What is the Future of the Family in Canada?
The Canadian family is at a point where it is being challenged. Serious changes have occurred in the family in recent decades, however, it has not harmed the family beyond repair. The children of the future are not doomed. In fact data shows that families are evolving, families are still the most important thing in people's lives, and data shows that the future may have the 'traditional' family come back.
Families all over the world are evolving. Structural changes are happening everywhere, and maybe that tells us something: "For better or worse, the family we fondly remember doesn't exist today. It probably never existed at all." For example, three-quarters of absentee fathers in Japan don't pay child support. Furthermore, one third of all children in northern Europe are born to mothers that are not married. It could be time to accept the fact that "families, like everything else, evolve and change no matter how much resistance they face." Although families are at a point where they are changing, it is something the world can adjust to.
With families changing in recent decades, data still shows that families are still the most important in people's lives. Following recent studies Robert Glossop said that "Canadians continue to report that the most important things in their lives are their families...more important than their political convictions, their religious beliefs, their jobs, their wages." A Statscan study reported that only forty-five per cent of families are the 'traditional' type, however, Robert Glossop says the data "tell me that people are still living in families, but they don't look like the kind of families I grew up in the 1950s; it tells me that people are still making commitments to one another." Furthermore, when he was going around the country and talking to people, he found that people are very quick to "point to a crisis in the family and to argue that nobody cares about the family anymore. But when asked about their own family, they suggest that it is still the core of their being, the core of their existence."
The children of the future are not 'doomed' as children from the age of 12 to 17 are very optimistic. An Angus Reid youth survey found that 70 per cent of that age group believe it is unlikely they will get divorced. It is possible that this is just a 'stage' that families in Canada are going through.
Canadian families are being put to a great challenge in todays world. Serious changes have occurred in the family in recent decades, however, it has not harmed the family beyond repair. The children of the future are not doomed. In fact data shows that families are evolving, families are still the most important thing in people's lives, and data shows that the future may have the 'traditional' family come back. In conclusion, Robert Glossop says, "I think people are increasingly adopting a more inclusive definition, focusing more on what families do rather than what they look like."
By Mark Blacker