Family conformity

Family conformity is where we align our attitudes and behaviour to those in the family. It often takes the form of unconscious influence and social pressure for us to conform. We conform, but it’s not always by choice.

Family conformity is something we do and it’s expected. Something we may struggle with. Family conformity can cause conflicts, with children who feel pressured to fit in. We are social beings, and for the sake of group cohesion we are driven to fit in, to be seen as the same.

Fitting in means copying the actions of others, deciding how to think or behave and doing what is expected based on widely accepted social norms.

Parents may stereotype their children into carrying out specific roles because it’s easier, children may start to copy the actions of their siblings, because they’re forced into it, not because it’s something they have chosen to do.

Parents may feel the pressure for their family to fit in. Whilst family conformity helps parents, it may do little for the children. Fitting in for fitting in sake is fine, we must all get along, but conformity is different. Conforming to family and social norms doesn’t encourage emotional and spiritual growth.

Children must grow and be encouraged to think independently of their parents, of their siblings. Where family conformity is expected, children will always choose to work against conformity, if what is expected is not in their best interests.


19 Apr, 2020

2 thoughts on “Family conformity

  1. My mother brainwashed me into conforming to the family ideals which was specifically for her side of the family, which turned out to be don’t think, don’t speak, don’t feel.

    That’s why I spent most of my life, trying to confirm and fit in with other groups, when the reality is I didn’t fit in with any of them.

    Conformity is what most people tend to rebel against, but I never had that chance and only now have come to enjoy having that option, being the person that I want to be rather than the one everyone expects me to be.

    I have wasted most of my life doing just that, but now I just want to enjoy being who I want to be.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, I had the same thing on my mother’s side too. I also think it was parenting at that time.

      That said, it happened. I agree with you conformity is often something rebelled against if you’re that way inclined.

      I also never had the chance. If I’d had, not sure how I would have rebelled, but rebelling to me means something totally different.

      Rebelling means asserting ones authority, going against the norm, against what is expected, and if that is the case perhaps parents need to think about what is in their child’s best interest.

      In our case that needed to happen.

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