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How Is The Family Life Changing?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1353 words Published: 11th Aug 2021

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How much is family life changing? In one of the BBC articles written by Mark Easton in 2007, he highlights that in a survey which is made by BBC, three quarters of Britain are positive about future of their family. Correlatively, it is deduced that 40 years ago people were less happy than now. When the BBC exhibited its research of families in Britain, the result demonstrated that closest relationships between family members were deteriorating in time in consequence of reduction in traditional family structures. In spite of all alterations, 93% of the people in the world are satisfied with their family life. Moreover, Easton claims that ‘for every three weddings there are now two divorces’ which shows the highest rate in Europe. Cohabitation has increased to 64% in ten years. So that, approximately half of children were born outside wedlock.

What is the Family Life for a Single Parent?

What Easton states in a BBC article in 2007 is that the highest proportion of lone parenting is in Europe which also indicates that one on four children now stay with a single mother. In addition, Academic studies have been proved in 2007 that children who have one mother are less successful at school than offspring of married couples. According to growing numbers of people (7/10) rely on that parent are getting worse at family life. Although Easton gives a general information and important statistics about lone parenting, Kimberly Gail highlights essential sides of single parenting in 2011 in BBC news.

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According to Gail’s point of view, ‘parenting is a challenging endeavour.’ Lone parenting is not only challenging but also very fulfilling. The custodial parent struggles with responsibility of looking after and providing basic requirement. When you are a lonely mother, you are expected to make up your mind by yourself and so that you can have a healthy and happy family life through following some primary steps. Gail divides lone parenting into 5 groups.

  1. COMMITMENT- In an attempt to be as successful parent, you have to have courage to take responsibilities as they fall on your shoulders. Your family is supposed to be your priority. Due to the fact that you are a parent, you are committed to spend time and money to support your children physically and emotionally.
  2. HOME MANAGEMENT- Because lone parenting requires you to be alone in your house hold, organisation is essential. Many single parent families are responsible for arranging household. In order to be successful in organising, one of the good ways is to create an assigned daily list of household chores for everybody. It is even very easy for a small child as she/he will be picking up and putting away the toys.
  3. RESPONSIBILTY- Single parents are responsible for rising children alone and direct them to variety of activities.
  4. RELATIONSHIPS AND TRADITIONS- It is substantial for parents to carry daily rituals. Rituals and traditions are materials of keeping family members together and can be a relaxing reminder of stability. In order to give examples to keep rituals going; get together for a dinner, go out for bowling at the weekend and join to activities that will create a warm environment as it reinforces family chains.
  5. SELF-CARE- Many single parents sacrifice a lot to make stable house warmer for their children. However, parents should know that taking care of them is also very important. Daily exercise reduces stress and provides you a healthy life. Taking time with family and parents is also essential to strengthen relationships. Some parents also take advantage of religious community and spiritual guidance.

Technology’s role

The other factor in family life which we can mention is technology. As it is easier to access to a public transport than 50 years ago, the distance between family members decreased. According to Mark Easton (BBC Home Editor) mobile phones have made communication between family members easier, even though the internet has not yet become very common in family environment. With regard to the researches in 2007 less than a third of internet users preferred contacting their parents every week and 8% of them communicated everyday. Although family life changes fast, we esteem are family ties more than ever.

According to what James Westhead states, despite increasing influence on family life, with computers and internet, it is clear that they have negative impact on relationships. Parents complain about the amount of time that their children spend in front of screens rather than involve in traditional family activities. To give an example, Second Life is a programme which makes people or families interact online as an avatar and even share family meals. Professor Lewis implies that ‘Technology is a double edged sword for families, it can erode and reduce human interaction but at the same time, technology is great at bringing people together just look at mobile phone use within families.’ (Lewic.C, BBC news: 2007)

A BBC pool has indicated that most of the British people are very positive about their family future. A question arises; what will size of families be in the future? According to predictions, in case trends in the past continue, parents in the future will not have many children and not get married. In reference to researches, the percentage of children who has non-married parents has increased 3 times more in last 50 years to 40% while the number of children has dropped to 1.8 in a family. A third of un-married parents are single and the rest of the people are co-habiting, however are more willing to separate than in the past.

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According to James Westhead, predictions are unreliable. Professor Charlies Lewis (expert on family psychology) highlights that we will encounter with more single parents and more separation ‘People are already making and breaking relationships more easily and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Fighting between parents who stay together can be harmful for children.’ (Lewis.C, BBC News: 2007). The most influential factor is most probably economic. Moreover, the increasing cost of living and pressure leads people to have fewer children.

Families become hot political topic

It was brought forward that single parents and other family variations should not be involved in government policy. It is a common thought that while some traditional families which includes a married couple looking after children in a constant home seemed to be the ideal, dramatic social changes occurred in last decades and it became intolerable to base policy on it. According to Assinder in 2007, social changes caused the nuclear family to emerge. Furthermore, it was argued by some people that most of the social problems were generated by collapse in traditional family life. Correlatively, Tory Prime Minister John Major began to cut married couple’s tax allowance in mid – 1990s and it was ended by Labour in 2000. The leader David Cameron implied in BBC’s News night in 2007: “Marriage is, on the whole, a good thing that should be rewarded not punished.” In addition, the chief secretary, Andy Burnham gave his opinion about marriage and stated that “I don’t think the Tories should have a monopoly on this kind of thing. This is totally where Gordon Brown is coming from, your roots and your family are everything.”

Never the less, the policy on family is possible to alter, as majority of people showed interest to David Cameron’s announcements. Particularly, Cameron’s promissory speech in order to increase the inheritance tax to £1million took less attention in the party conference. According to Liberal Democrats, tax break are not the right way to be chosen and they insist to focus on helping couples stay together.

It appears that the family is bound to become one of the most common issues in following elections and policy.


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