The Psychology of Family

A family may have multiple members with their own personal ideas, methods and resources.  Contrary to popular opinion however a family is not nor has it ever been a democracy.  Dating back to the first recorded family consisting of a husband and wife although each person had the freedom to think, within the family constellation neither the male or female invoked their “democratic” when confronted about the choices they had made.  In a completely democratic setting each person has no true accountability to others for their actions.  Within any family system disagreements will arise and unless dealt with properly a major disruption to family cohesion will occur.  Accordingly each person within the family unit must possess a clear understanding that one person within the family must be recognized as the go to person as the voice of reason and the one to whom other families will defer as long as safety and compromise of morals or violation of law are not an issue.

In the world of work employees accept the principle of work settings not being a democratic environment.  In regards to public safety areas such as police, fire houses, or our military, those who work within such areas understand the rank of others and without necessarily agreeing with the person or determinations for the most part honor is given not to the person but rather the position or rank.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, over 50% of American households today do not meet the criteria of what is considered a nuclear family.  This in some ways has contributed to the blurred understanding of who is “leading” families.  Some children be they male or female resist accepting the role of a single mother, or grandparent, or other kinsman as being the authority within the home.  Some children are raised by older siblings or stepparents who may have even a more difficult time being accepted as the authority figure within the home.

Finally even in some marriages a power struggle can occur between the husband and wife if for instance the male comes from a history of women are not to be respected nor their opinion worth knowing or if the wife comes from a history of dismissing or ignoring directions from men simply because of insecurity and or mistrust.


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