How family life has changed in Britain
Different people have different views about what family really is. The Oxford dictionary defines family as “a group consisting of two parents and their children all living together as a unit”. In my view, a family is a collective number of people related by blood.
British societies have placed strong emphasis on the importance of family to culture. “The family unit is a community of persons where moral values are taught and the spiritual and cultural heritage of society are passed on” says the Catholic Education resource Centre (2010). As more emphasis is placed on family importance, there is fear that traditional families have faded through time and is now replaced by modern families. “Family life is changing in the UK” reports Mark Easton, BBC home editor (02/05/2010).
These changes automatically mean alterations in culture and traditions in Britain. As there is a cause for everything, this change that started from the twentieth century is due to the ways in which the family members relate to each other.
So what has changed in British family values and norms?
A typical/traditional British family is one which existed many years ago. However within the twentieth century, great changes occurred to family values and norms. A family, before the twentieth century used to be made up of a mother, father and children all living together under the same roof. Even when the children got older, they lived near their parents, in the same town if not on the same street.
Today, most families are not complete. Most of the family members have left their families behind to pursue their own dreams in other places. According to the Office for National Statistics 2009, the proportion of people leaving alone in the UK has doubled since 1971; it has now reached up to 12% of the whole population. This shows that as years come and go, the number of incomplete families will increase significantly. Also, unlike traditional families, in a modern family it is usually a single parent raising the children/progeny instead of having both the mother, father and children living together, those living apart and civil partnerships.
As seen above, it has been made clear that families are now a mix of cohabiting parents, step families and single parent families and not the complete family there used to be.
The main element of a traditional family was the strong bonding between the family members. Mothers gave more attention to their husbands and children as they only played the roles of wives and mothers. They were always there when their family needed them. Children always knew that when they got back home from school, their mothers would be around for them. Even though the fathers worked to gain some earnings to support the family, the wives and children always knew that the husbands/fathers would come back for dinner or before the children went to bed. The tradition was that the whole family had to eat dinner/supper all...