What first comes to your mind when you think about the word family? Well, you probably think of a feeling or a mental image to do with your close friends, children, or relatives. There are so many meanings and feelings behind this one little word.
And if that’s the case, it’s a given fact that this word will mean something different to each and every person all around the world. In fact, family also has a lot to do with our morals and values as individuals or as a culture which means that cultures of different countries could change the ideology surrounding what is most important to and what builds a family unit.
To further explore this idea, let’s think about some important cultural and behavioral aspects about how families differ around the world.
Aging Around the World
Aging out of a family unit or becoming grandparents, parents, and more is something that is viewed very differently for each country. In the United States, older family members often become estranged from their surroundings due to lack of care or lack of interaction with others. It can lead to early onset diseases, and often poor mental and physical wellbeing.
But in many other cultures, elders are revered and treated with even more compassion. Many cultures remind older people to look after themselves and keep in touch with friends and family.
Every religion and culture views children and their roles in family as important, but the nuances make this value change for each family or country. People’s views on having children in a relationship as well as how many children they have can change depending on their religious or moral views as well as the wellbeing of their country.
Not only can religion impact children and their roles, but wealth does too. Many children miss out on traditional education due to the area they live in, and others get easy access to things like private schools or higher education.
We not only raise our children with their basic needs, but we teach them what is right or wrong as well as many other valuable lessons in how we raise them too. Different countries tend to have differing morals, such as shunning or embracing children’s differences from their parents. For example, whether or not a country may support and protect LGBT individuals legally or morally is important to how people treat those individuals as well as how their families turn out. Many countries still don’t allow families of non-traditional roles or structure exist freely.
Another way that we can see how family change for each country or region is in the maternal or female roles in a family. This exists both for moms and their children. Many countries still heavily follow traditional ideology when it comes to women in their families.
This means that moms stay home to care for children, and young girls learn traits like sewing and housework. Sometimes this can be viewed positively, but in some areas it also means that women don’t get the same educational and work opportunities as men and are treated differently in the family unit.
This doesn’t give you the full scoop on every possible difference between families and their structures across different cultures around the world, but it does show you some starts on the matter. As you probably know from personal experience on your own family or other families you have seen, no two families are exactly alike.
We all have different values that dictate how we parent or how we treat others as well as ideas on how many kids you may or may not want or pets that are acceptable or not; and learning more about how those ideas are influenced not only by other people but by culture and surroundings as a whole is quite helpful or intriguing for those that like to learn more about world culture, psychology, sociology, and more.