The New Definition of Family
Is your definition of a “normal family” a married mother and father and their biological children living together under one roof?
What is a “family”? Statistically, it is no longer a mother, a father and their biological children living together under one roof (and certainly not with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home). Although perception and acceptance often lag behind reality, there is evidence that a new definition of family — while far from universally accepted — is emerging.
Today’s modern family is not like the modern family of the 1950s… in what you can see in old “Leave it to Beaver” reruns on some cable channel. Sure there are plenty of families out there that still consist of mom, dad, and the kids (and maybe some pets, too). My family is like that. But in the 21st century, the modern family can be a lot more complex more times than it is simple. There are step parents, step siblings, and half siblings. There are single parents, and even grandparents or an aunt and uncle raising someone else’s kids. There are also adoptive parents and kids. And yes, there are even gay parents. Within today’s modern circle, the idea of family has become a bigger circle and yet the concept still remains the same. And as our concept of the modern family changes in the present time, we must also be willing to change our perceptions of what that means. Most religious scholars would say that a family is proper with mom, dad, and the kids. That kids need a mom and dad. Yet more studies are showing that kids need a loving and nurturing home and environment, and that can come from any of the various types of families that I mentioned above. In that sense, the term family can take on any of those meanings and be acceptable. Families are the foundation of society. Its where we come into the world, are nurtured and given the tools to go out into the world, capable and healthy. Family can be defined as of having blood relations. However it is clear that in today's society families are no longer formed from that definition. Coming to college and moving away from my "blood family" has allowed me to develop a family based on the bonds with my friends and the people around me. My freshman year the people I lived with in the dorms considered each other a "family." We supported and helped each other when others needed it, ate every meal together, did almost everything as a group and were always there for each other through thick and thin. Even to this day 3 years later they are still my support system and my family.