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Rules-II. Marriage and Family Interaction HPERF258 Dr. Gilbert & Wei-min Wang. Explicit (also called Overt or Known). Visible, stated clearly 10% of all family rules Have been discovered and/or talked about More formalized

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rules ii


Marriage and Family Interaction


Dr. Gilbert & Wei-min Wang

explicit also called overt or known
Explicit (also called Overt or Known)
  • Visible, stated clearly
  • 10% of all family rules
  • Have been discovered and/or talked about
  • More formalized
  • The forms of rules we tend to list when first asked to identify rules
  • Usually stand unless specifically changed
implicit also called covert or unknown
Implicit (also called Covert or Unknown)
  • Tied to more abstract thinking
  • 90% of all family rules
  • Hidden from view
    • Being hidden makes them powerful
  • Accepted as “how things are” – basic structure of the family belief system
  • Also makes them more open to misinterpretation because it is often assumed that family members understand and go by rules
examples of rules
Examples of Rules
  • Hurting each other
  • Children using alcohol and other drugs
  • Adults using alcohol and other drugs
  • Telling lies
  • Sex
  • Dating
  • Breaking promises
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Privacy
  • Respect
  • Beliefs and opinions
rules expectations
Rules & Expectations
  • What are some important stated rules in your family?
  • What are some important but unstated rules in your family?
  • What are some key expectations your family has on you?
  • If you don’t follow these rules or meet the expectations, what might happen?
other e xamples of rules
Other Examples of Rules
  • Emotion expression
  • Anger
  • Affection
  • Family Secret
rule sequencing
Rule sequencing
  • A connected series of rules
  • Example:
  • Dad has a bad day at the office
  • Dad comes home and criticizes Mom
  • Mom takes the anger out on a child
  • The child kicks the dog
  • Vicious cycles
  • Starting point of cycle may not be apparent
  • Feedback loops make the cycles hard to change and seem to “have a life of their own”
  • Although there may be variations, the cycles will be repeated over and over
punctuating rule sequences
Punctuating rule sequences
  • In order to change behavior in the family, you have to “punctuate the problem” and artificially stop the behavior sequence
orders of change
Orders of Change
  • First order change – changing behavior
    • Largely focuses on explicit rules
  • Second order change – changing the beliefs, values, etc. that underlie the behaviors
  • First order change is largely ineffective
managing rules
Managing Rules
  • Look for underlying, deeper rules (changing superficial rules will result only in first order change)
  • Think in terms of changing the underlying beliefs, values, etc.
  • Look at rule sequences instead of individual rules
small group discussion
Small group discussion
  • Reading #45 addresses “Managing a Blended Family.” In your small group, discuss how blending family rules complicates this process. How might this be made less difficult?
final thoughts on lecture material
Final Thoughts on Lecture Material
  • In your small group, develop a list of at least five points about the role of rules in families.