Maintaining family ties
As you read this chapter, you may find yourself looking for some magic formula, some specific set of communication patterns or skills that will enable you family to reach the zenith of family life. You should know by now that you won’t encounter any such formula in this book. The interpersonal communication patterns that leat to success or failure are many, and their creation and variety should by a source of celebration as much as sorrow.in fact many family therapists and researcher agree that the myth of the ideal family is a problem in itself. What is the myth? You probably know it well. The ideal family inhabits a home where stress rarely occurrs. Members of the family can an do talk to one another about almost anything regardless of diferences in age, sex, or viewpoint. They smile comfortably at one another even when they disagree. They don’t yell or scream. They a lot. They listen to one another with ears pricked for maximum reception something an expert might call total listening. They frequently sit and look at one another for long periods of time just thrilled to be a family unit. They indulge in practical jokes an other forms of good, clean fun. In short, they play, pray, stay, say “hey,” and are A-OK together. So mayby we exaggerate a little. But the fact is that “normal” families don’t always get along. They have built-in diferences in perpective and conflicts of interest. There are typical stages in family live that produce cricis points. Outside interests of family members and socioeconomic changes require adaptation and change by the family as a unit. Yet for all the difficulties any family must face, it is perhaps the best equipped social unit in society. Families are conservative by nature, providing a buffer between a rapidly changing society and the individual’s need to maintain a stable identity. The family, even a troubled one, can provide a sence of permanence in an otherwise changing world. The family is our...
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