Home Economics Notes

Types and functions of the family, roles of each family member and the family as a whole, relationships- the family tree, Family values

A family can be defined as a group of persons who live together and are united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption. Family members are each other’s kin.

The family is the basic unit of any society. It is very essential to the nation as the nation consist of individuals from different families. Socialization also begins from the family.

Types of family

  1. Nuclear family or monogamous  family- This type of family is made up of the man, his wife and their children.

2. Polygamous family – This type of family is made of the man, his wives and their children.

3. The extended family. This type consists of the father, the mother (mothers), the children and other relatives like uncles, aunts, nephew, grandparents etc. The oldest member becomes the head of the extended family. This type of family is common in Nigeria.

Roles/Functions of the Family

  1. Procreation or child bearing
  2. Manifest love to its members
  3. Provision of food, shelter and clothing for its members
  4. Transmits culture and norms from its members to the society
  5. Socialization of its members
  6. Companionship: family members share experiences.
  7. Personal security and acceptance: people feel more protected within their families than outside.

Roles of each family member and the family as a whole

Each family member has a specific function to perform. These roles include:

Roles of the father:

  1. Provides basic needs such as money for food, clothing, shelter, education, medical treatment etc.

2.    Maintains discipline in the home

3. Shows love and maintain peace

4.  A role model in the family

5.  The head of the home

6.  Protects family members

7. Teaches his children the culture of the society.

8. Breadwinner of the family.

9.  Performs his civic right and responsibilities such as paying of tax, obeying the law of the society.

Roles of the Mother:

  1. Prepares food for the member
  2. cares for the home
  3. Bears and nurture children
  4. Shows love to her husband and children
  5. helps in buying  and maintaining family clothing
  6. Teaches the children home making skill and other functional skills
  7. She is the home maker in  the family
  8. She acts as a model for her daughters
  9. She takes care of the simple in of the family.
  10. She performs her civic right and responsibilities.

 Roles of the Children:

  1. Respect and obey their parents and other adults in the society.
  2. Help in carrying out domestic chores and errands in the home e.g. cleaning the house, washing plates, caring for younger ones, fetching water.
  3. Learn the culture of the society.
  4. Give unity and stability to the home
  5. Bears the family’s name
  6. Perform their civic rights and responsibilities.


  1. Give 2 definitions of family
  2. Mention 5 functions of the family
  3. State 3 types of family and explain each of them
  4. Identify each role of the family member.

Sub-Topic 2: Relationships- the family tree, Family values. Family relationship or kinship pattern is the link or connection between one family member and the other. There are certain terms that are used to describe these connections.

They include the following:                        

Title                                                              Relationship    

Parents                                                            Father and Mother

Siblings                                                           Brothers and Sisters

Aunts                                                               Father’s/Mother’s sister

Uncle                                                               Father’s/Mother’s sister Brother

Nephew                                                           Brother’s/Sister’s son 

Niece                                                               Brother’s/Sister’s daughter

Grandparent                                                    Parent’s parent

Grand children                                                A person’s children’s children

First Cousins                                                   Uncle’s or aunt’s child

Great grand-parents                                         Grandparents of parents

Great grand children                                        a person’s grand children’s children.

Family Tree

A family tree is a graph or diagram that shows the kinship pattern of a family. It shows how the family members relate to each other.

Family values

Value means the worth of an item

Values are beliefs, feelings and idea about what is important. They are based on ideas about what is right, good and desirable. Values cannot be seen, they are only reflected in our actions. They can be positive or negative. Examples of positive values are: freedom, courtesy, good health, orderliness, friendship, leisure, love, patience, respect, tolerance, compassion, fairness, trust, honesty, etc. Examples of negative values are: dishonesty, envy, falsehood, selfishness, corruption, and so on.

Value System- This is a set of values that a person or group of people have.

Family values – These are the beliefs, feeling, and ideas about what the family esteem as important to the family. A family values could be uprightness, respect, diligence, education, high moral stance, trustworthiness etc

Importance of family values system

  1. It helps to control behaviour of family members
    1. It helps the family to make decisions
    1. Provides confidence and strength
    1. Provides motivation for action.


  1. What is kinship pattern?
    1. Define family tree

3.   What is value system?               

4.   Your aunt’s son or daughter is your …………………….


Workbook on Home Economics New Concept for Nigeria Jnr. Sec. Schools Bk.1 (ps.30-31).


Draw  your own family tree mentioning names of each member of  your family

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