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Duo
29-06-05, 11:13
I got into a discussion with someone the other day about family. My contention was that the main purpose of a human being, at least biologically speaking, is to reproduce and to have a successful outcome, kids make it through birth, grow up safely, and continue their life etc etc. So I was saying that family should be the nr 1 priority of everyone, even if your just a kid or a grandma. But these days I see that things are a bit different, we see divorces all the time, we see parents and grandparents being distant, kids and their parents being distant and having a cold relationship, brothers and sisters fighting over money and what not. Especially in the West.

Three out of of the three last girls that I went out with had family problems such at this, their parents were either divorced, about to be divorce, or separted but didn't divorce because of money issues. With the first two it didn't turn out so good, and I have doubts about how it will turn out with the third one. I don't want to make assumtions but I wonder if them having any problems like that in the family affects their personal life as well. One of them told me she would never get married because of what her parents went through..... This made me wonder whether part of why things didn't work out between us was their family issues, I refused the possibility that they didn't like that me much :p

In one of my sociology classes someone marked that part of why the modern family is being broken up is because women have become more indepedent. But to me it appears that is not just husband and wife relationships that are suffering, but also other ties within the family.

What do you think about this, or maybe it is not such a big problem after all, or is it a bit disconcerting?

I should add that since I lived in the same house with my parents and grandparents until I was 14 I have an unusual family cohesiveness concept build within me that may differ from many of your upbringings, but anyways, how do you see the situation of the family today ?

Kinsao
29-06-05, 12:05
Duo, I think that was a really good and interesting post. And certainly has made me think about the family and all the things you raise!

Personally, yes I think family should be number one priority. Of course, there can be exception... if your parents are cruel or there is some reason for estrangement from your family for instance the ways they behave... for example, one of my friends had the mother with serious mental health problems and was also abused by several family members, of course this caused all sorts of problems for her, but by cutting herself off from her family she is able to be strong and overcome problems and say to herself "I don't want to be like that". So there can be situations where actually it's better that one family member to 'break the mould' and make better life for themself.

But again, that is also survival of the race, to escape from a dangerous, destructive situation, so the stronger person will survive...

Perhaps it is more of an extreme example :bluush:

But in general I agree with you. And it seems there is degeneration in family life... families don't stay together so long and they also don't do things together so much (even small things like eat a meal together). Maybe I have an idealised view because my parents stayed together all their lives? :? Many people whose parents went through divorce said that although it was so unhappy, it would have been worse if they had made themselves stay together...

Having said that, I feel really sad that marriages split up, and I think a lot of break up could be avoided by people having some more thought before they get married that it should be important commitment. Personally I would consider getting married to someone as a lifetime commitment, so, I would really think very hard before getting into such commitment... Sometimes I think people quit when things get difficult instead of trying to overcome the problems.

Of course, people need to be not too tied to their family as well. Because if you make too many sacrifices, it builds up resentment, which then causes problems later maybe. For instance (although I'm 'only child') my mother does not try to keep me within the country, but says 'go and live your life, go and have some fun!' Because that's natural and fine! So in return, I hope that if she is an old lady later in life, I will make sure she is looked after properly.

Oh yes, and I agree that the experience as a young person in the family affect very much your attitudes as you grow to adult, like with your girlfriends. I think it's very sad, because the bad experiences breed more distrust and people saying 'oh I am never going to get married, it's miserable' and stuff like that.

Some people are afraid of commitment, too, maybe because they feel that throughout life they will change, or their partner will change, and then they would be unable to keep their commitment... But it's impossible to predict the future. One thing about relationships is that you have to take risks.

Also, these days mainly both parents work in a family. So they have less time to be together and with their kids (let alone the extended family!). So the kids find the home just as the place they lodge, rather than have the close relationships. My mother was not going out to work, so during school holidays I could have time with her as well as with friends. And my father, his work always was secondary to his family. Of course, the family needs some money! But time is just as important as money. So, he didn't work stupid hours. Maybe this is something to do with women becoming more 'independent' and able to go out to work. Well, as a single woman living alone, I welcome that I have this independence. But, I think in some ways it is rather a false independence for women. Because, how much choice is there any more to stay home? People have thoughts like: 'you are just sponging off the state', 'it is boring, doing nothing but houseworks', 'you never get out of the house', 'do something for yourself for a change'.... etc. I wonder how many women feel they could stay home and not feel they are sponging off their partner? But my parents had the attitude that things are shared... for instance, with kids, time is equally important to money... so one partner can provide money and the other provide time, for instance. There was never any question of imbalance or inequality - they worked as a team. That is how I think relationships ought to work. And if a woman chooses to work, fair enough, her decision, but exactly how free a decision is it these days or how much is it a consideration of money and debts and having a good enough lifestyle?

I am sorry Duo that my post became so long! :sorry: But I was pleased to see someone thinking very similar to what I think... :cool:

Duo
29-06-05, 15:30
Heyy, thx, I really enjoyed your post, I really agree on you about the team aspect of a relationship. I'm glad to see that we have a common footing on these issues :)

Iron Chef
29-06-05, 16:17
What does "family" mean to me? Hmm...

My mother is a Saint. She sacrficed everything she had (including her own dreams and personal ambitions) to provide for me and my two brothers. My father was a bum. Not that he didn't have his moments... his own father wasn't much of a role-model so given that... I suppose he tried to do the best he could with what he had. I suppose in the end... I loved him like any normal son would (even if I still can't forgive him).

My older brother turned out to be the everything my father wasn't: the perfect family man with a loving wife and three beautiful kids coupled with a successful career and a bright future. My oldest brother... well, he dissapeared over 10 years ago. Dropped off the face of the planet for all I know. Breaks my mother's heart not knowing whether her son is alive or dead but I say screw the bastard. As for myself, I suppose I turned out reasonably ok (I have my mother to thank for that). I'm far from perfect... and I suppose i've inherited more than just a few bad genes from my old man... but, I do try.

Should someday I meet "Ms. Right" , we fall in love, have kids and raise a family.... then I would like to think that I could be a good father taking up after my own mother's example and that of my other brother. To me, family is all about sticking together through thick and thin even when all the sh*t in the world is at your feet... I have no survivng Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc. It's just me, my bro, and me Mum, spread out across the Midwest and with me here in Japan. The bonds of blood run deep...

misa.j
29-06-05, 18:51
Very interesting post, Duo!
One of the biggest difference that interested me about family structure between Japan and the US has been that how in Japan it is norm to have three generations living in a same household as opposed to it seems rare in the US.

In American culture, it seems to me that people value individualism, privacy and freedom to have own space which I think are very important. Even if the members of a family are spread out, they can be as close and caring.

The dinamic of the family with many generations gives a huge impact on one's family value, though. Sometimes grandparents can be more influencial than parents.

I lived with my parents, my brother and my grandmother till I was 18 in a house with not much privacy, so I was thirsting for my own space. It became a little difficult for me as I got older, I started to have too much ego.
I think my mother had the hardest time living with her mother-in-law who constantely complained about everything.

Ma Cherie
03-07-05, 06:54
Yeah, I would say family is important. But it's hard with family sometimes. In all honesty I feel that I get treated better by strangers than my own family at times. Growing up whenever my cousins would come over to stay for the weekend, by the time the weekend is over I noticed things are missing from my room. I never said anything about this until my mother told me my aunt steals. So, whenever they would come over I would have to lock away some of my things and keep an eye on my cousins, I even checked their bags just to see if something was stolen. Things like this make me wonder how many people prioritize family.

You're right about the American culture statement misa j. But yes, I feel that families can be close even when they're far away from each other. As far as marriage goes, I can understand why people don't want to get married these days. To me, marriage seems like a series of long battles you have to get through. And after you get through a battle, it's like a test to see how much your marriage can deal with. Yes, after the battles the marriage is supposed to be stronger. But really, who wants to spend time trying to get through a battle after battle, even though your marriage will possibly get stronger, who wants to keep doing that? People get sick of fighting for their marriages, espcially when they don't to.

Dutch Baka
03-07-05, 17:10
first of all good thread!!

the reason of why families have this porblems, women independed.. woman work more, maybe thats a reason.... but the strange thing is, that people have more choise to choose there partner then before... so it is more about love then arrangments... ( if this is wrong please tell me)

my mom got married with my dad when she was around 20, and they were a happy couple ( and my mom didnt came out of the closet until 7 years ago) the relation was good, but mom wasnt happy, my dad was a light alcoholic. and they had lots of fights about it!! 20 years later, when i was around 14 and my brother 17, my mom decided to break up with him, because she didnt love him anymore, and because of the alcohol, and... well yeah.. not happy with her life, wanted a big change.. so she told us she was a lesbian!!!

after the divorce that is 6-7 years ago now, the relation with my dad become pretty bad!! one way this is my part ... feel ashame about it, so i wont tell that much about it. i got angry about they divorced because i knew my life would change big time, differnt house ( not enough income for 5 room house) didnt saw my dad that much, 2 times a week. and i had sleeping probelms...

im not angry any more about it, because it made me what i am now!!! but yeah of course i want a father in my familie, being happy with my mom...

now my mom is married with another woman, and my dad is having a relation with a woman that is still married ( guy dont know **** about it) ....


so the reason of it.. well i think my mom got stronger, more indepented...
in other relations i think that life has became harder.... and i think some people do not understand the meaning of love good!

sorry maybe to much i talk private, then helping the thread good... )

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 00:00
Yes family ties are much closer in the orient and other nations compared to the States. In America the people live in isolated communities. It is rare for more than one family to share a home. Parents want the children out of the home as early as possible and the children want away from the parents as soon as possible. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but the exceptions only prove the rule. The breakdown of the American family is the greatest enemy of the nation. Strong families make strong communities which make strong nations. The attack upon the American family strikes at the very root and fabric of the nation. Even worse most young people are opting not to have families. They cohabitate without the covenant of marriage and bear multiple children out of wedlock before they even consider marriage as an option. America could learn much from other cultures concerning the importance of family and respecting their elders.

LeBrok
10-05-13, 04:13
Yes family ties are much closer in the orient and other nations compared to the States. In America the people live in isolated communities. It is rare for more than one family to share a home. Parents want the children out of the home as early as possible and the children want away from the parents as soon as possible. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but the exceptions only prove the rule. The breakdown of the American family is the greatest enemy of the nation. Strong families make strong communities which make strong nations. The attack upon the American family strikes at the very root and fabric of the nation. Even worse most young people are opting not to have families. They cohabitate without the covenant of marriage and bear multiple children out of wedlock before they even consider marriage as an option. America could learn much from other cultures concerning the importance of family and respecting their elders.
Should America learn from Sicily or Egypt where family ties are very strong?
I'm a family man myself, but I'm not sure what strength you're looking for; political, economic, moral?
Is strong family a prerequisite for building strong and happy society? Are Swedes less happier than Bangladeshi?

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 14:16
Yes, a strong family is a prerequisite for a strong, happy and prosperous society. The type of society that would result would be a strong moral society which would naturally lead to strong political and economic prosperity and happiness. The moral foundation of a nation should begin with the family. Broken families in America have led to every blight imaginable in American society including moral, economic and political.

LeBrok
10-05-13, 16:54
Yes, a strong family is a prerequisite for a strong, happy and prosperous society. The type of society that would result would be a strong moral society which would naturally lead to strong political and economic prosperity and happiness. The moral foundation of a nation should begin with the family. Broken families in America have led to every blight imaginable in American society including moral, economic and political.
Can you give us very family oriented societies having
strong political and economic prosperity and happinessat the same time?

Boss
10-05-13, 17:57
Can you give us very family oriented societies having at the same time?

You're comparing modern day USA to Egypt or Sicily and Sweden to Bangladesh. Basically you're comparing the most developed nations with either underdeveloped or massively underdeveloped nations.

If you wanna make a comparison, take the US or Sweden when they were developing. Like 100-150 years ago. And see what family ties were like back then. My bet: far more similar to Bangladeshi familie ties today than either to American or Swedish ones. And yet, this is how these nations developed and gotten as prosperous as they are (so yeah, to answer your question: America and virtually all developed nations 100-150 years ago).

My conclusion then is that family ties have shit all to do with economic development.

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 18:03
Yes the New England Puritans in the formative years of North America, The United States for a good part of her existence, and Elizabethan and Victorian England come to mind, and for that matter most of Western civilization until recently.

Boss
10-05-13, 18:10
Yes the New England Puritans in the formative years of North America, The United States for a good part of her existence, and Elizabethan and Victorian England come to mind, and for that matter most of Western civilization until recently.

What you're saying here doesn't support your thesis at all. Neither America nor any other developed country needs strong family ties to keep growing or to be happy. Since the 60's, family ties have been breaking down in almost every developed nation. Yet, economic progress hasn't been affected (significantly) and people are probably happier.

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 20:44
Most American young people come from broken homes and the teen suicide rate is second only to Sweden. Most American young people now can not read write or think proficiently and half the population is on some form of government welfare. All this is linked to the breakdown of the American family. Hardly a recipe for prosperity and happiness.

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 20:48
Evidently I took too long with my initial reply so my last post was a little hurried. America lives in isolated community. It should not be surprising since most Americans live in isolated families. Much more could be said about the decline of America and the American family, but to anyone close to the situation the evidence is self evident.

tjlowery87
10-05-13, 21:39
im American and I live in south Alabama,and I have kids and my family is very family oriented not everyone is like the liberals you see on tv,but in my own opinion the old America is gone,i don't think it will evr come back unfortunately.so I do understand where you are coming from.take care

hope
10-05-13, 21:48
Most American young people come from broken homes and the teen suicide rate is second only to Sweden.





Can I ask where you were able to find these figures regarding recent teenage suicide rates, as I have not seen them. I would appreciate the source if you can give it.

Also...welcome to Eupedia...

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 23:39
Thank you for the welcome. I do not recall where I first came across these statistics, but if you go to CNN and put in teen suicide it should bring up a link showing that 1 in 6 have considered suicide and 1 in 12 are reported to have attempted it. Again this can be traced back to the breakdown of the family in America.

Michel Gilson
10-05-13, 23:43
Yes tj from South Alabama the Republic is lost and gone, but I pray not forever. Progressives have been attempting to change the nation since the late 19th, and early 20th century and have now reaped the fruits of their efforts.

hope
11-05-13, 02:44
Thank you for the welcome. I do not recall where I first came across these statistics, but if you go to CNN and put in teen suicide it should bring up a link showing that 1 in 6 have considered suicide and 1 in 12 are reported to have attempted it

I thought you meant teenagers who had committed suicide, not those who had thought of it or attempted it. For the source you gave, I could not locate it. However I did find this report from last year which indeed quotes the figures you gave....http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/1-12-teens-attempted-suicide-report-article-1.1092622

As you will note the majority of these cases are as a result of some type of bullying. I`m not sure how you, in turn, blame this on the breakdown of the American family however.
I am more inclined to think the bullying should be better addressed in the first instance and the individual targeted, better supported. Let us see how this might effect the despair that forces these young people to think on suicide.


Again this can be traced back to the breakdown of the family in America.

You may also note from the above link, that the highest rates are from Hispanic females. Now as we know, Hispanic families are as a rule, a close knit unit..usually high in traditional family values for the most part as I understand it. So again, I`m not sure how you blame the family here either.

Balder
11-05-13, 03:23
Most American young people come from broken homes and the teen suicide rate is second only to Sweden.
Source, please?

Teen suicide is low in Sweden.:bored: It is high only in eastern Asian and in eastern European nations AFAIK.

LeBrok
11-05-13, 03:41
What you're saying here doesn't support your thesis at all. Neither America nor any other developed country needs strong family ties to keep growing or to be happy. Since the 60's, family ties have been breaking down in almost every developed nation. Yet, economic progress hasn't been affected (significantly) and people are probably happier.
Exactly my point Boss, but instead of explaining, I was trying to get Michel "on track" asking questions.
It is obvious that family's ties break down during economic progression in every country. I would say that the reason is that in prosperous country you don't need huge family's help to survive or get a job. Kids have opportunity getting jobs and opportunity of being independent much sooner than in poor countries. Even grandparents are independent, not really needing to live with kids for support in old age. These days grandparent are the richest of all 3 generations. (at least statistically in Canada).

On other hand, families 70-100 years ago consisted of 5 to 15 people living under one roof, even in one room. It wasn't a family that we know today. It was more like small community or neighborhood kindergarten. Parents worked all the time, kids were roaming around the area, or had to work from young age, to help younger siblings, cook or fetch water from the well. There was not much of close contact with parents, as kids today have. There was no time or energy for it. How much love you can show every day to 10 kids when you worked physically for 12 hours? Did they take them on vacation to have some fun?
Today there is one or two kids under close supervision, school, after school activities, reading books, and with mother, or mother and father almost all the time. In more and more cases kids linger around parents houses rather than starting their own families. I'm not exactly sure what Michel means by broke families? Just because we have so few kids these days and we don't have to live with grandparents? Surely families changed, but is it for worse? Surely families are smaller but parents spend more time with kids.

Granted there are more divorces these days, but on other hand kids don't need to look at father beating mother every day, just because he is angry, or the soup is not to his liking. Beating women was sort of tradition back then. There were no divorces available way back in proper christian country.