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Family Dynamics

Essay Topic:

Nick Vehlewald Mrs. Stotler English 110. 4 17 October 2012 Family Dynamics The way a family works has changed in the last decade or two.

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Back when this generations parents were kids and even when their parents were young, it is very different than young people today. A perfect example would be the television show “Leave it to Beaver”, which aired in 1957. It was about the Cleavers, an All American Family, trying to keep their youngest son Theodore “Beaver” out of trouble.

He always finds his way into trouble, at the end of the episode his parents always help him by giving him advice an good life lessons. That show represents how families were close and protected each other. Now, in the 21st century, many families and even communities are not as close. There are less family nights, and some kids do not even go to the parents for help or to talk to, and neighborhoods are neither as safe nor a community as they were, where kids will be playing outside and parents don’t have to stress about the kids getting hurt or lost.

Kids rely on social media to express their feelings instead of talking to their parents on what is occurring in their life. One of the main reasons of family destruction is divorce. Gathered research from Oregon State University states “Divorces’ have increased 22% since 1980 in the United States” (23). Children did not have to deal with that in the past generations. That is the most prevalent occurrence in society today. This did not happen before because divorce was not socially acceptable back then.

Society used to believe that marriage was permanent and spouses were meant to stay together no matter the reason. The traditional family structure in the US is considered a family support system involving two married individuals providing care and stability for their biological offspring, however this type of family has become less prevalent, and other family forms have become relevant. In the television show “Leave it to Beaver” every show was family oriented. It was like watching a real family working through the trials and ribulations that every family will go through on a regular basis. What was different about this family than a real family was that everything always ended on a positive note, the mother and father solving or fixing the problem and helping their children. That did not always work in the real life. Sometimes fights will last a couple hours, days or weeks. People watching the show did not understand that concept. They see the Cleavers being able to work out similar problems but in their household it isn’t that easy.

So families and most part parents, would get frustrated and think that they are not a well functioning family. “There are over 4600 traits and in a family, all traits are demonstrated by the family members. Wherever you have chaos, someone else will have order. Wherever you have order, someone else will have chaos” (1). This is just how a family works, you have to deal with each others differences and still love each and every member. Families have big issues with trying to be perfect, but they need to understand that individuals cannot expect their family to act and function like an artificial one.

The biggest change in family dynamics in the past decades are, moms used to be at home cooking and cleaning doing the responsibilities around the house. That is not the case any more. Mothers are in the work force, doing their part for the family. “Employment rate of woman since the 1950’s has risen 74%, for full time jobs, and 29% part time jobs” (1). This was never the case before, it was always the father’s job to work and make the money to provide for the family. It has changed drastically since WWII. “In a study conducted by the Center for American Progress in 2010, only 27. percent of homes in the US had caregiver. Compared to 1975 where more than half the homes had a care giver”(32). The father figure has been affected so much that there are even stay-at-home dads now, where the mother would work and the father would take care of the domestic duties. Stay-at-home dads are fathers that do not participate in the labor market and raise their children. They are the male equivalent to housewives. This is not as popular in American society. There are estimated 105,000 stay-at-home dads in the US today. He would have been a disgrace to the workingman sixty years ago.

The main reason for the advancement of mothers in society was woman’s goals have changed drastically. Shifting from the typical housewife that does the cooking, washing, and cleaning, to powerful women that are standing up for them and joining the male society in working for a living. Since then women have been making there way into the workforce, by proving themselves with valuable resource that will help them in every day life. There are a voluminous amount of jobs that women could do a lot better than a man because of what they know and the experiences they have had.

For instance, making clothing, cooking in a restaurant, and money management. Women are changing the workforce, something that know one would have predicted. The men were always know as the breadwinners of the family but women are taking advantage of the women movement to become financially independent. Also others things have occurred in this day that have never been dealt with before. Same sex marriage. This is something know one has seen before or had to deal with in the past decades.

The common way was a man marries a woman; they have children and live happily ever after. There was no such thing as gay marriage or partnerships between two men or two women. This is a huge difference then what the generations before us are used to. The changing times are moving to fast for some people and they can not get used to the idea of two men or two woman raising children. This changes the lives of the kids drastically. They grow up thinking that they have two mommies or daddies and it is perfectly ok and normal, but what they do not know is that they are unique.

They will grow up and have a whole different perspective on life, from being raised in such a different family life. The kids will be very confused growing up in this world. Seeing all other kids with a mom and a dad and wondering why they are different. The children are discriminated against for having same sex parents. “Nationally, 66% female couples, 44% males couples live with children under eighteen years of age” (5). America needs to adapt to the changing times and understand it is not going to be the same as it used to be.

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