The term “new addition to the family” implies that an animate or inanimate person or thing will be joining an existing group of people. A nuclear family’s new addition could include a baby puppy or other pet. Other examples could be gangs getting new members, entering a new social circle like a workplace, or (less common) personifying inanimate objects (like a new car “joining” your family).
When asked, most people would say that there’s nothing more important than family. “Family”; however, can have a different meaning for each person. As a family man myself, expressing that there’s a “new addition to the family” can be pretty exciting, but what does that actually mean?
Adding a new family member can be an exciting and life-changing experience for everyone. Let’s explore how the term “a new addition to the family” applies to different social groups and why they can also be viable for inanimate objects.
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What Is a “New Addition to the Family”?
When people use the phrase “a new addition to the family,” they imply that a living being such as a baby, animal, or sometimes even an inanimate but personified object, like a family vehicle, has become part of an existing family.
This term carries a positive and exciting connotation that suggests that the lives of people within immediate proximity will experience several lifestyle changes.
Is “New Addition to The Family” Only Suitable to Household Families?
Interestingly, the word “family” can have a widely different meaning to the person sitting next to you on the train heading home. While it’s true that the nuclear family consists of a mother, father, and children, the word “family” extends to the workplace, social circles, and even schools, where cliques are a common occurrence.
In other words, it refers to a place where people feel they belong. The place is not necessarily a physical place; it can also represent a mental space. Accommodating it is a sense of trust and protection and a reliance on the things or people within the group. Consequently, the term “a new addition to the family” helps the speaker believe their actions introduce a positive change.
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Newborns Are New Additions to a Nuclear Family
A new addition to a nuclear family usually implies that a family member has given birth to (or is expecting) a baby girl or boy. Some relationships with friends and family may grow closer than you think due to the birth of a child, while others may become more distant or problematic.
Many parents discover that their friends and relatives offer advice and comments, often without asking and occasionally in opposition to their own established parenting ideals. If you disagree with the advice given, remember that it is typically well-intentioned and that it is ultimately your choice whether or not to follow it.
Puppies, Kittens, Guinea Pigs, and Other Forms of Cuteness
When it comes to pets, we often treat them as members of our own family. We take them for walks, feed them, spend time with them, and sometimes even clothe them. As with all relationships in life, we quickly develop a bond with them and consider them much more than “just an animal”; they become part of the family.
As a result, the term “a new addition” can also mean that someone has brought home a new pet – remember that age is not a factor – a newborn puppy and an older rescue dog are both considered a new addition.
Furthermore, the term can also refer to someone marrying into another family, becoming a mother, brother, sister, or father-in-law. In other words, it implies that something that was previously unrelated will henceforth have some semblance of a relationship.
Gangs Can Also Have New Additions to Their Family
Despite what actually occurs within the constructs of a gang, many of them consider themselves a family unit. Gang members can often relate to one another due to their lack of emotional stability. Their pack mentality provides them with a place to belong and feel that someone can empathize with their struggles – often for the first time in their lives.
The excitement of meeting up with other gang members for antisocial or criminal acts provides an exhilarating experience, as does the thrill of getting away with it – all of these elements can combine to create an unparalleled high-intensity emotional experience.
This emotional state can be further enhanced when there is some degree of success through material gains, such as after a drug deal or car theft. At the same time, it creates a family bond often more potent than a biological family. When a new gang member joins, the term “a new addition to the family” could definitely apply.
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Inanimate Objects Can Be New Additions to a Family, too
One of the most fundamental instincts of human nature is interacting with other humans. This process may carry over to inanimate objects, often with things we frequently use or consider valuable. In such a case, your favorite sketching pencil may adopt the nickname “Penny,” or you might call your trusty vehicle “Old Reliable”.
When people raise people or things or place them on a pedestal, the process often includes a high level of confidence, trust, and loyalty in that thing or person. In fact, it’s for this reason that people say things like “Let me get my trusty notepad”. When we personify inanimate objects by giving them human qualities; they become part of a family.
Consequently, people who collect things like action figures, coins, stamps, or other memorabilia, might say to someone else, “This one will make a lovely new addition to the family” – where “family” refers to the rest of their collection.
The Workplace Can Have a New Addition to the Family
Employees who spend a lot of time together in the workplace overcoming obstacles, assisting one another, and even providing moral support, naturally create a bond akin to that of a real family. It’s especially true for smaller or family-owned businesses where people need to place a higher level of trust in others to be successful.
Companies often look for employees that can quickly assimilate into the business culture because it more often than not guarantees better communication. The reason for this is because smart business owners understand that a healthy working environment directly translates into happier employees and, therefore, a higher level of productivity.
When a new employee assimilates into a tight-knit team that understands one another’s strengths and weaknesses, the new employee takes on the position of “a new addition to the family.”
Social Gatherings May Have a New Addition to the Family
While blood may be thicker than water, water can often thicken to the consistency of blood over the years. Some of our closest relationships are often with friends rather than family. These people become our chosen family. When parents pass or children move away, a close-knit group of friends can quickly provide the kind of stability and emotional support that helps people keep their heads above the water.
As kids, we start to create these relationships as early as kindergarten, doing our utmost to carry them through the rest of our years. It’s not always easy to assimilate into another group – they usually have their own sets of “unspoken rules,” ideals, beliefs, and routines that can be a hit or miss.
That said, the right people in our lives can keep us in check and lift us up when we hit rock bottom. In this case, when you join a new group of people or someone joins the social group you’ve had for years, remember that you, or they, are “a new addition to the family” within that context.
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The term “a new addition to the family” indicates a new baby, pet, friend, or valuable object that becomes a part of an existing group of things or people.
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.