Understanding Family Structure and Dynamics
By: Michael Meyerhoff, HowStuffWorks.com, July 2006
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Despite the changing lifestyles and ever-increasing personal mobility that characterize modern society, the family remains the central element of contemporary life. Families offer companionship, security, and a measure of protection against an often uncaring world. But family structure, like society at large, has undergone significant changes in the years since World War II. While the nuclear family -- with Dad, Mom, and offspring happily coexisting beneath one roof-remains the ideal, variations in family structure are plentiful -- and often successful. Whatever your particular family situation, it will have tremendous influence upon your baby's happiness, development, and future. In this article, we will examine all of the many variations of the family structure and its inherent dynamics over the following sections:
The Nuclear Family
The Nuclear Family is traditionally thought of the parents and the siblings. Though this is the most basic family arrangement, it also rife with complexities. One thing parents much consider is whether to have multiple children. This question raises a host of others, such as, the effect of being the oldest, youngest, and middle child. We will also discuss only children and children who are much older than their siblings. Finally we will talk about how to form strong family bonds.