Family Values


The decreasing rates in marriage and increase in rates of divorce and cohabitation have very much spread in the western countries. People claim that aspect of a family is losing importance and meaning in the society (Cherlin, 241). Poor women will tend to have children before marriage simply because they have the notion that marriage is meant for the middle class. Americans have the highest rate in marriage and high divorce rates as compared to the other west countries. This can be explained by the fact that the Americans value family formation as well as marriage a lot hence will continue to get married. They also value what is said to be individualism where an individual will have the right to make their marriage to an end if at all he or she is not happy about it. This competition between support for marriage and self expression leads to the short relationships and a lot of transitions between the marital status such as married, remarried and also divorced ( Cherlin, 241).

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Both the “Harry Potter and divorce” and “Restoring Basic Value” talk about families that are broken. Even if the two articles have opinions, which are different, they also have similarities. Some of the main points discussed in this paper are poverty, honesty, morals and discipline.

Poverty has been brought about by the fact that many children are born and brought up by single parents. This is because of the children either being born out of marriage or their parents separated (Quayle, 183). The society is breaking because of these family breakups. One parent is left with the burden of the child or even children to cater for all their needs. This becomes a burden and in most cases some of the needs such as education are not met hence increases in poverty.

“This poverty is a poverty of values. Unless we change the basic rules of society, we cannot expect anything else to change.” (Quayle, 182).

If people were able to make use of the basic family values such as integrity, hard work as well as the personal responsibility, we could move from the poverty world, which we created (Quayle, 184). Matthiessen however, has a different opinion and says that an individual should not live with the spouse just because of children because if parents are not happy living together, the children will also be unhappy (Matthiessen, 187).

Moral values and discipline are also an important aspect in marriage. Quayle show the riots that took place in L.A and talks about families are failing hence the falling apart of our society

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“If we don’t succeed in addressing these fundamental problems, and in restoring basic values, any attempt to fix what is broken will fail…..When families fail, society fails.” (Quayle, 181).

The writer comments that those who rioted were wrong and the society requires condemning wrongdoing to be able to teach their children the right things. The values like integrity, personal responsibility and hard work should return to the society as their loss leads to the many cases of divorce and single parenthood. A married couple is much better than a single parent is when it comes to raising of the children. These children learn from their parents and it is not good to show them the ideas of divorce when people have disagreements. They should learn from the parents how adults solve problems.

Honesty is another family value that the children need to learn from their parents. The children learn a lot of honesty from their parents. If the parents are not honest to one another, the children will not get a good foundation on these values hence will not exercise them. Two parents will have better prerequisite to pass the good values of honesty as compared to one parent (Perry, 1).

“The social arrangement that has proven most successful in ensuring the physical survival and promoting the social development of the child is the family unit of the biological mother and father.”(Perry,1).

Even if children who have not been raised by their fathers have had problems in attending schools and are involved in criminal justice, there is no single evidence to show that the father’s presence makes the difference in the children’s failure or success.

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Family values are a topic that has been of concern in many countries. Most recently, issues of women who get children outside marriage have made the society have an assumption that they know nothing about values. The decline in these values has been represented a lot by media for the single mothers especially and has been blamed to have increased poverty level, unemployment due to a lot of school dropouts, poor health and others. Quayle and Matthiessen have shown how divorce and single parenthood has brought about moral decay in the society as a result of breaking family values. Matthiessen however has a different opinion in that he believes that if the parents are not happy living together, the children will also be unhappy and therefore they should part ways.

However, the main idea is that people should go back to the family values and use them in day to day life. This will reduce the conflicts among the parents as well take responsibilities. The society also requires removing individualism so that they can live together in harmony   (Cherlin, 241).

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