American Family

American Family
The American family has come a long way and has changed a lot overtime. Liberals and conservatives have their own views on the American family today. It is very tough to raise a family nowadays. However, there are some easier ways to raise a family today as well. Some of the things that I will talk about are divorce and its effects, welfare, abusiveness on children and wives, and a couple of articles in the book, ?Families in the U.S.?
One tough thing about today?s American family is divorce. In 1816, one marriage out of one hundred ended in divorce. Then between the years 1869-1888, divorce increased up to one hundred and fifty percent. And the worse, between the years 1960-1980, the divorce rate increased up to two hundred and fifty percent. Divorce rates peaked in 1981 and then started to decline a little during the mid 1980?s. However, divorce rates now are as high as they have ever been. Now fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. There are five reasons for the increase in divorce. The first reason is in modern societies; individual happiness is regarded to be important so when people are unhappy with their marriage, they break-up and split. The second reason is it is easier to get divorced financially. The third reason is that women?s economic independence has contributed. The fourth reason is the stigma of divorce has lessened so people are not worried socially. The last reason is the change of laws. The ?no fault? laws have contributed to increases in divorce rates. There are also the effects of divorce on the children, not just the husband and wife. More than one million children experience divorce every year. One effect of divorce is the parental loss. The children lose the loss of skills and resources of one of the parents. Another effect is there is huge economic loss. Another effect is the children?s lives are more stressful. Children have to be more social and make an emotional adjustment. Another effect is children experience more problems in school and with friends. And one of the last effects is divorced children in the long run make less relationships, and if they do marry then the probability of getting a divorce is much higher.
Another problem with the American family today is the abuse of children and wives. There is way to much abuse in families today whether it be physical or even worse, sexual. Abusive men always have an excuse on why they abuse and batter their wives. The three main excuses is the denial of responsibility, blaming the wife, and the denial of injury. Men who batter their wives should fight an even fight with a real man, not a tiny woman. Another excuse in James Ptacek?s article, ?Why do men batter their wives??, is the denial of wrongness. Eighteen of the men interviewed by Ptacek, fourteen of them gave the excuse of denial of wrongness. A couple examples of denial of wrongness was the terrible cooking, the availability of sex, not bring deferential enough, on not knowing when to be silent, and not being faithful.

However, in the past, spanking has been a normal thing in society. Murray Straus? article, ?Ten myths that perpetuate corporal punishment,? gives us ten myths on why we think spanking a child is good. The ten myths are: 1) spanking works better, 2) spanking is needed as a last resort, 3) spanking is harmless, 4) one or two times won?t cause any damage, 5) parents can?t stop without training, 6) if you don?t spank, children will be spoiled or run wild, 7) parents spank rarely or only for serious problems, 8) by the time a child is a teenager, parents have stopped spanking, 9) if parents don?t spank, they will verbally abuse their child, and 10) it is unrealistic to expect parents to never spank. These ten myths are very true with our society but I think a child should get a spanking here and there. I?m not talking about a belt slap but a little slap in the butt is no harm. I think it will make the boy grow up as a tougher individual.
Another good article was from Arlie Russell Hochschild, ?Ideals of care: traditional, postmodern, cold-modern, and warm-modern?. I like how Hochschild opens up his article, ?Among the visual images of care in the modern Western world, a classic view portrays a mother holding a child. Frequently, the mother is seated in a chair at home or in a dreamlike setting, such as a garden.? This is what we think life is about but it isn?t. Anyways, Hochschild talks about caring in this article. According to Hochschild, care means, ?an emotional bond, usually mutual, between the caregiver and cared-for, a bond in which the caregiver feels responsible for others? well-being and does mental, emotional, and physical work in the course of fulfilling that responsibility.? Caring is very important in family. Without caring there is not much love throughout the family. There isn?t much caring anymore as there use to be because of the structure of

families and the changes of who is at work. Nowadays both parents have full-time jobs. You basically need two parents to have full-time jobs in America today to just get by and survive. Anyways, both parents with full-time jobs means that parents aren?t as close with the children as they use to be. They don?t receive the attention and care that they need when they are young.
Another thing that there is a lot of in today?s society is step families. Sixty percent of divorced men end up marrying again. At least one third of children born after 1990 will live in a blended family before they turn eighteen years old. By 1985, seven million children under the age of eighteen lived with blended families. Today more than forty percent of marriages have step children. I am not saying step families are a bad thing because sometimes they can turn out for the better. However, divorce can really screw up a child and if both parents re-marry the child will have four adults to look up to when they are younger and they won?t know what to believe or who to believe. Another problem with step families is if one of the spouses re-marries. For example, let?s say the father re-marries and his new wife has two children of her own. Well the father might become closer to his new wife?s children and just butt out his own child. The father just might want to start all over again with his second family. Another example of that would be if the father re-marries and he has children with his new wife. Same thing would go with that. Sometimes a kid can be left out of one of the step families.
One more problem with our society is welfare. In 1996, we changed our welfare system. We changed welfare because welfare was becoming a big burden on tax payers and we were rewarding and encouraging women to have babies out of wed lock. There

were five ways in which we changed our welfare system. One way was that welfare was no longer an entitlement. The federal government gives grant blocks to states and the state spends at their own discretion. Another way is the work requirements are that you need to work after two years. Another way in which welfare changed is teenage mothers have to live with a guardian to get benefits. Another way is you are entitled to welfare for five years only. And the last way in which welfare has changed is the child-care funding.

American Family 9.4 of 10 on the basis of 2564 Review.