The family is a basic unit of the society which consists of the husband, wife and their children. Each of these members has their assigned roles and responsibilities. Within a family, everyone assumes these roles. Talking about these roles and responsibilities, it is important to note the following key points:
• One of the most important responsibilities of a family is raising a child. It is the most challenging responsibility because the child has to be raised from childhood till he/she is old enough to take care of him/herself.
• The family is also expected to educate and transmit the societal norms and culture to its offspring and also give them a position or status in life.
• The family provides emotional, psychological moral and material support to members.
• The family has to ensure provision of.physical security in terms of food, clothing, shelter and other needs to its offspring or other dependent individual members of the family e.g grandparents. However, tradition still believes in assigning specific roles to each family member.
Examples of roles and responsibilities of each family member include:
• Provision of food, shelter and money for the family
• Making important decisions.
• Preparing food and keeping the house in order
• Nurturing and raising the children, teaching the children morals and values
It is important to note that the above roles and any other traditional roles assigned to either parent could be performed by any of the parents. Indeed, both parents are to compliment each other in the performance of all these functions.
• Obeying their parents
• Assisting in performing household chores, particularly in the kitchen, garden, laundry, washing the car etc
• Living up to family expectations
• Getting good grades in school
Each of these roles is accorded a status. The status assigned to a particular role within the family reflects the values and beliefs of that family. The higher the status assigned to a role, the greater the authority, privileges and reward accorded to that role.