Who Leads Your Family?


Leadership in a family is a very tricky subject across the world.

Some cultures settle the responsibility on  the man and others give leadership to the woman.

Whatever you practise or believe, the question posed today as to where the leadership of your family resides affects the very fabric of our societies and how they are structured on moral and socioeconomic levels; far from the imaginative grasp of the generality of people.

And though how your family is run shouldn’t be anybody’s business, it sure does bring a collective consequence on the society you live in, no matter what you think.

From a perspective, families are led in four styles:

  • Patriarchies
  • Matriachies 
  • Democracies
  • Anarchies

These four leadership styles in families I have personally come across all have consequences. But I am yet to see any merit in the fourth one. 

Patriarchies are father-led families. Here the economic decision maker-usually because he also doubles as the breadwinner-is the man. He is also the law-giver and law enforcer in the family setting, often going unquestioned. The benefits and demerits of this system depend solely on the quality of the man. And in cultures that support patriarchies, polygamy (and by this we mean a man having relations with more than one women either inside or outside the institution of marriage) is typically rampant.

Matriarchies occur sometimes when men (husbands) fail to lead or are deprived from leading their families due to economic issues, incarceration, death or personal character deficiencies. A matriarch is typically created when the man fails to step up to lead in the home She makes the decisions, sometimes because she is vociferous and the man isn’t as vocal, or more predominantly, because she is the breadwinner and the man she lives with lacks the temerity to swallow his pride and lead. Matriarchies apart from cultures that practice it as a norm, often move the family toward a fractious end; sometimes in divorce and more lately, spousal homicide living emotionally mangled children whichever way the family disintegrates.

Democracies have mother, father and sometimes the children making decisions corporately for the family. Here though decision making can be slow, everyone is in someway carried along, or part of the decision making process. Democratic families usually start out as patriarchies or matriarchies but evolve as family members use the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each member to deal with issues via open conversation. Here, the members of the family feel an affinity to family and offer their contributions in a ways that supports their corporate goals. The fundamental idea for democratically-led families is equity; that each member is a complement and that each one has the other’s back.
Anarchies are dysfunctional families where there are no moral compasses. No one is in charge except impulses. These impulses are the roots of the licentiousness that fuel the unguarded humanism we often see in today’s societies. 

I think that family life in the past few years has witnessed a ‘leaderlessness’ that has taken it’s toll on society and continues to.

But in the end, the question still stands: Who leads your family?

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