Comparing society 40 years back to activities and happenings of today, I have come to appreciate that family values have changed over time. In our world today, a lot of vices are holding sway and these vices are quickly displacing virtues because family values have been compromised.
Today children are growing up in a society that is technologically driven and are learning at a much faster pace than in the 70s. The truth is, the fast pace of learning have kept parents lagging behind in getting a hold on their kid’s moral values and helping them understand what family values used to be.
Family values have changed over time from my perspective, seeing all that is happening in our world today. To better appraise this conclusion let us understand the definition of family values. Family values are traditional values that are passed on from generation to generation within the family that addresses the family roles, family structure, function, attitude, and ideas. These traditional values are like unwritten codes that guide the actions of individuals. They help people decide what is right or wrong.
The family is a strong institution with tremendous influence on society and when these family values are promoted by parents within the family, the effects will be felt by the society.
8 Ways Family Values Have Changed Over Time
Family values have changed over time because there is so much pressure on parents to meet the financial burden of keeping the home running smoothly. This pressure has caused some parents to inadvertently pass the responsibility of raising their kids to society. This reversal in the role is the reason why there is decadence in our society today.
Kids do not understand where the line is drawn between good and evil. They are tossed around by a society that is yearning for control and direction above the family.
So how has family values changed over time?
Let’s carefully dig into this.
1. Avoid Bad Company
Living by example is the greatest teacher of all time. Raising kids is a hard job, and to raise kids to follow your teachings you must live the life you want them to emulate.
While I was growing up parents were constantly watching over their kids and correcting them when they went they wrong. One of the advice parents give their kids then, was, do not follow a bad company. Parents wanted to find out the background of their kid’s friends. When parents found out that their kid’s friends were lacking in morals, they tactfully cutoff such relationship to preserve the family values they are inculcating in their kids.
They knew and believed that bad company was a threat to good manners. Parents knew also that iron sharpens iron. They knew the importance of family values and will go the extra mile to preserve it.
Family values have changed over time and for parents to restore these family values, we need to begin to pay close attention to the kind of company our kids associate with.
2. Neglect of Family Prayer
The family that prays together stays together. I have heard this word several times while I was growing up. First, we need to understand what prayer is all about. My catechism teaches me that prayer is a continual lifting up of one’s mind and heart to God.
It can be expressed in thoughts or words. While growing up, I used to see my Dad come to the altar in the sitting room to pray. This is not a one-off thing, it happens every single day and as I grew up, at the age of 5; every Saturday, my mum will wake us up to join in the family prayer.
After each prayer session, we will open our Bibles and one family member will read the bible before the prayer session is concluded by my Dad. Unfortunately, most parents have forgotten the place of prayer in the family. This lack of understanding of the role of prayer in the family has caused most kids to view prayer from a different perspective.
The result of this neglect and lack of understanding of what prayer is and does, is kids that do not know God and families that are in disarray. This disarray is evident in the situation where father and mother are not in talking terms even as they reside in the same house. This disarray also shows in families where kids are pampered by one parent thereby making the other parents look bad.
The reintroduction of family prayer will help restore those family values that have kept most families together to the benefit of society.
3. Immodest Dressing/Behaviour
While I was growing up in the 70s, the word “immodest dressing” seemed not to be part of the English dictionary because parents were conscious of what their kids wear both at home and in public. Good mothers always teach their kids how to sit, with both legs closed whether their daughters wore trousers or skirt. Good mothers always make sure their female kids wore tops that cover their cleavages so that they do not expose sensitive parts of their skin.
Those mothers who allow their kids wear immodest dresses were answerable to other women who viewed them as societal problems. These good women made sure their female kids avoid such bad company.
Today all these have changed, the percentage of kids who dressed immodestly outweigh those who dressed modestly. Now the few kids who still dress modestly are being intimidated by the majority who dress immodestly, thereby making the good kids feel they are the bad ones.
We know these family values have changed over time and parents need to work on this family value, restore it and make society a better place.
4. Bringing Other People’s Properties To The House
Back in the days, parents were very attentive to their kid’s possessions and will want to know where the kid got that property or toy in their posession, they did not buy for their kids. Good parents will not allow their kids come home with something that does not belong to them, without asking questions.
When family values were still cherished, parents will take the pain to find out where the kid got that toy or possession from.
Parents are too busy these days to even notice what their kids are watching on TV let alone ask questions on where the kids got the property or possession they have with them that was not bought by their parents. This is one area that family values have changed over time.
5. Helping Those in Need
One family value that is being eroded is teaching kids to help those in need, especially other kids. When I hear in the news of kids fighting another kid and eventually killing that kid, I shiver.
What is the world turning into? Those kids who murder other kids, don’t they have parents? What family values did their parents teach them about the sanctity of human life? We should teach our kids to help other kids who are in need. Kids who partake in violent acts or actions will cause pain to other kids.
The society will be better off if we do our work as parents.
6. Celebrate Hard work
Celebration of mediocrity and laziness in a way is as a result of lost family values. In the society where I come from mediocrity is celebrated more than other virtues.
We celebrate those who drive expensive cars and those who steal public funds. People also celebrate those who wear expensive jewelry and those who wear expensive perfumes.
We do not celebrate our teachers and those who do not have so much money. Instead, we worship wealth. Parents need to reorient the thinking of their kids to understand that hard work pays. Stealing the public funds is as evil as undermining the common good. Our kids should be taught that there is no shortcut to success and that if they work hard and put in the effort, they will succeed.
7. Family eating together
Back in the days, family eating was a communion. Parents and kids get to understand one another at the table. Kids take this opportunity to share their challenges and needs with their parents. They also learn to say the prayers before and after meals.
Nowadays, most families do not even appreciate the need for eating together. They have lost the only opportunity they have to interact with their kids.
8. Sanctity of Married Life
This is one family value that has changed over time. Back in the day, marriage was for better for worse, in richer and poorer till they are separated by death. Parents will always advise their kids on how to live in marriage; most times they inform the kids to take a cue from them on how they (their parents) are living happily.
In our present society, marriage has been seriously compromised and marriage is now for convenience. Impatience and intolerance is the new norm in marriage. The family value that respects and upholds marriage as an institution that should last a lifetime should be restored.
If family values have changed over time, it is because parents are paying less attention to what their kids are doing wrong. They have also inculcated the “it does not matter” attitude.
Let me know what family values have changed in your world. You can leave me a comment.