Family Interview

872 words | 3 page(s)

For this assignment, I spent time getting to know a fascinating couple who has chosen a the non traditional family setting of a blended family. The couple, Robert and Hope, are both in their late thirties and have created a home whereas the ties between the family of procreation is as strong as, if not more so , than the traditional family of orientation. The story of their union reminded me of the television show, The Brady Bunch, as they spoke of their six children as if they had raised them together from birth. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this couple and am looking forward to sharing their story.

As the couple married later in life, they each told me their individual stories first. Robert, married right out of high school and began college. He worked part time for his father as he attended school and he and his first wife had their first daughter during this time. After the birth of their second child, a son, Robert decided to leave college and enter the coal mines as a full time employee so that he could better provide for their growing family. The couple had a third child and they remained married for a total of 15 years when, for mutual reasons, the two decided to divorce. However, for the sake of the children, the families remained very close and continued to celebrate holidays and attend school functions as a family. By maintaining this social structure, the parents were able to raise very adjusted children who are now 15, 17, and 18 years old.

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Hope, one year younger than Robert, was a teenager mother who married at the age of 16. She worked part time jobs and tried to make ends meet as she and her first husband also had three children. She made several attempts to start back to college but was unable to do so as her first marriage was very much a patriarchy and her first husband was not supportive of her finishing her education. Their marriage dissolved after 7 years with a much less socially supportive structure. The first husband and father of the children did not remain in contact with the family. Hope managed take care of the children but, as a means of mere necessity, she remarried shortly after the divorce. That marriage turned out very similar to the first but she gained a close relationship with her stepson of that marriage. Hope has three biological children ages 15, 18, and 19. Her stepson, age 21 calls on a regular basis and plans to visit the family soon.

At the point when Hope and Robert decided to marry, they moved into Hope’s home and his children visited regularly. When this occurred, the children were girl, 14, boy, 15, boy, 16, girl, 17, girl, 18, and boy, 19. Three boys and three girls made them the equivalent of a modern day Brady Bunch. In addition to the children and the couple, the household also includes Hope’s mother and two grandchildren who are both 4 months old and are only 2 1/2 weeks apart. This is anything but a traditional household but it is certainly, as one could tell speaking to the couple, the true definition of a family.

The family operates under the developmental theory but does not recognizes the stages to be an exact evaluation of age but rather a place that the individual is in within their own life experience. Everyone takes on certain nights of the week as far cleaning and assisting with the babies. Everyone helps to get the younger children where they need to be and assist with school work. The older children, who are in college, are given certain times that they are to work on school work and other times that they work part time jobs. The couple, although responsible for the entire family, are recognized as having raised the children and are given numerous trips throughout the year so that they may spend time developing their relationship. It was on one of these trips that I was able to meet the couple and have this conversation.

When I asked Robert and Hope what kind of advice they offer their children in terms of relationships after having been previously married, they seemed to have their answer so prepared that I knew that they had actually spoken the words before. Robert said, “when something doesn’t work, learn from it and never regret it.” Hope’s answer was “everything happens for a reason and everything that has happened to me has given me the extended family that I have today.” All I could think was, “what a wonderful way to approach life!” As we rounded up our conversation, I asked the couple how long they had been married. They both laughed and said that they have a huge production wedding planned in August of this year. They said that many people did not think they should have a big wedding since they had been married before but they responded by saying that every experience and every marriage, regardless of circumstances, deserves a celebration. In fact, all of the children, parents, and grandchildren, are joining the couple on an engagement party celebration on a cruise boat in March. I found that this family, regardless of tradition, represented a family.

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