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Family Reflection: Discussion Questions Writing Assignment (Essay Sample)


The goal of this assignment is to reflect on concepts and characteristics of your family that are discussed in our text on family studies Marriages and Families: Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths (2014). For this assignment you will discuss your family with another member of your family, ideally your parents or main caretakers (aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) when you. And ideally the conversation is in person, or by phone/ skype if needed. Your goal is to learn about your family from their perspective and compare to your own perspective. You should feel free to add any questions/topics not on this list that come out of your conversation with your relative. You need to keep notes in order to do the assignment, but you do not need to hand in any recording or transcription of the conversation.
a. Your conversation will address the central family characteristics of cohesion, flexibility and communication (see chapters 2 and 3 for discussion of these concepts).
b. Review the Couple and Family Map looking at change over time on p.100, 102 and 105 to have an understanding of these characteristics that all families have to lesser or greater degrees. Use the couple and family scales on p. 105 to describe and rate your family on these areas of cohesion, flexibility and communication.
c. Focus on your family during the years you were in high school and now.
Discuss these questions with your parent-figure:
1. Ask your parent-figure: before you created your own family, who were your role models and why; and have they influenced how you are in your relationship/marriage and in your role as a parent?
2. Ask yourself: Who were/are your role models of a healthy or stable couple? are they people in your family or outside your family? What is it about the couple that you find healthy?
3. How do you each define family (nuclear, extended, nonkin)?
4. What has been the best or most rewarding part of being a member of your family (for each of you)?
5. What has been the more challenging part of being a member of your family (for each of you)?
For the next three questions, use the map on p. 100/106 and the couple and family scale on p. 105 to answer the questions and rate your family.
6. When it comes to family cohesion in your family, what has that looked like? How would you rate them on the scale on p. 105; give examples for why you rate them as you did. Do you and your parent-figure agree on the rating, or disagree?
7. When it comes to family flexibility in your family, what has that looked like? How would you rate them on the scale on p. 105; give examples for why you rate them as you did. Do you and your parent-figure agree on the rating, or disagree?
8. When it comes to communication in your family, what has that looked like? How would you rate them on the scale on p. 105; give examples for why you rate them as you did. Do you and your parent-figure agree on the rating, or disagree?
9. Of these three characteristics (cohesion, flexibility, communication) how satisfied are you with your family's style? What do you wish was different/ better/ somewhat more balanced?
10. When you think about your future partner and family, in what ways would you want continue with your family's style (cohesion, flexibility, communication), and/or in what ways do you want to have a different type of family. In other words, if you want a more balanced/ healthy family, what will it look like?
Writing up your conversation:
Your paper should be double-spaced, in 12-point font, with 1-inch margins on each side. Do not include a title page, simply your name, date and page numbers as a header. In addition to providing the answers to the questions, include the following in your paper:
" Who is the interviewee? Why did you choose them for this assignment?
" Interviewee's responses to your questions
" How easy/challenging was it for you to have them answer the questions
" Given your relationship with this person, were you surprised by any of their responses and how so?
" What did you learn or have confirmed about your family?


Student's Name
Professor's Name
Family Reflection: Discussion Questions
Question 1
The question of role models is fundamental in marriage. “When I was a teenager like you, I admired to have a good family where we could live in peace with minimal struggles. I have so many role models ranging from your uncles, may fathers brothers and even my parent's relationship. During our time, we were not influenced by the internet just like this generation of yours”. This is what my father told me when I posed the question about role models on his marriage. He continued and insisted that he tend to look at his parent's marriage and often admired the manner in which his father treated them. His dream was to have a family like those of his parents or even better. During the interview, he admitted that marriage has its challenges but the most important thing is the manner in which one handles these challenges. He seems to be very proud having managed the family throughout the years despite the problems that he faced at one time or another.
Question 2
In my opinion, role models in marriage are the people that we are closer. This can be inside our families or even outside. It is because, those that are close tend to share their experiences with us, hence, this provides as with a reflection on how marriages are supposed to be. In most cases, our close relatives can be the best role models because we tend to understand them better and they cannot mislead us when it comes to issues concerning marriages. I find my parent's couple healthy, but I tend to look at people in our family as well. I admire one of my uncle's marriage which am convinced is one of the best that I have seen before.
Question 3
A nuclear family can be defined as a family with children and parents excluding any other member of the extended family. On the other hand, an extended family is that which comprises of outside members like uncles, aunties, grandparents, and cousins living together. Non-kin are any member that is considered to be in a close relationship with the family

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