Family - EngTips

What is family for you?

Family is very important for every person, because it gives you a sense of stability and tradition, a feeling of having support and understanding. You feel secure when there’s a family behind you. They are people whom you can trust and rely on, people who won’t let you down and who share your joys and sor­rows. In happy families parents are honest with their children, they treat their children with respect without bossing them, and children in their turn learn how to treat other people and how to form relationship with their peers.

Are you on good terms with your parents and grandparents?

Yes, I am. I enjoy honest and open relationship in my family. I like it when parents trust their children, give them enough freedom and respect them. I think these things make family relations warm and pleasant. There is no so-called "generation gap" in our family, though we may argue and dis­agree on certain issues. For example, my parents don’t always approve of my tastes, views and clothes.

In fact I have a closer relationship with my mother. We understand each other better, which I think is quite natural. We can spend hours and hours talking about our family problems, fashion, views on education, people’s relations and ambitions.

I guess when people spend more time together they become closer to each other. It’s a pity, but my parents and I are usually very busy during the week­days and we seldom have a chance to spend time together. Sunday is the day when we can sit at the table and talk over everything what happened during the week. Eating together makes us feel close and we often have our most frank conversations at this time. Also once a week my mum gives the flat a big clean. Of course I help her with it. By the way it’s not so boring. I turn on music and we even have tun. Then we may go shopping together. During our shopping rounds we discuss a lot of things and make plans for the next weekend. I try to keep in touch with my grandparents. They are always inter­ested in my daily routine, my plans, my school studies and always show sup­port and understanding when I have some problems. I also do my best to be helpful for them with household duties and summer work at our dacha.

What would you ask your foreign friend about his/her relatives?

  • How big is your family?
  • Do you often visit your relatives?
  • Who do you get on with best in your family?
  • What family traditions do you have?
  • Do you like spending your free time with your relatives?

What can you advise people who want to have good relationships with their relatives?

If you want to have a good relationship with your parents and grandpa­rents you should always remember that they love you and mean the best to you. You should appreciate what they do for you, show respect, and try to understand them. Be polite, don’t use harsh words. Remember their birthdays and other special events. Show your gratitude with a little gift, a flower or a hug. Make them realise that you care for them. If you go out in the evening remember that they worry about you, don’t forget to call them and tell where you are. Moreover, help about the house because your parents get tired at work. If you tidy up your room, do the washing up, do the shopping or cook­ing, you will let your parents rest and make them happy.

They say that parents and children have difficulties understanding each other because of the generation gap. What do you think about this problem?

Generation gap is some misunderstanding between parents and children, grown-ups and teenagers. Adults and teenagers don’t see eye to eye on many things. Teenagers fight for their freedom; they want to be independent, to make their own decisions. Moreover, they don’t respect their parents, don’t want to obey them, and want to do whatever they want. Teens’ protesting shocks people around them. Sometimes they take to drugs, smoking and al­cohol. Some of them can be rude, heartless, ill-behaved. It is my firm belief that we must do our best to understand each other, to be polite, and respect each other’s opinion. In my family I don’t have this problem, my parents love me, understand me, support me and in my turn I do the same.

Let’s talk about family traditions. How often does your entire family gather together?

Every summer we go to the seaside together, where we relax, and have fun. But to put our entire family together is hard enough just because one of my grannies lives far away and we can’t meet as often as we want. As for the rest of my family, my uncles and aunts, they are also involved into their own family life routine but we try to arrange our big meetings at least once or twice a year, mostly in summer, at my grandparents’ dacha to have barbeque and to enjoy the time all together.

Is it hard to maintain good family relations?

In my opinion if you want to have a tight-knit family you should respect and support your partner, you should be understanding, friendly, tolerant, polite, sympathetic. Both parents should be involved in childcare. The members of the family should always communicate with each other. If they don’t see eye to eye on some things they should talk it over. Moreover, the members of the family should share joys and sorrows as well as domestic chores. It goes without saying they should help each other in a difficult situation and try to spend a lot of time together. If you form and keep your family traditions it will do your family a lot of good. The members of the family should appreciate what they do for each other and be grateful to each other.

What questions will you ask your friend about eating habits in his/her family?

  • Do you cook national dishes at home?
  • What is your favourite dish?
  • Do you eat a lot ofjunk food?
  • What dish do you always cook for a family gathering?
  • What does your usual breakfast consist of?

Give some tips on how to prepare a big family gathering.

Well, I can’t say I’m an expert, moreover, to my mind, it is a very stressful process for the organizer but I guess there are some survival tips to manage everything:

  • think about the event itself to arrange a place for it;
  • make the list of your guests and don’t forget to send them the invitations to your party, to make sure all of them can come;
  • make up the menu, try to remember all the details and preferences of your relatives and the aim of your gathering. For example, if it’s a birthday, you must order a birthday cake. If it’s a barbeque party you must keep in mind all the stuff you have to buy and take to the place of destination;
  • don’t forget about your children s spending time at your gathering, think over the games they can play or organize some kind of animation not to make them bored;
  • and last but not least, don’t forget to take your happy mood with you and I’m sure your family gathering will be a success.

What can you advise a boy whose elder brother is con­stantly teasing him?

Well, I can’t be an expert because I don’t have any brothers or sisters but anyway I’ll try to make up my mind. Teasing is just one of those things that happens between siblings. And it is completely normal. Annoying, sometimes heartbreaking, but normal. May be in such a specific way they try to show their feelings. So if you don’t like that, you can tell your elder brother that his teasing hurts your feelings. To my mind teasing will never end. It is just the case of your attitude to it. The more you pay attention to it, the more you’ll be teased. At least it will be good to learn to protect yourself. Something should be ignored, something should be revenged. As soon as you both get older the way of your communication will change for the better, I hope.

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