Do You Know the Functions of a Family?

If you take time to understand the function of the family you can improve your ability to establish and develop harmonious relationships. You are then in a better place to enjoy the best your family has to offer. An effective family communication is needed to build that good and harmonious relationship with each member of the family.

The main functions of the family fall broadly into three categories: practical, social and psychological. Before we delve more into these three categories let us take a look at what could be experienced being in a family:

At its best being part of a family is a source of tremendous happiness and joy, providing intimate, rewarding relationship, an ease of communication a network of practical support and emotional stability and a sense of security and belonging.

Unfortunately for many people, family relationships are more problematic than pleasurable, a source of frustration or anger. Interaction can become marked by indifference, a constant battle ground, or even retreated from altogether.

For most of us, perhaps, our experience falls somewhere between these extremes. At a different stages of our lives wee pass through phases that are either fulfilling or difficult. There may be no such thing as ‘the perfect family’ but working to understand your family will increase your insight into the way it functions.

Practical: A family’s principal functions stem from our basic survival needs; its most basic aim is to provide a safe and secure environment in which to raise children and to ensure they are fed, clothed, and sheltered. From a purely economic point of view, it makes sense for people to live in some sort of group because many living expenses can be shared.


The family provides us with our first experience of the larger world. It is here that children receive guidance that contributes o their moral and ethic sense and helps them understand the society we live in. A family is also partly responsible for conditioning the gender roles and sexual behavior (both positive and negative) of children, and about what it means to be male or female.

In addition it is in the family that we learn how to contribute o and be part of a group, how to find a balance between meeting our own needs and those of others.


Being part of a family can provide a feeling of stability and security and particularly vital for children, a strong framework within which they can feel free to develop as individuals. Family life should also provide a safe forum in which to express and explore different feelings and to learn about personal relationships. Also a good parenting will surely help to have a better parent child relationship. Last but not least one of the most important functions of a family is to give children the feeling that they are loved and accepted.

Family and Society:

The family is the basic building block of the society. Whilst no two families are alike:

-each operates according to its own rules and traditions, directed by the needs and personalities if its members – they are also a reflection of the society in which they participate. Just as human beings have evolved new capabilities to adapt to life, so the family unit has changed the way it is organized. Every family, however, is composed of unique individuals, each with special traits and talents.

Perhaps the most significant change is the growing acceptance of different types of family. While there are undoubtedly greater pressures on step families and one parent families, there is certainly not the same accompanying stigma that there once was. People now realize that we can’t all create the perfect textbook family, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t forge a viable, cohesive and psychologically healthy family unit.

The Changing family:

Modern times have brought with it smaller families. Some see this as an advantage as it lessens family ties resulting in greater individual autonomy and freedom of choice, however the less positive side is that people miss the feeling of belonging to a group with a shared history, common goals and emotional warmth.

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