A relationship chart for family members.

A family is a group of people who are related to one another.

Types of familyEdit

A nuclear family consists of parent(s) and siblings, as a standalone unit this is a rather modern development.

An immediate family not only includes the nuclear family, but also grandparents, and in-laws as well as grandchildren. So who is in your immediate family will slightly differ from other members who are of a different generation.

An extended family not only includes the immediate family but also cousins of various degrees, also great grandparents and great grandchildren as far as the family tree extends.

An fictive kinship is the act of giving someone a kinship (family) title and treating them as if they had the relationship implied by the title.

Families and spankingEdit

A mother with six children. Note the birch hanging from the mother's chair, in sight and in easy reach.

The family plays a major role in the enculturation and socialization of children. From the children's point of view, the family is their social nest in which they grow up and from which they get care, protection, support and education.

In traditional society, elder family members have authority over the younger family members, and children in particular are expected to be (or be trained to be) respectful and obedient to the other family members, in particular to their elders. This authority is legally supported by parent's rights and duties, and by the special legal status of minors. Traditionally, children were subject to certain forms of punishment if their caretakers felt such necessary in their training of values and good behavior.

A historically very common form of punishment for children was (and in many places still is) spanking. When it occurs in the home (as opposed to, for example, school), it is also called domestic spanking. The spanking of children is/was legal when given by a person who has/had the legal right to it, such as a guardian, unless it is/was abusive. In some countries, new laws were introduced since the late 1970s that banned certain forms of punishment such as spanking.

The typical scenario for spankings in the home is/was a parent spanking their son or daughter. In other, less common scenarios, the spanker is/was a grandparent, uncle, aunt, or older sibling. In many societies it was also thought acceptable for the head of household to give corporal punishment to his spouse.

Parents may set up "family rules" (also known as "house rules") that define required and unwelcome forms of behavior and have validity for the entire family.

For violence that occurs in the family, see domestic violence.

Specific relationships in a familyEdit

See alsoEdit