It was another night in an American family.
The hour hand pointed exactly to half past five and the door opened. “Hey, dear, I’m back!” The dear old father walked into the house, feeling very tired after a day’s work. Dad came home and Mom said hello to him in an apron. They have three children and are happy and happy. Mom has already prepared the rice, which is a pot of stew, and the fragrant taste is blowing on the face.
After the family had a leisurely dinner, my mother went to wash the pots and dishes. After all, that’s part of her job. Then, the whole family came to the living room. Here the family is either playing Scrabble or watching TV.
Then everyone went to sleep. The next morning, the father and the children were woken by the sound of their mother cooking. Mom is preparing breakfast, pancakes, sausages, and the smell makes you have to get up quickly.
what did you say? The situation in your home is not what I described? Yes, this is not your family. In fact, like most families, your home life may be quite different from what I describe.
In the United States, there was a time when the above family was the quintessential family. You can still see such families today. But that was on TV, in a comedy that looked back at old ways of life. For example, the TV series “LEAVE IT TO BEAVER”. It’s about mom doing housework in high heels and jewelry. Dad, on the other hand, was dressed in a suit and leather shoes all weekend. However, there are fewer and fewer families like Beavercleaver. Such families are slowly disappearing. Because three areas of our lives have changed a lot: the way we work, the way we eat, and the way we entertain. Noticing the impact these changes are having on our lives may help improve our family life.
First, let me see how our work has changed. Now, with greetings like “Hey, honey, I’m back,” Dad may never say it again. And my mom would probably say something like that. In the previous generation, most families depended on the salary of the father alone. Moms stay home and don’t go out to work at least until the kids are in school. Today, more than half of young mothers with children go out to work. Even when the children are older, they go out to work. The percentage of these mothers is still high. The number of father-only or mother-only families has grown considerably over the past 30 years.
These changes in work affect both children and parents. When the father goes out to work alone, and the children come home from school, the first thing they see is the mother. (In the TV series, children go home to their mothers for home-made biscuits.) These days, we see children go to daycare or a neighbor’s house after school. Or the kids come home and see no one. In every community, children take care of themselves until their parents come home from get off work. So, will these children lose an important part of their childhood? Have the children developed healthy self-reliance concepts? These questions, Mrs. Cleaver does not have to consider.
In addition, today’s parents are far longer away from home than they once did. Not long ago, most fathers worked close to home. Their offices or factories are right in the city center. Dad often walks to work, or hitches a ride with a neighbor to work. Today, however, this is not the case.
Today, working men and women often travel back and forth between work and home. They often have to travel long distances to go to work, which often leaves them in a hurry and out of breath. They often take 45 minutes or an hour, which is the norm. They travel on busy highways by bus, subway or private car. Many people leave their suburban homes early in the morning and don’t return until dark. Today’s office workers don’t have time to go home for lunch.
When it comes to eating lunch, it’s the second-biggest change in American family life. If both parents are away from home for a long time, who is going to prepare delicious and delicious meals in the kitchen? The answer is: more and more no one is doing it.
In modern society, people rarely have time to go shopping, or spend a lot of time preparing “home-style” meals. The Cleaver family is used to eating meat or chicken stew together. The main dishes are potatoes, salads and vegetarian dishes, which are then accompanied by a variety of pies and snacks for appetizers. However, it takes hours to prepare such a meal. People can’t spend that much time cooking if they don’t get home until 5:30.
So what do these working families eat? People choose foods that are easy to make, or already prepared. Fast food, takeout, and ready-to-eat meals have become the staples of modern Americans. Dad might bring home a bag of McDonald’s Big Macs and a milk ice cream drink; Mom might call a Chinese restaurant to order Chinese food, or order a pizza from the local pizzeria. More and more people are using the microwave to defrost frozen food and to cook in the microwave.
The result of this fast-paced meal preparation is that the family has little time to dine together. Traditional fast food, such as hamburgers and French fries, are designed for people who don’t have time to cook, not for you to sit back and enjoy. Modern families no longer have time to share dinner. As a result, people can no longer discuss today’s news, etc., or enjoy being together as a family.
So what do people do after dinner? Will people spend at least as much as the Cleavers do?
The answer is no, people have no chance.
We don’t have to look at these changes from outside the home. The modern family enjoys something the Cleavers could not even dream of dreaming of.
Thirty years ago, families would gather around a radio every night to listen to the radio. Later, television replaced radio. Most households only have one TV, and the whole family watches it together. Today, televisions and computers bring overwhelming enjoyment to the home. Cable TV offers people everything from fitness classes to Shakespeare. The advent of the video recorder has even provided people with more choices. If you don’t have good programming on network TV or cable, video stores can provide you with all the movies in Hollywood — from the best to the worst. In addition, computer games, which allow players to participate and play one of their roles, also provide people with a lot of enjoyment.
With these options, people have a reason to own more TV sets, not just one. In the past, households with two or more TVs were rare. Today, Dad might order an action movie on another TV while Mom is doing cable shopping. Or while the younger brother is playing games, the older sister wants to see a cartoon about the Simpsons. People wonder why not buy more TVs? Each family member can do what they love without interruption.
So what’s up with the family today? What’s the problem?
Here’s the thing: Today’s Cleaver S family spends their evenings in front of their own televisions. Then, they each went to bed. The next morning, they each hurried back to their jobs (or work or school). They go home at different times; they dine at different times; the result is that they each go back to their own TV screens for another night of their own. During this period, the family had no time to talk to each other at all, and even meeting each other became a problem. When are they a complete home?
Some realities of modern life cannot be changed. For most families, one thing is necessary, and that is the need for parents to support the family. Another is the issue of distance. Because most of us have to walk a long way to work or school. However, do we have to change all this? Are we bound to lose the family structure in the process?
I don’t think anyone would suggest that I go back to the 1950s. The life of the Cleaver family, even at the time, was a fantasy, not a real life. However, we must learn an important lesson from the Cleavers. That is: family life is as important as work or play. If we agree to this, we will look for ways to spend as much time as possible with our family. We look for something in common to share. In that case, the picture of the American family would be a different story.
It was another night in an American family.