded place, they text each other and send mails. They also chat with each other using Skype, video, and Google Talk. When communicating, Amy, Amber, and Armstrong use short forms that are not familiar to the parents; hence, the parents end up misunderstanding the messages sent. Both the parents and their children hardly have enough time to communicate because sometimes, they are in a rush to do other things. At home, the trend still exists because the children spend great amount of time texting, while the parents are occupied with housework. However, the family tries to make up for the lost time when they are together like during dinners, where they engage in lively conversations using face-to-face communication (Boomar, 2004).
As in the majority of families, the father is the head of the family (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002), thus making his decision final, which is similar to Family N, where Caleb is the head of the family. Caleb is engaged in all the decision-making processes of the family. However, Emily is informed on most decisions. The two act like one team when passing down instructions to their children and in decision-making. Sometimes, they include the children into the process of making crucial decisions concerning their daily lives. However, Emily is controlling to the children. When Caleb is away, Emily is left in charge of managing and running the house. When both parents are away, Amy is left in charge, when she is not around, Amber takes over the role of being in charge of her brother. The legitimate power that parents have over the children enables them to engage the children in the activities that the parents think are important to them (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002). Additionally, Amy, Amber, and Armstrong respect and trust the parents because they love them so much; this referent power ensures that the children can communicate openly to their parents. The expert power that the parents have in the field of medicine makes the children oblige to the healthy living that the parents strive to achieve.
Caleb and Emily are the sole providers of the family. They provide the children with the basic needs as well as some of the luxuries they can afford. Emily is in charge of managing the finances of the family. She calculates and assigns different activities in the house to the children. Caleb is in charge of fixing broken things in the house and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. He has a strong bond with the children because he constantly checks up on them too. The children assist in doing minor house chores when their parents are away or tired. The parents have a close bond with their children. During the summer holidays, when the couple and children are free, they engage in fun activities like going on vacations together and playing games; the children also try to teach the parents the latest slang and the emerging trends in fashion and communication. During formal gatherings with other people, the parents use the hierarchy of power to manage the children. The children address the parents with respect and respond accurately when addressed.
Values: Norms & Rule
Values practiced in family N are quite commendable. Their social values include peace, justice freedom, and equality, while their religious values are compassion to others, selflessness, modesty, respect, and reading the Bible. Work values are hard work, teamwork, and determination. Their moral values are honesty, trustworthiness, courage, patience, and responsibility. All these values are confirmed by the norms and rules that guide the family. Often, the family engages in charity work and religious practices. Most of the rules in the house target honesty, hard work, the hierarchy of powers, communication practices, and the unity in the house.
Both Caleb and Emily were brought up in the Christian religious families. Their lives had been influenced by the religious values that they still share with their children. Prayer is considered important in the family because it connects the individuals to God and gives them a chance to repent and be hopeful that God will fulfill their needs. The family practices hospitality and charity to the needy, which helps in cultivating such values as selflessness and being caring. The family also engages in surrendering themselves during worship and submission; this helps the children become aware of the existing authority and offer respect and obedience. Other practices that the family engages in include fasting, confession, self-control, humility, chastity, simplicity teaching, worship, and reflection. The practice of spiritual activities creates values, norms, and the rules that guide the family (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002).
Socialization is an important thing in the relationship between human beings (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2002). Caleb and Emily have shown good child rearing practices. The two are able to juggle between work and bringing up their children. The two are able to provide for their family basic and luxurious needs quite comfortably. The parents display affection to their children like hugging and listening to them, correcting them, and disciplining them in accordance with the mistake they make. The parents have prioritized education for their children by taking them to school and instilling good work values in them to enable them study. One of the best family leisure activities is swimming. All the three children have perfected their swimming skills and they play for their school teams. Caleb mostly teaches them how to swim and hone the skill; he was a champion in his school. Apart from swimming, the family loves taking vacations to various tour places and engaging in charity events. However, the competitive spirit in children sometimes causes them to be at war with each other, thus creating sibling rivalry (Boomar, 2004).
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Conflict is inevitable but can be controlled to prevent damages (Kaakinen et al., 2014). Family N has invented methods of curbing conflict that arises among family members. When in disagreement, the parties involved are separated from each other for some time. They are later brought together to negotiate. They discuss the problem excluding personal interest. Both parties are encouraged to listen to each other. Later, they work as a team to reach an amicable solution. For the overload or changes, the family copes by using functional strategy of listening to the causes and trying to avoid stress by engaging in fun activities (Boomar, 2004). The dysfunctional strategies that the family avoids are staying annoyed, overeating, and getting stressed. The family uses positive functional methods, including relaxing, exercising, socializing with each other, and managing time. The family possesses the following problem solving skills: problem evaluation, solution identification, and best solution selection.
Being a doctor, Caleb and Emily have sufficient knowledge about health that they pass to their children. The family believes that culture has a great impact on a persons health belief. The family believes that diseases are as the result of scientific phenomena and advocate medical treatment. Some illnesses are caused by lifestyle that a person leads (Boomar, 2004). Although the family is religious, the religion allows them to go to the hospital to receive medical services. They also believe that God heals through the hands of the doctor. Therefore, they support the idea opinion that they should visit the doctor when sick and seek Gods intervention to be healed. The family has come up with methods that ensure they stay healthy and avoid getting sick. The family ensures good personal hygiene like washing hands at all time. The family engages in exercise to reduce lifestyles diseases.
Caleb and Emily should adhere to the following recommendations in order to maintain a healthy family. They should show gratitude more often to their children. The family should increase the time they spend together as a family, which according to Friedman, Bowden, and Jones (2002), makes them know about each other more, thus leading to the appropriate health decisions. They should encourage each other to be more organized to prevent work overload. Apart from swimming, the family should engage in other forms of activities like running and cycling. The family can use Nola Pender health promotion model to promote their individual health; the model acknowledges that each person has a unique personal characteristic that affects subsequent actions. In the model, health-promoting behavior is the desired outcome and, therefore, the end point.
Family N is a nuclear family consisting of five members. The family belongs to the upper class members with the father and mother been doctors who own a couple of private hospitals. The family lives in a six-bedroom house in one of the richest neighborhood in Dallas. Although the family communicates frequently, it is strained with time and wrong timing. Caleb is the head of the family. Each member of the family knows their role and works together to ensure they meet their requirements. The family is built on the religious background that shapes the values, norms, and rules in the house and the problem-solving skills of the family members. The family practices healthy lifestyles to maintain good heal.