Unit 6 -- Roles and Relationships
family-dynamics~American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discusses leadership and other roles within the family unit. Research affirms that the quality of family relationships is more important for they hold regarding children's behaviour and the roles of parents and carers. When a family includes children, one or more adults may take on an involved role in the child's life and become a parent or carer. Parents and carers may not.
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Affective roles exist to provide emotional support and encouragement to family members. Both sets of roles must be present for healthy family functioning. In addition, families must also consider issues of roles allocation and accountablility. Five Essential Roles for Effective Family Functioning There are many roles within a family; however, researchers have identified the following five roles as being essential for a healthy family. Provision of Resources Providing resources, such as money, food, clothing, and shelter, for all family members is one of the most basic, yet important, roles within a family.
This is primarily an instrumental role. Nurturance and Support Nurturing and supporting other family members is primarily an affective role and includes providing comfort, warmth, and reassurance for family members. Life Skills Development The life skills development role includes the physical emotional, educational, and social development of children and adults. Examples of this role are a parent helping a child make it through school, or a parent helping a young adult child decide on a career path.
Maintenance and Management of the Family System This fourth role involves many tasks, including leadership, decision making, handling family finances, and maintaining appropriate roles with respect to extended family, friends and neighbors.
Healthy relationships and families
Other responsibilities of this role include maintaining discipline and enforcing behavioral standards. Sexual Gratification of Marital Partners A satisfying sexual relationship is one of the keys to a quality marital relationship.
This role involves meeting sexual needs in a manner that is satisfying to both spouses. Role Allocation Role allocation is the assignment of responsibilities within a family that enables the family to function properly. Families have to make many decisions, often on a daily basis, about who will be responsible for completing a certain task or fulfilling a particular responsibility. For example, families must decide who will take out the trash, who will take the children to school, who will cook dinner, who will watch the children after they return from school, who will work and provide financial support for the family, etc.
In healthy families, roles are assigned in such a way that family members are not overburdened.
Sharing roles, such as child care, is an important family task. Role Accountability Role accountability refers to a family member's sense of responsibility for completing the tasks of an assigned role.
In healthy families, there are procedures in place which ensure that necessary family functions are fulfilled.
For example, parents in healthy families understand that they are responsible for disciplining their children. When discipline is needed, they do not hesitate.
These parents know that a failure to fulfill this role properly will result in child behavior problems which will disrupt the family's ability to function. Suggestions for Developing Healthy Family Roles The assigning and carrying out of family roles can be a difficult task, requiring tremendous effort on the part of individual family members. However, listed below are some guidelines that can help families make this process easier, leading to healthier functioning.
Establish Clear Roles Roles should be clearly identifiable. Individual family members must know and acknowledge their roles and responsibilities. For example, in healthy families, mothers and fathers have a clear understanding of their role as parents. They are to provide physical resources e. Families that are having difficulties often find that their family roles are not well defined and individual members do not understand what is expected of them.
If these individuals fail to fulfill their roles then other family members might have to do extra work, making them feel resentful and overburdened, thus hurting the functioning of the family. Allow for Flexibility Flexibility in roles is essential in a healthy family. Family roles naturally change over time.
They also may change during times of crisis, such as when a family member becomes seriously ill or unexpectedly dies. Many beliefs about what makes for strong family relationships are influenced by the values and experiences that parents and carers were exposed to in their own families while growing up. There are also many differences within cultures. Differences in the ways that families are made up lead to different relationship and support needs. Meeting different kinds of relationship needs Two-parent families are built on the primary couple relationship and this continues to have a major influence on relationships amongst all family members.
When parents separateit can be a challenging time for all. Sole parents are a diverse group. They may miss the support that having another parent or carer would provide and may feel over-stretched by the responsibility of caring for children alone.
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For sole parent families in particular, having a support network of friends and relatives makes a big difference. Separated sole parents and children also benefit from having a positive co-parenting arrangement with the other parent. This can be achieved when parents and carers value and respect the importance of children having opportunities to develop their relationships with both parents.
Blended and step-families can have more complex relationship needs to take into account. Children may feel their prior relationships with parents or carers are displaced by the new couple relationship.
Family members, especially children, may still be grieving the loss of their original family. New relationships between children and parents or carers need to be negotiated and old ones renegotiated. Children may spend time with two families who have different expectations of them. These changes can cause significant strain and stress to children as well as to parents and new partners.