Family Types Conclusion

family time

The Family

The family’s relationship style is a dominant force that lurks in the shadows and backgrounds of every relationship. Families and individuals have a general style and way of relating to each other. Each family passes its relationship style to the next generation. For most, these relationship styles continue throughout adulthood.
What type of family do you come from, moreover, what kind of family are you creating? Good, bad or indifferent, they are family. Our family type gives us the template we use to connect with and communicate with the others. Some skills are beneficial while others are detrimental. Family traditions, holidays, and crises provide the best measure to determine your type of family. As stated previously, functional families look similar. It is crises and anxiety events that mark and identify a family’s coping and survival skills.

The pack family is an example of a family functioning at its best even with the threat of a crisis. This is why many families will look like a pack when they are not in crisis management mode. It is also why many families aspire to the virtues of a pack. Fortunately, families change and mature as they cycle through different developmental milestones. The arrival of children, toddler years, school-age years, teenage years, the launching of children, back to being a couple, and finally, the visits of grandchildren are just a few milestones to name.

Getting It Right

Successful families and individuals adjust and change with each successful crises and family life cycle. They mature, cope, and grow with the different developmental stages. Those individuals aspire to recreate a better family than their family of choice. Without self-awareness, hard work, and forgiveness, we can only advance as far as our family of origin. It’s important to note that we cannot create a pack within our family of origin if one does not already exist. We can only create a pack within our family of choice, the family in which we lead and have a direct influence.

I believe every family can become a pack and function as a pack. However, some families get stuck in a cycle or become comfortable with their current ways of coping and problem-solving. They fail to evolve and mature to the next level, the pack level. They subsequently, pass on their impairments and dysfunctions to the next generation. The upcoming generation launches from an impaired level with unfinished family business from previous generations. Therefore we must sometimes emotionally return home to mature and grow to the next stage.


It is imperative that we forgive the previous generation. In other words, we must accept our family without shame, guilt, or regret. It is that forgiveness that changes our paradigm allowing us to move on to the next level of interdependence without impairments. We must deal with dependence and independence issues before we are capable of interdependence. We must fully develop a sense of self before we can create a sense of family.

Dr. Dave

Dr. Dave Jenkins, DMin, LMFT is a marriage and family therapist in the Northern Virginia area; retired US Army counselor/medic. He's the founder of Fredericksburg Relationship Center and Counselors of Color. He's been married to the same woman for more than 25 years and has four children and a daughter-in-law.

Fredericksburg Relationship Center