Families; we all have them, but we each have our own unique definition of what a ‘family’ truly is. Defining what or who consists of a family can be hard to describe, so we are going to give the rundown on what the actual definition of a family is and what a family could also be described as from person to person.
Definition of Family
If you look in the dictionary, you will see a few different meanings of the word ‘family’.
-“A group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head”- but what if you have friends or extended family members living in the home? Some people would still consider these people family, even though they are not technically your immediate family.
-“A group of persons of common ancestry”- this is the most common way of describing a family, as everyone is connected by blood or by marriage; although for some, friends are included as family, so this isn’t always the care.
-“A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children”- another common and popular way of describing a family, but what if you have no children, or consider a friend as family?
Let’s take an even deeper look at what family truly is.
Who Is In a Family?
Back in the day, the best way to describe a family would be two parents and their children. But in this day and age, that traditional look has certainly changed in more ways than one. Nowadays there are more and more families with only a single parent raising multiple children or same-sex parents raising children as well. And what about the folks who don’t have children, or are unable to conceive altogether? Together these two individuals would make up a family, and these people tend to have pets or friends that are considered to be a part of their family.
Friends Being Considered as Family
Some individuals have such a deep connection with their best friends that they go beyond the ‘friend’ level, being considered a part of the family. In some cases, these friends are considered to be closer and more important than actual blood relatives, and therefore are a part of their family. Although this may not be a traditional way to describe a family, it doesn’t make it any less ‘real’. Family has more to do with loyalty and love than actual blood relation to some people, so considering a friend as a family member is nothing unheard of, in fact it is a very special bond.
Pets Being Considered as Family
For some, even their beloved pets are considered family members. This could be simply the person’s personality, always considering their pets as an instant part of the family, whether it’s a big dog or a cute little butterfly. For others, considering a pet a family member is because this pet has been in their lives since they were a young child or for several years. Considering a pet a family member is also incredibly common in a household where a couple is unable to have children or simply do not want any. These couples tend to get a pet instead and treat their pet as if it were their child, some folks even dressing up their pets or taking them for rides in a stroller.
There is simply no rule when it comes to defining who is or who is not a part of your family. For some, family is anyone in the household, while others will extend their family to their friends and even pets. Family can be based on blood or by marriage, although it can also be determined by loyalty, love, and a downright bond with another individual.
Who do you consider to be a part of your family and why? Share all of your reasons with us below, we would love to hear more about YOUR families.