What do you think of when you think about a family? How many people are there? Do you see parents? Carers? Grandparents? Siblings? Friends? Pets?
A family is a group of people who celebrate and support one another. The traditional nuclear family consists of two parents raising their children. But in reality, families come in all shapes and sizes – blended families, extended families, single parent families, LGBTQ+ families and adoptive families, to name a few.
Gay marriage is legal in 29 countries, increasing numbers of women are choosing to become single mothers and a recent trend towards platonic parenthood means friends can raise children together.
We might all have a different idea of what families look like, but most of us agree that we need them. In a 2017 survey about the importance of family, 60% of Americans asked said they valued family more than anything else. A further 30% said family was one of the most important aspects of life.
One of the primary roles of a family is to stick together through difficult times. Families do not always get on – naturally, there are disagreements. But, whatever your family looks like, the important things are trust, love and care.
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- Without using a dictionary, write your own definition of the following words: family; support; unconditional.
- American writer Richard Bach says of family: “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.” Do you agree? Discuss different kinds of family with a partner.
- Watch these LGBT families interviewed about what family means to them. Interview some of the people in your class and make your own video about families.