Discover 20 essays about family for your next essay writing project.
From defining the family to exploring problems within modern families, this personal topic lends itself well to essay writing. If you are preparing a personal essay or were assigned to write one on this topic, good news. You can easily draw on a wealth of sub-topics and themes about the family, as you develop your piece. But if you have trouble getting started, here are 20 ideas for essays about the family.
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- 1. Why Siblings Should Be Your Best Friends
- 2. What Is a Family?
- 3. How Family Culture Is Established by a Nuclear Family
- 4. The Importance of Family in Child Rearing
- 5. How My Family Made Me a Better Person
- 6. Why I Love My Family
- 7. Why My Mom/Dad/Grandparent is My Role Model
- 8. The Effect of Dysfunctional Families on Teenagers
- 9. A Sociological Approach to Defining Family
- 10. The Influence of Extended Family on a Child’s Life Experiences
- 11. How Popular Culture Portrays the Happy Family
- 12. How My Dysfunctional Family Defined My Character
- 13. How Family Has Changed in American Society
- 14. Is Family Changing or Facing a State of Decline?
- 15. The Role Family Holds in Everyday Life
- 16. Comparing the Family Dynamics Between Two Different Cultures
- 17. How My Multi-Cultural Family Gave Me the Best of Both Worlds
- 18. Unique Challenges Faced in Single-Parent Families
- 19. My Most Vivid Family Memory
- 20. The Challenges of Being the Youngest or Oldest in the Family
1. Why Siblings Should Be Your Best Friends
A loving family is a beautiful gift, and with it often comes the gift of siblings. You could develop an essay on why siblings should be an individual’s best friends. When the relationship between them is loving and supportive, siblings are always around and able to help individuals through challenging life experiences.
This stands in stark contrast to the friends made in high school and even college. While some people will walk away with lifelong friends, life’s circumstances often pull friends apart. Family is forever, and people should work to develop those relationships.
2. What Is a Family?
The dictionary defines a family as “a social group made up of parents and their children” or “a group of people who come from the same ancestor.” Yet this is a very narrow definition of family. Could you define it in another way? Are there people who you consider “family” who are not actually related to you by blood?
This essay idea gives you quite a bit of room for interpretation. Decide how you will define family, and then use the essay to support your choice. Then, discuss different ways family can look in society.
If you need some inspiration, check out our guide to the best parenting books.
3. How Family Culture Is Established by a Nuclear Family
The nuclear family is the most basic family structure: parents and their children. This family system is critical to developing a family culture and passing it down to the next generation. Do you find that you highly value having a family night on Fridays? It is likely because that is something your parents showed you in your own family when you were growing up.
Your essay can define family culture and show how family life helps establish that and pass it down to children. This family essay can discuss the nuclear family’s role in teaching children about cultural and religious values. Finally, the essay can establish why family culture and passing it along to children is so important.
For more help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing?
4. The Importance of Family in Child Rearing
Can children grow into reasonable and ethical grown-ups without a family? While it is possible, the reality is the most stable adults typically come from loving and supportive families. One of the primary roles of the family is the development and rearing of children.
The family is the child’s primary social group. Through the family, they develop socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. In some ways, the family is the first school that teaches them the most important principles of life for young children. In your essay, establish the fact that family is the foundation for strong adults because of its role in child-rearing and child development.
5. How My Family Made Me a Better Person
If you need to write a personal essay, you can look at your family’s role in making you who you are. Your family played a vital role in your upbringing, from teaching you your core values to supporting you as you developed into the adult you are today.
Remember that you don’t have to have a happy family to write this essay. Even if your family circumstances were challenging, you can find ways that your family of origin helped you improve yourself and become a better person.
6. Why I Love My Family
This is another personal essay topic. On the surface, it seems easy, but if you are going to write a quality essay, you need to dig deep. What makes your family unique and special, and why do you love that?
Keep in mind that all families have quirks and even problems. Yet you love your family in spite of these and sometimes even because of them. Don’t be afraid to include these in your essay.
7. Why My Mom/Dad/Grandparent is My Role Model
Think of your family and the leaders in it. Is there one that stands out for a particular reason? Have you modeled some of your own life on how that person lived theirs?
Whether you choose a parent or a grandparent or even an extended family member, look more closely at what makes that individual so important in your life. Then, in your essay, you can outline how you are trying to emulate what they did in their life to make you more successful in yours.
8. The Effect of Dysfunctional Families on Teenagers
When families go through difficult times, the effect is not limited to those struggling the most. The whole family will suffer when parents are fighting or financial problems arise. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to dysfunctional family dynamics. They may act out, experience depression, or feel pressured to lead the family when their parents are facing conflict.
This essay explores the effect of family problems on teenagers and their emotional or social development. Consider providing solutions that can help teens manage their challenging emotions even while dealing with the unique challenge of a dysfunctional family.
9. A Sociological Approach to Defining Family
The definition of family is constantly evolving, but what does sociology say about it? This question could lead to an exciting and engaging essay as you dig into sociology to find your family definition. Based on most sociological definitions, a family is a group of related individuals connected by blood, marriage, or adoption. It may also mean people who live under the same roof.
Based on this definition, the word family has a distinct boundary. While close friends might be something you consider as family personally, sociologists will not define family in this way. Looking at the way sociologists, specifically, define family will give you quite a bit for your essay.
10. The Influence of Extended Family on a Child’s Life Experiences
Much has been written about the nuclear family and its impact on the child’s development, but the whole family can have a role to play. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members can contribute to the life experiences of a child, and you can turn this into an interesting essay topic.
Use your essay to explore what happens when the extended family lives close by and what happens when they do not. You can look at how much of an influence the extended family has on a child’s development, and what increases or decreases that influence.
11. How Popular Culture Portrays the Happy Family
What does the happy nuclear family look like in television shows and movies? Is it usually a mother, father, and child, or are same-sex couples shown regularly? Do single-parent households get equal representation, or not?
This topic could be a fascinating one to explore in your essay. Once you establish the facts, you can discuss if this portrayal reflects real life or not. Finally, you can talk about whether or not the cultural portrayal of the family represents the type of family values the average family embraces.
12. How My Dysfunctional Family Defined My Character
Not everyone grows up in a happy, stable family, but sometimes bad times can improve someone’s character and give them the drive to be better. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you could show how that helped define your character.
In this essay, work to make a positive spin on your difficult situation. This topic can work well for a personal essay for college entrance or employment purposes.
13. How Family Has Changed in American Society
Is the definition of family changing in American society? Some would argue that it is. While the mother, father, and children style family is still common, many other families exist now.
For example, we have an increasing number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Single-parent families are also on the rise, as are families with a single parent who was never married to the other parent to begin with. Families with same-sex parents are becoming more common as well. Take your essay and define this change and how the nuclear family may look in the future.
14. Is Family Changing or Facing a State of Decline?
Another take on the idea of the changing family dynamic s discussing whether or not families are changing, or if the state of the family is in decline. This essay topic will require some research, but you can explore whether families are breaking down or if they are simply changing.
If you decide that the family is breaking down, you can explore the reasons for this breakdown and its impact on society.
15. The Role Family Holds in Everyday Life
From bringing in the income that the family members need to live on to giving direction for the growth and development of children, the family holds a significant role in everyday life. You can explore this role in your essay and talk about the different components of life that the family controls.
For people who grow up in a stable environment, the family provides emotional support and improves overall well-being. It is also the source for moral development, cultural development, and work ethic development. It also provides for the physical safety and needs of the children. All of these lend themselves well to an essay topic.
16. Comparing the Family Dynamics Between Two Different Cultures
While the main definition of family is nearly universal, the nuances of family dynamics change significantly from one culture to the next. For example, some cultures are highly patriarchal in nature, while others focus on maternal leadership. Pick a very different culture from your own, and then compare and contrast them in your essay.
For this essay, make sure that you look at differences as well as similarities. Do not disparage either culture, either, but rather focus on their differences positively. This essay works well if you have contact or knowledge of both cultures so that it can be a great choice for someone growing up in a multi-cultural family.
17. How My Multi-Cultural Family Gave Me the Best of Both Worlds
This essay topic is a twist on the previous one. In addition to comparing and contrasting the family dynamic of the two cultures, you can look at how that directly impacted you. What did you gain from each of the two cultures that merged in your home?
The personal nature of this essay topic makes it easier to write, but be willing to do some research, too. Learn why your parents acted the way they did and how it tied into their cultures. Consider ways the cultures clashed and how your family worked through those problems.
18. Unique Challenges Faced in Single-Parent Families
Single-parent families can be loving and supportive families, and children can grow well in them, but they face some challenges. Your essay can expound on these challenges and help you show how they are overcome within the family dynamic.
As you develop this family essay, remember to shed some positive light on the tenacity of single parents. There are challenges in this family structure, but most single parents meet them head-on and grow happy, well-balanced children. Remember to discuss both single fathers and single mothers, as single-parent families have both.
19. My Most Vivid Family Memory
You can use this personal essay topic when writing essays about the family. Think back to your childhood and your most vivid family memory. Maybe it is something positive, like an epic family vacation, or maybe it is something negative, like the time when your parents split up.
Write about how that family memory changed you as a child and even in your adult years. Discuss what you remember about it and what you know about it now, after the fact. Show how that memory helped develop you into who you are today.
20. The Challenges of Being the Youngest or Oldest in the Family
Are you the family’s baby or the oldest child? What challenges did you face in this role? Discuss those as you develop your family essay topic.
Even if you were the middle child, you can use your observations of your family to discuss the challenges of the bookend children. Do you feel that the baby or the eldest has the easier path? Develop this into a well-thought-out essay.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!
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