Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Do You Define "Family"?

This blog has featured several posts that focus on the concept of family and what happens when children grow up in a home that does not provide the structure and love they need. Why do children whose parents who are divorced have an increased likelihood of struggling in school or dealing with teen pregnancy? Are kids who grow up with an alcoholic mother or father more likely to become addicted to the bottle themselves? How does our family of origin shape us and, if necessary, how do we break free from the problems that have been handed to us from the previous generation?

Family is an important topic on this blog because it also plays a prominent role in all of my novels. Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course, as well as my upcoming work Opur's Blade, feature characters who were raised in unenviable circumstances. Some manage to overcome these emotional hurdles, while others do not.

So, let's take a step back and examine an even more fundamental question than how your family influences you. What is your answer to the following:

How do you define a family?

Is family our traditional idea of a mother and a father with 2.5 kids? Or, can a family be more widely defined as any community of people who offer love and support? Something in between these two ideas?

Defining family is certainly a touchy and controversial subject, but my work never has shied away from issues that may spark some intense debates. So, let's start this discussion and see where it takes us. Pretend you are Webster and give us your definition of "family."


Trinae said...

Family is comprised of people who support, love and will be there for you unconditionally. They celebrate with you during the good time and cry with you during the bad. They are the ones that stand beside you when the rest of the world has turned their backs. Sometimes it's the family that we create, not the one into which we're born, that provides the nurturing we need to survive.

Lynn Hallbrooks said...

You make some great points about family. I'm one who believes that our biological family does shape some of what we least biologically. I also believe that family can be made up of friends that care and support one another. In my mind, I belong to different families with different common interest.

Love does not run out when it is shared. It's when a relationship is one-sided and only one or a few share the load...that's when patience is tested and love tends to drain.

Alexx Momcat said...

family is what you create. My family is my hubby and his kids and his family. I picked them. they picked me.