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Ideal Families Essay Research Paper Have you

Ideal Families Essay Research Paper Have you

Ideal Families Essay, Research Paper

Have you ever been walking down the street and seen the ?perfect? family? Do you think that other people ever look at your family in this way? Ever since there have been families, there have been images of the ?perfect? family and the ?Ideal American Family. This image is described as: a mom, a dad, two and a half kids, a white house, green grass, and a white picket fence. Everything is perfect about this family. They are always happy and never get into fights. Every member of the family has utmost respect and love towards the other members of the family. Do you think your family is perfect and fits into this category? I know that my family doesn?t fits this description. It might seem like that from the outside, but being part of the family, I know this is not true. From my personal experience I feel that the image of the ?Ideal American Family? is wrong for society to have because it questions the concept of family, causes a lack of closeness between family members, and allows people to make assumptions about other people based on their family.

What is family? Family can be considered blood-related kin. Some people might consider members of his or her family being: friends, co-workers, pets or relatives. Who a person?s family is depends entirely on that person. The idea of the ?Ideal American Family? includes blood-related people. What happens to those people who, for some reason or another, don?t have the ?Ideal American Family. Possibly one of the members of their family has left for some reason. Maybe someone died. There might have been a divorce. All of these situations are very common in today?s society. Many times it is not anyone?s fault for it is out of his or her control. There is nothing that could have been done to prevent such an occurrence. Now this family doesn?t fit the whole image of ?Ideal American Family. Does this mean that the family isn?t a family anymore? This just creates problems for the people that are still part of the family because now not only have they lost a member of their family, but their family isn?t a good American family because it doesn?t live up to the standards that Americans have set. Nothing about your feelings toward any member of your family has changed, but with no control your family is now somehow, less than the perfect family next door. This is why the image of the ?perfect? family is wrong and why Americans should not have it.

The whole idea of family is to have some sort of special connection that you don?t have with anybody else. The person doesn?t necessarily have to be related to you. It could be a friend, a relative, or even a pet. Having family means having people close to you that you love, trust, and have respect for. These people are people you can go to for advice, help, or even just to talk. The connection that is formed between you and these people is one that under your power, will never break or diminish in any way. You will always be there for them and they will always be there for you. They don?t have to be blood-related, or fit the ?perfect? image of family. You have to feel inside that they are part of you. You know that they are your family even if they aren?t blood-related.

When I think about whom I consider family I don?t just consider my mom, dad, and sister. I consider my close friends as family just as much as I do my actual blood family. I know that my friends are people who would do anything for me. I will do anything I can for them if they need me to. I know that when I need to talk about problems in my life I have someone to go to. I have spent many nights with one of my friends talking all night about life and about problems that we both have. I have a connection to this person. I know that this connection is just as strong if not stronger than the connection I have with my blood family. So in my opinion the 5 or 6 people that I have this connection with are just as much family to me as my mom, dad, and sister. I don?t like knowing that these people don?t fit into the ?Ideal American Family? because in my opinion they are part of my ?Ideal? family. Ultimately, I am the one who decides who is part of my family so why should society have this image of family? By having this image it makes me feel like less of a person because I consider non-blood-related people as family.

Family does not have to follow a set of rules. Family is being together with people of your choice, sharing things such as: emotions, traditions, memories, etc. Each family develops their own characteristics that define who they are. These common characteristics are what bring the individuals together in the first place. If people are allowed to go out and decide whom they consider family, than the closeness between the members of the family will be much greater. When a group of people are forced to be around each other because they are blood-related the members of the group won?t enjoy the company of each other as much because they didn?t get to choose whom to be with. People in the ?ideal? image of family are forced to be together through blood. Therefore, the closeness between them may not be as great.

The closeness that a person will feel from making friends and family on their own will be much greater than that of a forced family. People that consider whomever they choose to be part of their family already feel that special connection towards the others. This feeling of closeness will not be something that is just supposed to happen because they are part of a family. It will be something that happens over time, with no effort of forced closeness if it is unwanted. This sort of closeness is much more real and natural than a forced closeness represented in the ?ideal? image of family. The people in the image had no choice of which people they wanted to be close to. They were just forced to be close to their blood relatives. This isn?t a strong closeness because it might be what the individual wanted. If this desired closeness is what the rest of the blood relatives want, and one person does not want it, than the conflict of interest between them will just be another factor that might lead to a separation of the family.

At times there has been this sort of separation in my family. There have been times when my parents want me to do something so that it appears to others that we are the ?Ideal Family. Their request for me to act like this is something that makes me want to act completely the opposite because I know that it isn?t real. Instead of pretending that everything is like this image maybe the family would be closer if we just did what we wanted and didn?t have to fit some image. I know that at times I just don?t want to be around my family when we are all in a situation where we have to be like the image of the ?Ideal Family. If there were no image like this, my parents would not have any sort of goal to shoot for. My family would form it?s own image that would link us all. Making us closer to each other. The image of the ?Ideal American Family? is something that at times can separate that connection that my family has.

When people assume that you are part of the ?Ideal American Family. are they being fair in making that assumption? For some people the answer might be yes, but for more people that answer would be no. I think that a lot of people in today?s society don?t feel like that fit into the ?perfect? image. The standard of the ?Ideal Family? is described the way it is because not many families fit the image of it. If there were a lot of families that fit the image than the standard would be something else. It has to be a goal that families can strive to reach. Therefore, because there is this image, the claim can be made that most people do not feel as though they fall into this image of perfection. When someone assumes that another person does fall into this image of perfection, they are not taking the time to get to know the person and really see if what they think is true. This is not giving any sort of possible relationship that might occur a fair chance to happen because you are making assumptions and/or judgments about the other person before you really know them.

There will always be assumptions and/or judgments being made about others. If you eliminate the assumption that some families are ideal, it may improve the possibility of a relationship occurring. This image that America has portrayed as being the ?ideal? may be stripping people of their own personality when others assume what is true of the first appearance. This is another reason why this image has to be done away with. It is not giving people a fair chance at life and relationships.

When I was talking to one of my friends I was telling her about this assignment and the first thing she started talking about was how my family was the ?Ideal Family. I got an annoyed feeling inside of me like my so-called friend doesn?t really know me. I felt as though she had some image of me in her head that wasn?t true at all. I felt like the friendship wasn?t based on the truth, and that it meant less now because of her assumption. I just starting thinking that if the image of the ?Ideal American Family? didn?t exist I would have never felt that the friendship was based on a lie. This is another example of how the image of the ?Ideal American Family? has had a negative impact on my life. It would have never affected me in this way if it didn?t exist.

The effects of this image on people are not positive ones. The concept of family is questioned, the closeness of your family may be jeopardized, and people may make judgments about your family before they really know you. All of these are reasons why the image of the ?Ideal American Family? should be disregarded. Family is defined different for everyone. Each person decides for themselves whom they want to be around and who they want their family to be. There is no reason why a person should be compared to such an image. The whole image of the ?Ideal American Family? should be eliminated.

Other articles

Meaning of Family

Meaning of Family

By Michelle Blessing Mental Health Professional

'Family' is a single word, with many different meanings. People have many ways of defining a family and what being a part of a family means to them. Families differ in terms of economic, cultural, social, and many other facets, but what every family has in common is that the people who call it a family are making clear that those people are important in some way to the person calling them his family.

Definition of Family

The dictionary defines family in several ways. One definition is "a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children." While this definition is a good starting point, there are several modern family structures that are excluded by this definition, such as childless couples or other variations on the family unit. Another definition is "Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling." This definition encompasses the vast majority of modern family units; for the purposes of this article, the second definition will be used.

Who Makes a Family?

The traditional family consists of a father, mother and children. This is the family shown on television as the standard family. However, the 21st century showcases a variety of family units, some very different from the standard of the 1950s. Today, children are also often raised in single parent homes, by grandparents or by homosexual parents. Some families opt to have no children, or cannot have children due to some medical or emotional barrier. The idea that parents and children make a family is a basic definition; however, in order to accurately acknowledge other family structures, a broader definition is necessary. In addition to a more universal family definition, there are also plenty of people who consider a group of friends to be family, and adults who consider pets as defining members of the family unit.

Friends as Family

Many people consider friends to be as close or even closer than extended (or immediate) family. People who have lost close family members may create a family unit of friends with similar interests and goals to become replacements or enhancements to a lacking family structure. This type of family unit, while untraditional, can be just as close, if not closer, than a traditional structure. Friends are chosen by an individual; at times, these people may be more special or important than the family a person was born with. In addition, some people who have supportive families also have an extensive network of friends who they consider to be a second family or as additions to their blood or legal relatives.

Pets as Family

Pets can also become members of a family unit. Pets add an element of responsibility to a family, particularly for children. For couples who cannot, or choose not to, have children, pets can be a replacement and be loved as dearly as children. Pets, such as dogs and cats, are cared for as additional family members by many people and are mourned as such as well when they pass away.

Redefining Family

Rather than simply defining family by a dictionary definition, each individual should look to define a family by his own standards, enriching the dictionary's definition. You can have several families in your lifetime, even several families at once if you choose. Regardless of how you choose to define your family unit, whether it is traditional or unique, your definition is of the family unit that works for you. As the saying goes, "Family is what you make it." Whether made of blood relatives, friends, or pets, or a combination of these, your family can offer you the support you need to thrive.

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