What is family?

The core base of society where people are nurtured, educated and prepared for the future responsibilities of being a member of society.

A care giving unit made up of people related by marriage or birth.

A group of people who have bonded together over time.

Family is a word that means different things to different people making it intricate to define.

Historically, its been easy to spot a family. However as time has gone by and we have taken charge of how we want to live our lives, we now see different types of family around us.

Different types of family

Nuclear family

This is the traditional form of a family and one that is still around but becoming less and less mainstream. It consists of a father, a mother and children.

Single parent family

Consisting of a parent and child(ren)

Extended family

This is an extended family unit that consists of children, father, mother, cousins, uncles, aunties, grandparents along with others who are related by blood or marriage.

All the above involve having children but what about people who don’t have children. Are they considered a family? What about those that aren’t married or people that consider their friends their family.

Just because there are no children involved does not make the function of a family less valid. There are plenty of families out there made up of married couples with no children, others made up of a group of people who are not related by blood of marriage but have a bond that is equally as strong as if they share the same DNA.

Purpose of a family

There are several roles that families play in the society and these differ from one family to the next based on culture, religion and society in general.

Some of the defined roles of a family are:


Family is the place we are nurtured into understanding how the world works, it where society values are imparted to its members by giving guidance and direction in the hope that one day members can go out into the world with confidence.

Material support

Without a doubt in the early stages of life family provides material support for its members. Clothing, food and shelter are 3 things family members provides each other


There is a very strong need/desire to protect ones own. Its not something that is overtly present, but it is there. Think of animals in the wild, where if a baby is in danger the parents (usually the mother, but could also be the father) puts herself in harms way to protect the baby at all cost.


When things aren’t going well in our lives or if we start to feel overwhelmed with things, one place we usually turn to is family. For some reason, family has a way of giving us the strength we need to face things that come our way.


Not to be underestimated, asking or seeking help from those who have experienced life are uniquely placed to provide guidance to others who are going through the same thing. Family members have an added advantage of knowing who you really are and can provide appropriate advice for most situations, regardless of if the advice is welcomed or not.

The negative family

There are some that do not have any of these things in their family. In fact, there are families out there that manipulate its members, do not give any form of support and are extremely critical to its members. These types of dysfunctional families end up with members having not wanting to spend time with each other unless forced to do so and would find ways to ensure they spend the minimal amount of time in each other’s company.

What do we get out of being part of a family

There are so many things to get out of being part of a family. For a start, there is that sense of belonging and knowing no matter where you are or what you are doing, you belong somewhere.

For those related by blood, you have others that look similar to you. Even if you are not related by blood, if you have grown you together there are usually similarities in your mannerisms, they way you walk and talk. This is because you have been exposed to the same environment.

Personality and temperament, although it can be argued this is something we learn rather than we born with family members do tend to mirror each others personalities and temperament.

Health issues can be hereditary. An unhealthy lifestyle however can be prevented from happening by regularly exercising and by supplementing our diet with things like hydrolyzed whey protein for Myprotein, one of online sites that specialise in a variety of dietary supplements. read up on this produce at topwheyproteinisolatae.com

For those who know they have high cholesterol levels or any other medical conditions, taking preventative measures such as watching what they eat along with exercising, goes a long way in making the life you lead more enjoyable.