The Modern Family 现代家庭
British Families Today 今日英国家庭
Father leaves for work in the morning after breakfast. The two children take the bus to school, and mother stays home cooking and cleaning until father and the kids return home in the evening. This is the traditional picture of a happy family living in Britain. But is it true today?
The answer is no! The past 20 years have seen enormous changes in the lives and structure of families in Britain.
The biggest change has been caused by divorce. As many as 2 out of 3 marriages now end in divorce, leading to a situation where many children live with one parent and only see the other at weekends or holidays.
There has also been a huge rise in the number of women with children who work. The large rise in divorces has meant many women need to work to support themselves and their children. Even where there is no divorce, many families need both parents to work in order to survive. This has caused an increase in childcare facilities, though it is very expensive and can be difficult to find in many areas.
In addition, women are no longer happy to stay at home raising children, and many have careers earning as much or even more than men, the traditional breadwinner.
There has also been a sharp increase in the number of single mothers, particularly among teenagers. Some people have blamed this increase for the rise in crime. They feel the lack of a male role model has damaged these children in society.
However, these changes have not had a totally negative effect. For women, it is now much easier to have a career and good salary. Although it is difficult to be a working mother, it has become normal and is no longer seen as a bad thing for the children.
As for children themselves, some argue that modern children grow up more independent and mature than in the past. From an early age they have to go to childminders or nurseries, and so are used to dealing with strangers and mixing with other children.
male role model 男性角色模范
dealing with 与…相处
childcare facilities 儿童福利机构,设施
single mothers 单身母亲
mixing with 与…融合