This paper offers a personal critical reflection on issues that will help steer better personal and professional relationships in days to come based on experiences from my family of origin. As a matter of fact human developmental theorists have argued that experiences during development are essential in shaping the behavior, perception, values and attitudes in human beings in their adult lives. This paper shows what I am bringing into relationships (personal and professional) from my family of origin based on those experiences.
My family of origin comprised of my grandfather and grandmother and their siblings who later bore grandchildren- from which generation I fall in (grandchildren). My grandfather ruled his family with an iron fist- he was the decision-maker in most critical decisions, and took the alpha male concept whereby my grandmother was reduced to a mere caretaker and home manager while my father handled farm business and decided on which schools his children (my father, uncles , and aunties now) would go to. This was the unspoken but immensely implicit rule in the family- that females and children had to be subjective to the males. The male children, including my father, took after him as they emulated this rule.
Nevertheless, this principled and tough rule was essential as everyone was expected to go to school and attain the highest grades at the highest level that anyone would want to get to. Being an agricultural officer in the region, my grandfather valued education. Also, the family was supposed to do some of the things together, like celebrate occasions. This created a bond in the family....
Also, everyone was supposed to show up to church, something that my grandmother has carried till date and any one of us (grandchildren) skipping church goes in her bad books.
In my relationships, especially personal intimate relationships such as marriage, I intend to bring along the rules of religion and education. These two institutions (the Church and school) always offer platforms for mental growth and enlightenment. In return it makes people more understanding and tolerant towards one another in times of disagreement. Hence, a healthy relationship between spouses and with children is enhanced when people hold religious teachings as well a pool of knowledge. However, I intend to discontinue the rules of making children and women (such as wife) subjective to the iron fist I rule the family with. Instead, creating an environment of objectivity will enhance growth and support of other people’s ideas even on a professional level (such as juniors at work or even colleagues) (Strong & Cohen, 2014).
Communication and expression of love from the fathers and uncles was always tough love. Love was showed by providing basic needs, providing the best education anyone would want to have, and being pushed to become better people and receiving appreciation upon excelling. As much as there was tough love and alpha males, direct communication was crucial in solving any arising problems as well as enhancing avoidance of conflict within the family. Nevertheless, objectivity of the children was not encouraged until they come of age and attained certain levels of education or social status. The young ones were expected
to follow and subscribe to family notions and opinions set forth by the elders (fathers and grandfather).
When disagreements between siblings of younger ages emerged, they were handled by the father with disciplinary actions taken on either side (mostly it did not matter who was right or wrong in imposing punitive measures). Siblings of older ages would sit down and negotiate as mediated by parents until consensus was reached and recommendations made. Direct communication always ensured love remained and that matters were not left unattended to (Metcalf, 2011). This has been carried on by my father within our family where we are only objective after completing school and become responsible adults capable of making our own decisions.
Being the conservative man that he was, household work was negotiated by my grandfather (the same is the case with our fathers) along gender roles based on traditional roles. As much as matters of education were advocated for with equality within the family, household chores were divided in regards to gender. The males would do jobs that required physical work such as help with trimming fences, repairing household items or even changing the light bulb. The females would clean and cook. However, men would chip into kitchen chores too at their own leisure such as during barbeques.
As aforementioned, the family I come from is highly religious and Christianity is the doctrine we subscribe to. Therefore, holidays such as Easter and Christmas have been critical and held immense meaning in the larger extended family. During Christmas, for instance, we all still come together at my grandfather’s place and feast as we have a god time and catch up. Such celebrations ensure that, even in the modern age where people have been caught up in their personal issues and individualism has taken toll, the larger extended family can still catch up and bond (Dyregrov & Dyregrov, 2008).
In the future relationships at personal and professional levels, I seek to maintain religious rules and values that emanate from religious moral codes of behavior and conduct: such as honesty and justice. I also seek to crusade for open communications at all levels of relationships especially in personal relationships. Lastly, in my family, I will seek to promote educational attainment till the highest levels, although I will create room for objectivity just in case any child wants to embrace certain talents, arts, or crafts in fulfillment of their dreams and aspirations.
- Dyregrov, K., & Dyregrov, A. (2008). Effective grief and bereavement support: The role of ~family, friends, colleagues, schools and support professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley ~Publishers.
- Metcalf, L. (2011). Marriage and family therapy: A practice-oriented approach. New York: ~Springer Pub.
- Strong, B., & Cohen, T. F. (2014). The marriage and family experience: Intimate relationships ~in a
changing society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Parenting Teens
- Baby Clothes
- Child Development
- Decision Making
- Foster Care
- Common sense
- Growing Up
- Child Observation
- Childhood Memories
- First Love
- Unborn child
- Pro Choice
- Pro Life
- Should Abortion Be Legal
- Against abortion