Family allegiance

I often hear it:

  • “Family is everything”.
  • “You need to stick together as a family”.

These principles are good if your type of family has lawful and productive rules and all the members of it keep to the terms and conditions of membership.

And, as I said in a pervious blog, professional organisations who call themselves a family, quite stringendly assess membership and make members pay membership fees and sign up to terms and conditions.

But, when it comes to the natural families, those people who live and re-produce and then whose children or even adults break the law or behave in a way that is considered as unpleasant by others, they suffer with a loss of reputation.

So how can natural families (by natureal I mean families who exist through emotional bonds rather than professional ones) protect themselves against members who turn out to damage the good family name?

We can hardly print a notice in the Times columns denouncing so and so as no longer being part of our family just like we can announce deaths and marriages or engagements.

A family is a non defined conglamorate unless it is a professional organisations with legally binding rules and conditions.

Perhaps it is time that emotional families actually also draw up contracts of who is a member and under what conditions, which is possible as long as that contract is lawful.

I am only making those distinctions, in case you are wondering, because some large organisations like British Swimming for example call members of the organisations members of their family.

I find it quite amazing how some parents stick to their children, regardless of how many times they break the law and they still visit them in jail and support them.

Family law for example defines the inheritance rules and there are few exeptions on which a person can be formally disinherited and a will cannot be challenged.

And as I said in a previous blog, as soon as a young person reaches maturity, family allegiance remains a choice rather than a obligation and seeing that now young people can make applications to be moved from their family home into care accomodation if they consider their family circumstances intolerable, I think that senior family members also can have the right to withdraw, financial and emotional support if their off-spring engage in activities that jeopardise important values.

What type of rules families set depends entirely on the values of the head of the family. Some families practise strict matriarchal or patriarchal control to the point of arranged marriages, which are now illegal in Britain.

Lets just think about general sensible things like giving children the chance of a good eduction and the children just show no interest in getting good grades and just don’t care about school attendance or looking to better themselves by means of education and professional development.

Yes the rules on school attendance have become stricter and parents can be prosecuted if their kids do not attend, but there are just such circumstances where parents have very little control over school attendance because the kids have just reached an age, where they can manipulate the communications process.

Years ago schools sent letters to homes when kids didn’t attend. Of course then children could simply bin those letters because the parents were at work it could take a parent months to find out the facts. And the older children were the longer it took schools to notify parents.

Now they send texts and they are harder to hide by anxious kids who want to live double-lives.

But you can argue that academic grades are not everything, true and accepted, but then there is still the matter of politeness and consent and discussion instead of just expecting parents and grandparents to support children and grandchildren forever regardless of what they do with their lives.

But it is what it is, the degree of defiance from young people is often framed into the legally possible. Once it’s gone over to the impossible is plainly criminal.

But the degree of support that parents then give to family members over the years is a total matter of choice.

I just think it is wrong of others to always assume that any person is part of some family they were born into as family allegiance is not part of the deal and not permanent.


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