Family size

Families in many countries are not as large as they used to be
We tend to live in small nuclear families rather than large extended families
Parents tend to have fewer children
Young children are no longer expected to work
Nowadays both parents often work
It costs so much to bring children up
It is more difficult to raise a large family

Working parents (also see “gender” topic)

Children and their parents seem to be less close nowadays
Parents spend less time with their children
Women traditionally stayed at home to cook, clean and look after children
Nowadays both parents often work full time
Children may be left alone, or with nannies or babysitters
Busy parents have less contact with their children
Many families no longer eat meals together
Children spend more time with friends or surfing the Internet

Negative effects on Children

The lack of closeness in families can have a negative effect on children
Many parents have no idea how their children spend their time
Friends, television and the Internet become the main influence on children’s behavior
Teenagers are influenced by peer pressure
Some of them join gangs
Juvenile delinquency is on the increase
Parents should be more involved with their children’s upbringing
Young people need positive role models

Divorce

In the past, divorce was unacceptable
It was considered to be embarrassing for a family
People stayed together for religious or family reasons
Divorce is more socially acceptable nowadays
It has become much more common
Divorce can be extremely stressful
Lone parents may face financial difficulties
Many single parents have to rely on benefits paid by the state
Divorce can have a negative effect on children
Children from single-parent families are more likely to get lower grades or drop out of school.
The rise in divorce rates may be connected to some social problems

Care for Old people

Caring for elderly people was traditionally the responsibility of families
Adults had to look after their elderly parents
A woman’s job was to stay at home taking care of her family
Nowadays, fewer elderly people are looked after by their relatives
Residential homes provide care for large number of elderly people
Some families are unable to look after elderly relatives
Families tend to be smaller these days, and women often have full-time jobs
Cares homes provide a professional service for senior citizens
Nurses are better trained than family members

Care for Old people: Opinion

The best form of care for the elderly depends on the family situation
It depends on whether family members have the time resources
We all have a responsibility towards the older people in our society
Governments should invest money in facilities and training for care workers.