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Family Myths of America

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Family Myths of America


American Public University


In America, families are viewed as imperfect and normal does not exist in marriages. Myths in families and marriages exist due to the changing families, parenting, and policy. In either a household or a union, people try to find common ground, as most of the time the members have diverse ideas and opinions. There are factors which lead to the formulation of family myths such as economic changes, priorities, and change in the social structure. These factors have the influence to some extent, but it does not mean that in America most families are dysfunctional.

Family Myths

The first myth about the American families is that they are disintegrating. There is no single day which passes without hearing that the family as social cohesion and support has shaken. This myth is dysfunctional since the American families; most of them are well and functioning. The picture of the falling families is portrayed in media channels such as television. Television images contribute to this myth through showing single parents being successful in raising their children without the help of the other partners (Benokraitis, 2012). Considering the bell curve presentation, an illustration of a one-hump camel with a large curve and steep sides is illustrated. In the functioning of the families’ sense, the large curve can be used to describe a small number of families which are very high functioning and a low number at the tail side who are struggling as they might be facing some problems such as legal issues. The steep sides show the “normal” families where they face challenges; they do not fall apart but hold on to each other and assist in getting out of the problems. The myth makes the family unit not to be viewed as the core of the social institutions. Despite all the issues the families face, they still support each other and observe their practices and hold their values that bind them.

Families in America are dysfunctional. The households lack unity and togetherness, and it affects the activities of the members. The children in such families perform poorly in all parts of their lives whether social or educational. The myth is functional. In a family, the parents should be guiding all the operations such as showing their children how to interact with others and assisting in their school work. However, the parents are ever busy with work so that they can provide and the children are left in the hands of the caregivers, who in most cases are not part of the family. Such a family is dysfunctional as there is no one time when things will be done as a family, and the unity and togetherness are no longer there. Family as the unit of social institution is affected by this myth since its main function to instill values to the children to help them become responsible members of the society is not fulfilled (Peterson and Bush, 2013). Television contributes to this myth through programs and movies which display families that live together, and the parents do not even see the children daily except for some weekends. The children attention is diverted to other places where they can get attention, and mostly, they end up in criminal activities.

The children who undergo abuse as they grow up ends up to as abusive parents is a dysfunctional myth in the American families. The reality is that abused children are aware of the pain they went through, and they would not wish their own families to pass through such things. The theory of social exchange and choice illustrates that people become what they are due to their choice and through the social exchange; they can give what they did not have. When a child is abused, it means that they lack love when growing up. After they get their own families, they will receive love and in turn, show love to their children and would want them to have better lives, where they live in peace other than hurt and pain. No abuse is witnessed, and in most cases, these people end up being best parents (Benokraitis, 2012). There are different ways to handle anger other than acting irrationally and beating or harassing children. As a social institution, the family is affected by this myth since people who mistreat their children are seen to have been abused and treated differently in the society.

It is believed that the young American people are at risk due to their poor performance and the hostility they express towards the adults. The myth is dysfunctional as the present generation is pretty much like any other youth generation. Mostly when

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