Topic «Family» (Топик на английском языке «Семья»)
If you’ve ever wondered what a family is and looked the word up in a dictionary then you know that it is a close-knit union of people related by blood or marriage. Psychologists usually refer to a family consisting of a mother, a father and their children as a nuclear family. On the other hand an extended family expands beyond the immediate one and consists of a number of generations, including aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, cousins, grandparents, in-laws and distant relatives. In addition to it there are single-parent families usually headed by a woman, which get more attention and support from the government as it’s a tough job to bring a child up on your own. Unfortunately, large unions with more than 3 kids are rarely found nowadays, especially in our country, as the hectic lifestyle led by most grown-ups is not appropriate for taking care of many children. Besides you have to be well-off to provide your minors with all they need. However, there are people who wholeheartedly devote themselves even to non-biological children. They either adopt or foster an orphan and treat him or her just like their own flesh and blood. At the same time the number of blended or stepfamilies has increased drastically over the past century along with the number of divorces. In practice a great deal of effort has to be put into relationship between members of such families to make everything work out. And finally, there are childless couples in which partners dedicate their unspent love and attention to each other.
Anyway, a family, no matter of which type, is something more than just a basic unit of society. There is no denying that it’s a fabulous phenomenon, cemented by blood which is thicker than water. As every genius creation of humanity it’s an immortal masterpiece with its roots dating back to prehistoric times. Like a real marvel it constantly changes whereas preserving its essence. Most people value their families and assess them as the most important thing in their life. Man is a social creature and he needs a company of his fellow beings. A family gives you a sense of belonging, tradition and stability, a feeling of reliability and understanding, love and comfort. Interests, acquaintances, entertainments come and go, but family always stays by you. Close friends play a big role in our life, but it takes a lifetime to find them, while family is nearby since day one. When you are disillusioned by unsympathetic society, your family is always there to fall back on. It always accepts you just the way you are with all your mistakes and weaknesses and still adores you even if the whole world turns their back on you. We always seek a helping hand from our family and they come to our rescue not asking for anything in return. Thus any achievement or failure we have in life we desire to share with our nearest and dearest. They say a trouble shared is a trouble halved, therefore the support you get from your relatives will sooth your pain. Mutual affection developed among family continues throughout life.
All the good in us is due to our family, our virtues are not innate. We learn to be patient, to tolerate each others’ faults and flaws, to consider someone’s opinion. Such values as good manners, respect for the elder, responsibility and flexible thinking are among paramount qualities and are carefully cultivated by parents. Family becomes the first learning place because it’s a small model of society and adults are role models, whose demeanor is emulated.
As a consequence grown-ups ought to be very diligent as far as parenting is concerned, still they are only humans and likely to make mistakes.
Some parents strongly believe that every possible thing has to be done for the sake of their little dears. Being excessively permissive with one’s kids certainly does more harm than good. The authors of some modern child-rearing manuals have succeeded in undermining parents’ confidence in their authority. As a result parents’ lives are regulated according to the needs of their offspring, which leaves adults bewildered and full of guilt. Adolescents in their turn get the impression that they are the hub of the universe and develop into spoilt brats and shallow show-offs. Eventually neither parents nor children benefit from such relationship.
In addition to it some parents feel the need to become friends with their teenage children and are eager to build close relationship with them. But treating their underage kids as equals and giving them too much freedom has the opposite effect. Undoubtedly, certain limits, rules and orders have to be imposed, otherwise youngsters will abuse their «pal’s» trust and might even become juvenile delinquents or drug addicts.
The other side of the coin is the autocratic model, in which parents are despotic rulers and kids are obliged to obey and are punished even for minor wrong doings. A fair amount of criticism is also present in this Victorian-like model of upbringing. In the long run critical comments encourage nothing but despair, hostility and alienation. A child starts to think of himself as of the black sheep of the family. A good tip for such parents is to remember that it’s easy to be destructive while attempting to be constructive.
It seems to. me that the most effective is the teacher-guide style of parenting. Children have to be directed in life but also given freedom to make their own decisions. They should be motivated to develop physically and intellectually, but rebuked for misbehavior as well. You see that being an ideal parent is a very delicate task demanding tact, patience.
I’m happy to declare that my parents carry out their responsibility with accuracy and fondness. I used to take this for granted but over the recent years I’ve understood that I will leave the nest soon and started to cherish my family relationship. Now I realize that my thoughts, ideas, ambitions and interests are taken from home. My family consists of my parents, my sister and me. As you see, I’m not an only child and I’m absolutely pleased about it. How dull my life would be without my little Kate. As an elder sister I’ve developed such quality as trustworthiness, while she is affectionate and lazy as most juniors. My parents tied the knot 17 years ago and I think their marriage was made in heaven. They are deep in love and treat each other with respect and tenderness. Even though they are as different as chalk and cheese, their relationship somehow worked out. I’m inclined to believe that it happened thanks to their skills of listening to each other and finding a compromise. To my mind my relationship with both parents are amazing: they are my true friends, supporters and advisers. I appreciate their warm regard for me and constant attention. I look up to my parents and can’t help admiring them as I consider them to be very special. So let me describe each member of my family in brief. My dad is a businessman and his profession speaks for itself. He’s always occupied and engaged in sophisticated ventures demanding smartness, decisiveness and diplomacy. But when my father is off work he turns into a witty, easy-going and sociable person always surrounded by mates and acquaintances. They say I’m the spitting image of my dad, so by looking at me you can get an idea of his looks. I wish I spent more time in his company. My mother is a teacher and she is a perfect type for working with children: warm, patient, kind, but strict when necessary. If only I took after her in appearance. Her bright green eyes radiate light and her beaming smile makes my day. Sometimes she tends to be too sentimental and anxious about me, but this treat of character is typical of any doting mother. I guess we are on the same wavelength with her and have the same approach to life and the same principles. My mother’s unconditional love towards my dad, my sister and me is the basis of our family. I don’t want to idealize my family relationship and depict them in bright colors, surely we have rows sometimes, but hardships only make family life more lively, challenging and fascinating.
To cut a long story short I want to say that family is the greatest blessing of God, and you have to cherish it and be thankful to your nearest and dearest for their love and tenderness.