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Family Communication Essay

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Family Communication

A genogram is a family tree used to represent in-family relationships. It does not only contain names of the people belonging to one’s family but also their relationship and interactions with each other. Here in this example, the genogram does not only tell of the number of children a couple has but also, the relationships between and among them. The diagram also shows information about their age, instances on their lives, where they live and where they were sent to.

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It also shows some of their medical history such as who has a specific illness or disorder.

          Sample Genogram (“Genogram”, 2007):

The relationships depicted in a genogram may include, family, emotional and social relationships such as, marriage, divorce, in-laws, harmony, distrust, friendship, love etc.

One purpose of a genogram is to record family histories especially those that would greatly affect future descendants.

The “Rugrats” is a world renowned American cartoon TV series where babies and toddlers are the main characters (“Rugrats”, 2007).

  The characters are composed of several interconnected families.  One interesting thing about the TV series is that the makers made use of the children’s point of view rather than the adult’s.

One of the featured families is the Pickles, which is comprised of Stuart “Stu”, his wife, Didi, and their children, Tommy and Dil.  The whole cartoon series runs on just one main conflict, the miscommunication between the children and the adults.  The same conflict also happens in the Pickles family.

Tommy and Dil are still on the age where their speech is not yet comprehensible to the adults, and even to their parents.  The adults perceive their speech only as babblings which do not mean anything but in reality, these babblings are complex and complete speech of young minds.

Most of the episodes do happen in real life.  One classic example would be when one of the babies would cry, and the parents would find ways of making them stop.  There was an episode when Tommy cried out loud just because he wanted to go out of the pen.  He was successful in getting his parents’ attention but instead of getting him out of the pen, they gave him milk.  This made Tommy feel worse because he felt misunderstood.

Although, throughout all the episodes of Rugrats, no baby was punished for throwing a tantrum, there are times that real children get punished by their parents.  These children are punished without their parents trying to understand why they are doing so.

The main issue here is how parents deal with their children, especially those whose speech is not yet comprehensible to adults.

One reason why conflicts arise inside the family circle is because of the imbalance of power.  In the scenario, the parents have power over their babies.  They have the rights on doing almost anything with them.  They also have the say in what their children can and cannot have.  Although the baby has some kind of power over the parents, because with his crying, he caught their attention and made them come, what they get is still on the hands of the parents.

Speech is also one venue where power is not in balance.  With the world being male-dominated, every decision should first go through the father.  With what happened to Tommy, he had no chance of arguing with his father about what he really wanted.  Because Stu thought that what Tommy wanted was milk, everybody else believed that it was milk that Tommy wanted, and not something else.

Another problem is because of unwritten rules that families have (“Resolving”, 2004).  Parents, especially the father is in charge of imposing rules and regulations that family members should follow inside or even outside the house.  Having this kind of rules can be good in one sense but because they are unwritten, they can be easily broken by one family member.  Another thing about having these is that these rules are always subject to change.

If having unwritten rules is a problem, unspoken rules are worse.  These are the roles that the society expects an individual should perform.  Because the family is the closest persons to an individual, they are also the ones giving the most pressure on performing those roles.  They are also the ones that influence the individuals the most.

Again, miscommunication is the root of the conflict.  Tommy relative to the adults in his environment has limited vocabulary and sound-producing ability, while his father and all the other adults think that the only way to communicate was thru the words that adults use.

This kind of conflicts can eventually result into broken families.  Most broken families have resulted from these kinds of conflicts.  Someone does not understand someone, until the argument grows into one large fight.

The family is the basic unit of society.  The main concept may differ from one culture to another, but the main idea stays the same.  Across cultures, the nuclear family is made up of a father, a mother and the offspring.

Members differ in function depending on the society they are in.  In most societies, the father plays the role as the provider, the main protector, and the head of the family.  He is the main symbol of masculinity in the family, thus he is expected to be the strongest and the most stable of all the members.  He is also seen to be the leader in all aspects of the family; in short, he is the representative of the family to the bigger society (Gerlach, 2006).

Mothers, on the other hand have the stereotype that they should be the ones who take care of the family members.  Because of this, they are seen as caring and soft females, becoming the ultimate symbol of femininity in the family.  They do household chores, especially the ones related with the child rearing practices.  She is expected to be the first one to understand every member of the family and give them comfort whenever they need it.

Offsprings, on the other hand, are the ones that will ensure the survival of the species.  This way, they are seen as people who need extra care.  They are also expected to learn things from adults as they grow up.  Those that have siblings are the ones that experience more conflict than those who do not have.  This happens because they want power over someone, especially the younger one.

Conflicts can also arise not only between individuals within a family (Bacal, 2004).  It can also be between two or more families.  This kind of conflict can be seen throughout history.  One family member gets into an argument with another from another family. This argument would escalate until members are not satisfied with just having conflicts but would resolve to physical assaults or even murder.

Children have difficulties with communicating with adults.  They tend to feel misunderstood everytime they speak with them because adults expect children to talk to them using the adult language.  It is like a man expecting a dog to speak in a human language, thinking that every animal should do so, so they could be understood.

Sex is one of the things that is taboo to any given culture.  But today, it is one of the most open secrets.  Sex education has been one of the biggest debates in the academic community.  Education always starts within the family, with the parents as the first teachers.

Today, most young people learn about sex thru their friends and mass media.  This is mainly because most parents do not want to engage in a talk about sex, in fear of having negative judgments from other people.

This is one kind of miscommunication among family members.  Because the parents do not want to talk about sex in an educational way, their children tend to look for other sources of information about the topic.  But the sources these children also got what they know from their friends and mass media, thus propagating distorted view on sex.

There are ways of how parents can talk about sex with their children (“Sex”, 2000).  The first thing that parents should do is to accept the truth that their children do learn mostly from them.  The second would be by giving their children the chance to build their self-esteem.  They can do this just by giving them praises whenever they do something good.  Another would be by promoting a positive feeling about sex.  This would make the children become more open to the topic thus; making them less vulnerable to the problems that may arise in the future.  The parents should also learn how to listen.  This way, the children would have less restrictions on what they would say making the path of communication more open.  The parents should also teach their children how to make good decisions, because this is the most effective weapon they could hand down to the young people.

One important point that parents should tell their children about sex is that what they are feeling is all natural, and is just apart of the human life.  This way, they would have positive feelings about sex.  And the last thing parents should tell their children would be, that there are places and people who are willing to help them whenever they have problems.  This way, the children would be more open to their parents, not only with matters about sex, but also other things.


Bacal, R. (2004). Family Conflict – Parents and Children. Conflict911. May 27, 2007, from http://conflict911.com/resources/Family_Conflict_-_Parents_and_Children/

Gerlach, P. (2006). Resolve Step Family Roles and Rules Conflict. Merge Your Biofamilies. May 27, 2007, from http://sfhelp.org/09/roles_rules.htm

 “Genogram” (2007). Wikipedia. retrieved May, 28, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genogram

 “List of Rugrats Characters” (2007). Wikipedia retrieved May 27, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rugrats_characters

 Resolving Family Conflicts. (2004). May 27, 2007, from http://www.nku.edu/~hcp/RESOLVING%20FAMILY%20CONFLICTS.htm

“Stop, Listen and Talk with Teens about Sex” (2000). Family Communication. Retrieved May 28, 2007.  from http://www.familycommunication.org/tips/index.asp


Cite this Family Communication Essay

Family Communication Essay. (2016, Dec 08). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/family-communication/

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