A family can be defined in numerous ways. The Oxford University Press defines a family as "a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit". This definition is extremely limited, as it only covers a portion of the families today. In actuality, there are five basic types of families. Each of them vary in appearance, but the purpose of each one is ultimately to provide a caring, loving and constructive environment to all of its members.
The most recognized of these families is the nuclear family, a family in which the mother, father and children all reside together. This is seen as the traditional family, and is considered by many to be ideal. Traditionally, in this setting, the father plays the role of breadwinner, while the mother handles the domestic work. But with time comes change. In modern life it is not at all unusual to encounter a household where the father stays at home caring for the children and the mother is the main source of income. In either situation, the role of the parents is to ensure that their children have a stable atmosphere in which to live.
Another type of family is the extended family. An extended family contains relatives from beyond the nuclear family who dwell in the same household (http://www.hartland64.freeserve.co.uk). Extended families include members like grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. These additional members may help reduce the financial stress on a family, as they may bring in additional income. They also may reduce the hassle on the parents when it comes to finding child care. .
Lone or Single Parent families are another type of family. This one is self explanatory - It is a family in which there is only one parent present to take care of the child or children. This may be the case because of children born out of wedlock, parents who were widowed, or families who were simply abandoned by one parent. Lone Parent families are usually harder to manage, as one parent must play the role of two, but in many cases they are successful in doing so.