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Reflections on the family

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When you think about family you think of a married father and mother with their children living together in one home. Nowadays, everyone’s lifestyle is different. My family may not have it all together, but together we have all it all. There are 5 individuals in my family. I have one brother and one sister. Along with my siblings, I have a mother and a father. Each member in my family has a particular role that they play. Our family labels my mom as “the enabler/caretaker.” My mother often tries to regulate things and hold the family together through thick and thin. My father takes on the role of being “the hero” of the family. Though we are all responsible, my father happens to be the most responsible. He transmits the pride of the family. We like to call my brother, Michael, “the mediator” of the family. Michael displays his emotions with the family to escape conflict. Michael does a very good job of keeping the peace in the household. My sister, Mary, happens to be “the rescuer” for the family. Mary has trouble with conflict. She takes on the role of helping the family where needed though it sometimes meets her own needs. I can be seen as “the thinker”. I have the strength of being able to see circumstances as in a logical, impartial way. As a family, we all have roles that help grow as a family.

As for family dynamics, we are controlled by familial regulations and expectations. My father holds the role of our financial supplier whereas my mother holds the role of being a caregiver. My father has always been the one to work for all he has and has always done everything in his power to put food on our family’s table. Furthermore, my mother has an excellent work ethic. Our mother is usually the one to punish us and be the nurturing person. She has a responsibility to be home as well as working a full-time job to support the family as well. Both my mother and father aspire our family a better look at life. I could say that my family is truly a functional one. We share many memories and openly communicate well as a family. Being that my parents were raised in the Nigerian culture, sometimes we have disagreements because we were brought up different then my parents were. We often discuss limitations and get our parents to comprehend our side of the argument. Our family is a unit that does well together, because we were all raised well. The environment may have influenced us a bit, but our parents were there to express to us between right and wrong. Up to this day we know that our actions can have consequences.

As we started growing older, we started getting to know each family member more in depth. We believed that my sister was the bully of the family. My sister can be very aggressive when she does not get her way. My sister is the youngest, but she treats my brother and I as if she is older than us. She often acts out in anger or frustration. When she got older, we taught her how to remain calm and to speak on how she feels. Though my sister was noticed as the family bully, I was noticed as the family control freak. I often see myself judging the family’s behaviors as either right or wrong. My family often sees me as moody and a perfectionist. Everything has to be on my schedule or I get upset over the smallest change of plans. My mother is the member of the family that is always doing things for others. My mother is very generous even when she doesn’t need to be. Her generosity can sometimes hurt her relationships with others.

My mother expressed to me that she got her generosity from her mother. Unfortunately, my siblings and I didn’t have much of a connection with our grandparents. Being that my grandparents lived in Nigeria, it was hard to get to know our grandparents from thousands of miles away. We were able to visit our grandparents twice in our lifetime, but we were young. My goal was to get to know my grandparents better, but unfortunately my grandparents passed away before I got to accomplish that goal. When my grandparents passed away, this was a life changing event for my family. This was a very hard pill to swallow especially for my parents. Overall, my functional family will always be there for one another as well as supporting any decision that the family will make. As a family, we watch everyone grow as an individual not matter what challenges come our way.    

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