Who’s the mother?!?
I got a great question from KiKi yesterday! She was trying to record a family relationship between an adult son and his mother. The description she put on the Family Relationship tab of the son’s record was ‘Mary’s son’. Then when she went to Mary’s record, she saw the same description and changed it to ‘Johnny’s mother’. You can see where I’m going with this.
The same description will display on both families in the relationship. So, the correct way to describe a relationship between two families is to enter a complete description that is clear no matter which family you are viewing. I suggest including first and last names and both sides of the the relationship.
Johnny Doe is the son of John and Mary Doe.
Suzy Smith is the daughter of John and Mary Doe.
In the 2nd example, the adult daughter is married to Frank Smith and therefore has a different last name from her parents. The description makes it clear that Suzy (and not Frank) is the child of the Doe’s.
There may be odd situations in which you need to add further description.
For example: a child is temporarily living with his grandparents (or even with another family altogether) and needs to be in the family where he is living while his mother is in rehab (you know, it happens!). Put the child in the grandparents’ family, but relate the custodial family to the child’s mother’s family. Then provide a thorough description.
Jacob Jones is the son of Kathy Jones and is living with his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. John Smith.
Jacob Jones is the son of Kathy Jones and is temporarily living with friends Jane and Rick Schultz.
That is an extreme example, but I think you get the idea of how the Family Relationship description is designed to work.