Speaking Follow up Questions: Two People from the Same Family
Question: Have there been any changes to family life in your country in the past 20 or 30 years?
Yes, the last two or three decades have seen a lot of changes to family life. Earlier, we had joint families, but now nuclear families are the norm. In most families, both parents are working, and children are left on their own after school hours.
Question. What effects do you think this might have in the future?
This might have great effects in the future. The bonding with grandparents will decrease. Children would not know how to get along with relatives. Because of less care and affection, children might go on the wrong path.
Question: How do you think family life might evolve in the future?
What the future holds for us is difficult to predict, but as far as I can see, people are becoming aware and are realizing the importance of family. I cannot see people going back to the joint family system, but close-knit extended families will become very common. Some people are also downshifting, which means they are not accepting any promotions to give more time to their families.
Question. Would you say family is important to most people?
Yes, family is important to most people because most people realize that friends can be fair-weather friends, but family will be with them through their thick and thin. A famous Chinese adage is that ‘in times of test, family is best.’
Question: Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, do people today spend more time together as a family, or less time?
Unfortunately, nowadays, people are spending much let less time together as a family then in the past. What time they’re spending together is also very superficial, because everyone is busy on their own electronic gadgets, and they’re hardly talking to each other.
Question. Is family important to you?
Yes, family is very important to me. I love my family a lot. I cannot place my friends above my family.
Question. Do young people like to spend time with their parents?
It is a difficult question to answer, because we cannot generalize it for all young people. Most young people like to spend time with their friends more than with their parents. They feel more comfortable with their friends, cause their line of thought is similar.
Question. For young people, which are more important, their friends or their parents?
Both are important, but for most young people friends are more important.
Question. Do you think the role of women in the family has changed in the past few decades?
Yes, the role of women has definitely changed in the past few decades. Now, women also go out to work, and so the role in the family has also begun to be shared by both husband and wife.
Question. Which do you think is better, to have a small family or a big family?
It’s better to have a small family, because then you can look after your family better. You can provide the best education to children, and you can spend more time with them.
Question. Have family values changed much in the past few decades?
Yes Family values have changed a lot in the past few decades. Joint families have almost disappeared. People live self-centered and isolated lives. Face to face communications have become rare.
Question. What do family members in India do together?
Family members do a lot of things together. They eat together, watch TV together, go for outings together, cook together, do shopping together and do many other things together.
Question.. Do you think the government should be responsible for teaching people about parenting?
Good parenting is a challenge, but I don’t believe that government is responsible for teaching people about parenting. The government can however aware people to join parenting classes.
Question. If a child has no brothers or sisters, (a single child), do you think they can communicate with their parents better or not as well as a child from a big family?
An only child has only his parents to communicate with, so it can be said that he can communicate with his parents better. However, I do not think that being an only child has anything to do with the ability to communicate. It all depends on the parents.
Question. Do people today still like living with their parents as much as young people did years ago?
Today’s young people like to live alone, because they like their independence. They do not like the old ways of their parents.
Question. Do you think it’s good for older members of the family to live wit h their sons or daughters?
I definitely think it is good for the older members to live their sons or daughters. They could look after the grandchildren, and teach them moral values. Grandchildren love the affection showered on them by grandparents. Grand parents also spend happy time with them and not feel socially isolated.
Question. What are some of the problems that people have when they live alone?
There are many problems they face when they live alone. They feel lonely when they have some health problems. They have to lock their homes properly when they go out. Their children are not looked after well when they are at work.
Question: What are the benefits of living in extended families?
Extended families are a blessing. In such families, people live in nuclear units but are very connected to each other. They have no disadvantages. They have all the advantages of nuclear and joint families.
Question: When both parents go out to work, how does this affect their family?
When both parents go to work, they have to be very careful about the upbringing of their children. They have to see to it that their children are not neglected. They also have to look into the security of their home when they go to work.
Question: What are the responsibilities of parents?
Good parenting is a daunting task. Parents are responsible for bringing their children into this world. They have to see that the children grow up to be responsible citizens. They have to make their children self-dependent and responsible. They must give quality time
to the children.
Question: What problems do people have when trying to raise a child or children?
People have to face a lot of problems when they bring up the children. They have to earn enough to give them the best education. They have to give time to the children to teach them moral values. They have to keep an eye on their children’s friend circle. They have to see, where to be friendly and where to be firm with their children.
Question: In your country, do employers provide any support for parents?
I am not severe if private companies are going so, but many government offices do we have anganwadis, where working mothers can leave their 0-6 year old children safely during work hours.
Question: How do parents (in your culture) try to correct bad behavior in the children?
Parents try to correct the bad behavior of their children, by telling them that something they did is bad, and they should not do it again. Sometimes the parents have to scold the child or even give a physical punishment, if the change continues to do his bad behavior.
Question: How do people choose their friends?
It depends on age. Small children are not judgmental, and can make anybody their friend. Their friendships are very innocent. Older people however, make friends by carefully judging the other person. They become very calculative. They try to see if the other person can be useful to them. They see if the interests of the other person match their interests.
Question: Are you very similar to your friends?
No I am not very similar to my friends. I am an introvert, but my friend is very outgoing and friendly. She has changed me a lot. I like her because of her extrovert nature. We have similar likes and dislikes. We enjoy each others company.
Question: Do most people make friends with others who are similar to themselves, or different to themselves?
It is a matter of personal choice. Some people like similar friends, whereas other people like to make friends with those who are different from them.
Question: Who do you think has the greater influence on children (and young people), their families or their friends?
Once children start going to school, the influence of their friends becomes more than that of parents. This is because nowadays parents do not given enough time to children. It has been seen that when parents give quality time to their children, read out stories to them, take them for outings and watch TV with them, then their influence is more than that of friends.
Question: What influence do parents have on the behaviour and attitudes of their children?
Parents have a lot of influence on the behaviour and attitudes of their children. Knowingly or unknowingly, children copy their parents. They do what their parents do; they behave as their parents behave, and they develop the same eating habits as their parents.
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Question: Do parents affect the development of their children’s personalities in a big way?
Yes, children’s personalities are affected in a big way by the parents. Children imitate their parents and do everything like their parents do. If parents are very strict, then children become introverts and withdraw into their shells. Sometimes, they may also become rebels.
Question: Do you think people become more like their parents as they grow older?
Not necessarily. Some children imbibe the habits of their parents, but some grow up to be very different.