How do you define family?

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of the Mamas out there!

Where would we be without our mothers? This includes the women and men who have assumed the roles of motherhood – whether they gave birth to someone or not.

Thankfully, we live in a time that no longer applies a one-dimensional definition to motherhood or family. Today, our mothers, parents, and families come in all forms, with many voices and diverse approaches to get us where we’re going in this crazy thing called life.

So is it up to us to create our own definitions and expectations of family?

This has us thinking about an important lesson in the Ancestors unKnown curriculum:

The meaning and purpose of family

uncleBefore our students dive into their family history research projects, they spend some time reflecting on the unique nature of their families. What do they value about their families? Who’s part of the family – is the concept limited to blood relationships? Or can we choose our families? How do you define family?

Some students find that they’ve taken the concept of family for granted, even when they believe their own families do not qualify. Whether they’re adopted, being raised by one parent, grandparents, or siblings, or if they have more cousins than they can count, we think our students must have their own, unique definition of familiy before they can really embark on researching that family’s history.

We’re not simply asking students to fill in the blanks of their generic family trees. Instead, we’re empowering Ancestors unKnown students to create their own definitions of family and write their own stories, even if that requires them to look at history, their families, and their ancestors from new perspectives.

So how do you define family? Has your definition of family changed over time? And what makes your family/family tree unique?

Share your thoughts in the comments. And get a taste of the Ancestors unKnown lesson about family in our sampler curriculum.

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