The Family before and now
The family is a very important institution in our society. Each person belongs to a family. In the last forty years this institution has suffered several changes due to social evolution.
Traditionally a family is composed of two parents (mother and father) and one or more children. The number of children per family has decreased in the last few decades. For example, in the past, people usually had three or four children. Indeed, there were families with six or more children. Nowadays, however, parents decide to limit their descendents to one or two. It is very dificult to find families with three or more children.
The number and sex of parents is another important change. Before a family was always formed by a traditional marriage (a wife and a husband). Nowadays there are families with two mothers or two fathers or with a single parent. One adult person can create a family. This is a relatively new situation, since divorce was approved in Spain in 1981 and its later reforms.
The labour situation of families has experienced an evolution. In the past it was frequent that one of the parents (generally the father) worked away to obtain the income for the family, while the other parent (generally the mother) needed to care for the children at home. At the moment, women have achieved access to the working world outside their homes. So it’s frequent that two parents work and their children are looked after by grandparents while the parents are working.
Another situation that has changed is the age that children leave home. Forty years ago, when children were twenty or twenty-five years old they usually left home to get married and to make a new family in a new home. At this moments the situation is that children don’t leave their home before thirty. In last forty years society has changed in many aspects (social, laws…), and the family is has been affected by this new reality.
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