Changing Nature of the Family over Past 50 Years Essay
In many industrialized countries, people are increasingly turning away from traditional family patterns. They are adopting new roles for family members and various kinds of family structures. Many of these changes reflect scientific, economic, and social developments and changing attitudes. For example, modern birth control methods enable couples to limit the size of their family and to space their children. Many young people are postponing marriageand childbearing, and many couples want to have fewer children than people had in the past.
The number of employed married women has been growing dramatically in industrialized countries. In the United States, for example, the percentage of …show more content…
Other problems may result from remarriages by divorced or widowed people. Such remarriages create the blended family of wife, husband, and each of their own children. Quarrels between the new couple over their children are sources of conflict and new divorces. Children naturally have mixed feelings about their new family. They become painfully certain that their biological parents will not be reunited. Children who were very close to the single parent may feel displaced and jealous because the stepparent has a special and private relationship with their parent. Children also may feel fondness and love for their new family but be scared that the new marriage also will end in divorce or death. In addition, children may see their feelings of love as a mark of disloyalty to the absent parent.
The rights and obligations between stepparent and stepchildren may seem different than those taken for granted between biological parents and children. Parents may recognize such differences, for example, in their right to discipline. Thus, stepparents and children are generally challenged to deal with many feelings that are not present in biological families.
Treatment of family problems. Many families can receive help with some of their problems by consulting a trained family counselor, a member of the clergy, a social worker, or a psychologist. Many such