The following paper “A two year old child in extended family” is a work of recursive writing which clusters experiences into themes and relates them to referenced ideas in order to support the observations made during the visits to the family. …
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Observations of my case study family led me to understand that the meaning of family is an idea that is enacted through a core, stable group of people that is extended through a fluctuating series of others who come in and out of the home. Henry (1996, p. 32) writes that parents can meet the needs of children through mechanisms of secure attachment, but interactions with others through additional secure attachments can actually enhance childhood attachments with parents. Part of the socialization of a child is to create interactions with a variety of people and to help them engage the world (Edgar 1995, p. 5). As much as the intention of observing is to be on the outside of the family, I found that in my experience the intentions of a toddler will override the intentions of the observer and include them in the family process. The study of the family is the study of origins. Studying different families means studying their diverse cultures to see how differences have an influence, if any, on how children develop (Shimoni and Baxter 2008, p. 47). The family that I visited was Muslim and the structure of the family was nuclear with a mother, father, and extended family consisting of the paternal grandmother and grandfather with whom the parents and the child lived. The mother was focused on the activities of the child with the father being unable to be as focused on the development of the child as he was preoccupied with work for most of the time I observed. (Edgar 1995, p. 5). ...
The study of the family is the study of origins. Studying different families means studying their diverse cultures to see how differences have an influence, if any, on how children develop (Shimoni and Baxter 2008, p. 47). The family that I visited was Muslim and the structure of the family was nuclear with a mother, father, and extended family consisting of the paternal grandmother and grandfather with whom the parents and the child lived. The mother was focused on the activities of the child with the father being unable to be as focused on the development of the child as he was preoccupied with work for most of the time I observed. The motherhood ideology has mothers at the centre of reproduction and early childhood interaction (Reiger 1995, p. 48). The grandparents were very involved in the experiences of the child with an almost equal participation. Shimoni and Baxter (2008, p. 48) discuss a study by Wearing who determined that the ideology of motherhood still held that there is a “legitimate men’s social power and maintain women’s primary responsibility for child-rearing”. The study also determined that women feel that a ‘good’ mother was always available for her children and being a woman and being a good mother were an intermeshed identity. In studying my case study family I found that this framework of motherhood held true. Observing and Interacting One of the problems with observing is maintaining a barrier between the observer and the observed. During the course of my observations I became close with the family as the mother confided in me some of her concerns and the child interacted with me during the course of the observations. Beckett (1988, p. 140) discusses the nature of the
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