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



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.