What Does the Word Family means Today?
I remember a time when the family unit consisted of a group of people. The mother and father, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that all were very close to one another. That was just people what made the bond was how they interacted with one another. Every night the members of the family sat down and ate dinner together. No one was watching tv and no phones at the table. Matter of fact if the house phone rang while you guys were eating no one would leave the table to answer it. Then there was the big Sunday dinner's in which the extended family came by to eat with you. There is plenty more that went into what was considered a healthy family. You had the holidays dinners, the family reunions, the birthday parties and, most importantly, the family vacations. Every family had a big mama she was the one that held the family together. She was able to handle anything in the household the first superhero all children ever witness.
In today's society, the common family is a single parent or a divided household. Whereas the mother's family raise the children one way and the father's family raise them another way. Another disadvantage the single parent ends up working longer hours to provide for the children. This in turns means less time to spend with the children and that nightly dinner becomes optional. The children grow up confused, not knowing which parent is giving the best advice. The two sides are usually forcing the children to pick sides on which family they want to children to become like. Everything is divided, holidays are no longer spent together. Some of the parents are not teaching the children family values. How could they most were not taught themselves?. If the parent no longer gets along then the inlaws they make it a habit to stay away from each other. Sometimes a simple get together could end in a big altercation between the two families. Each generation is getting worse, not better with the segregation that is being instilled.
We are responsible for the way our children deal with the outside world.
Where I grew up, a family is not only blood relatives. The group of kids where you lived and classmates form a bond like no other. I'm from the East Side of Harlem N.Y I went to P.S 50 then J.H.S 50. I still bump into over 20 of my childhood classmates and we greet each other like we were coming off of a summer's vacation. Everyone break into about groups of five to ten people they hang with. To the point where you are calling their parents mom and dad; why not you stayed at each other's houses 7 days a week. Their uncles were called unc, their aunts were called auntie and everyone in you area was your cousins. Whenever they gave their child or niece/ nephew they made sure you got a piece too. For example, if they gave them $5.00 you might have gotten a $1.00. As for disciple if they got a beaten you might get one too. Then a second one when you went home to your real parents. Families were strong and everyone looked out for one another. Times has changed I wish I could say for the better to bad I can't.
Here is my story
I grew up with what is considered a big family. I have 7 seven brothers 4 uncles 3 aunts, 7 first cousins, about 30 2nd cousins,2 sets of grandparents and one great grandmother named Winnie. Growing up with a big family was great the only problem is I never saw both sides of my family together ever. Not at holiday times, Graduations or any of our birthday parties. I learned how to survive and take care of myself but I never really knew about family values. When I was younger to me it felt like I was getting a better deal in life. It was always two Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthdays. Each family had their own celebrations. You just had to get used to splitting your time. In my family, you would normally wake up in one house spent the morning there, by the time the afternoon came you were heading to the other house. It wasn't until I was older and had my own children when I realized this is not healthy for the child. Here is what I figured what is wrong. The child is learning two different ways of life which is not a bad thing. It becomes bad when It contradicts what the other family is teaching. Then if the child starts staying with one family more than the other one. Then the families with less time start to feel slighted. This becomes a competition amongst the two. What was once innocent now becomes toxic. I felt the disconnect and learns how to exploit both families. I knew who to asked, my father's side didn't allow sleepovers I would just go to my mother's house. Again my father's side had an early curfew if I wanted to hang out late I would just go to my mother's house. My mother was strict with school doing homework, studying and having perfect attendance. My father's side not so much. My father's side of the family was hard workers with good jobs (well the ones that worked). My mother side found a way to live off the system never having to go to work living off the government. The sad part is they seem to both sides have the same money at the end of the day. One just had a little more, my father's side lived in a big house my mother in a three-bedroom apartment. My father's side had three cars my mother had none. Both places had food but it seems as if my mother's side always had more food than hard workers. Both places had a tv in each room but again my mother had cable not my father's place. So now growing up was confusing. Do I work hard and have a little to show for it besides the bigger house and cars of course or do I live off the system for what appears to be more? Now is the cause of both families not coming together and teaching my the best options to live a great rewarding life. Thanks to being born with common sense I decided both ways wouldn't work for me. I opened up my own business and been working for my self. I have the house the car unlimited food and able to vacation whenever and wherever I want. The sad part is out of all 8 children only 2 of us are financially independent. The rest half live exactly like my mother's side and the other half lives exactly like my father's side. Minus the holidays their children don't even know both sides of their families. We need to do something immediately to bring good family values back.
Let's have a little fun and lighten up today's blog with this
What type of family do you have? Do both sides of the family get along? Did your family play an important role for the way you are today? please leave a comment