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The changing face of families

 The changing face of families (Photo: iStock)

An ideal family entails more than just a group of individuals living together under one roof. It encompasses both nuclear and extended families held together by embodying values of love, respect and unity – blood.

It is a nurturing sanctuary where love, support, and understanding take centre stage, giving members room to thrive as was seen in the old days when members were brought together during meals, and other activities displaying a strong purpose of togetherness.

Family nurturing is significant in holding people together, fostering emotional relationships and strengthening common values. Through open communication, experiences and empathy, family members gain insights that are pivotal in navigating life challenges as they celebrate their gains and grow together.

One cannot emphasize enough the importance of family as it plays a great role in our lives and makes us better human beings. Those who are lucky enough to have been brought up in such setups are often aware of the existence of others and the need to support other persons.

In today’s world when everything is losing meaning, we ought to value the importance of family more than ever. Since the world is rapidly changing due to technological advancement, the meaning and value of family are also evolving. Others have their definitions of what they consider family ought to be, and we see people detaching from and publicly disowning their parents and siblings.

We live in a time where it is considered bold and stylish to challenge everything considered old-fashioned. For some it is friends, for others it is their teammates at the sports academy, yet for others, it is the brethren and sisters they have met and bonded with at Kanyari’s church because they dutifully tithe together as they wait for the second coming of Christ.

With such amorphous emergencies, there is a significant collapse in family ties and exhaustion of the fabric that enjoined people of the same lineage. Ideally, families were valued as the centre of collaboration and decision-making in the olden days. But nowadays we see people resenting their families publicly, shaming their fathers and others disowning their mothers while accusing them of some undefined crimes carrying the general label of toxicity. You see, children hate any form of control at home or in school. Let us say that the only purpose of a grown-up now is to be a provider, nothing more, not guidance, not correction. A 'no' is considered toxic regardless of the logic behind it. Telling off a child means the family bond is broken and they happily start looking for other avenues to vent and invest their emotions.

Relationships between a father and a son shape how the child’s future behaviour is guided from a tender age. The father should act as a role model for his children to shape their behaviour and model them into a particular type of adult when they come of age. Families were known for certain traits.

Some families were appreciated for their hardworking tradition while others were recognized for their religious standing. How interesting that we even witness people who throw away kingship in pursuit of the freedom to mingle freely with the hoi polloi like Camila of Britain. The world celebrates weird people like Prince Harry who dump family doctrines and traditions to forge relationships with outsiders. To them, that is where they feel safe and accepted.

In this century there are a lot of things that we are forced to accept as the new normal, like same-sex marriage, and blended families which consist of a couple, the children they have had together and their children from previous relationships.

Family is fast adopting a new face and may need a comprehensive redefinition. Some men have several kids with different women and insist on being granted legal access because, for them, family is made up of him and his children even if they live with their mothers under the roofs of other men.

There is even a virtual family on social media consisting of unknown persons scattered all around the world. If Instagram, Twitter and Facebook go down today, some people won't be able to reach the people they consider family and talk to on video calls every day from the far end of the planet.

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