Native American Family Structure Analysis

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The family in my example is a Native American family whose household consists of grandmother, grandfather, daughter and her five children ages 17, 15,12,8, and 5. Both the grandmother and mother work at the local casino. The mother is a supervisor there and often has to work long hours to cover shifts or for special events. The oldest child is female and is in special education with a diagnosis of FASD and has become an active addict using alcohol and prescription drugs. The fifteen year old is an avid anti-drug advocate and very active in sports and school. The twelve and eight year olds are females who are doing well in school and socially. The youngest has a different father which has caused issues among some relatives, is very active…show more content…
This plays out to mean that whatever the elder says is to be done and never talk back or talk disrespectfully to them. For example, when the fifteen year old son has vacuumed the living room, but grandmother comes home late from a bad night at bingo and says it is not done. He is to simply do it again without telling her that he has already done it or that someone else made the mess after he vacuumed. No matter the time or the place or the circumstances, elders are to be respected in every way. Hierarchy in the home is confusing to the children when the mother and grandmother are at odds regarding a subject. The rule is to respect elders, yet, one is to listen to their parents. When mom says that the chore can wait until morning, but grandmother is yelling that she wants it done now. The child is placed in the middle of a losing battle.
Proximity varies among the children. The eldest is closest to grandmother. She once stated that at a funeral she would not let her mother console her, only her grandmother. Yet, the other children are more attached to their mother. The eldest is also closer to the grandfather as she is his caregiver and is to carry on certain traditions that he will pass down to her.
All of these patterns are a result of years of family addictions, abuse, divorce, and many other conflicts. Yet, they continue to work to change the cycle and have hope for a better life for their
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