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Family Values That Never Grow Old

Updated on October 9, 2013

A Starting Point for Discussion

I did a little web surfing and found this definition of family values. It is as good a place to start this conversation as any:

“What exactly makes up a strong family that possesses good family values? A family that sustains its members "" that supports and nourishes the members throughout the span of that family. A strong family unit creates a safe, positive and supportive place for all members to thrive. They are able to utilize resources and to live together in a fairly healthy manner.

The adults in a strong family set the tone. They are good role models that lead by example. They reach out to friends and community and teach their children the importance of doing the same -- and that becomes part of who the children are. They work together to solve problems, and they pass their skills on to the next generation. Some important elements of a strong family system are family cohesion, family flexibility and family communication.” (From essortment)


Traditional family values
Traditional family values | Source

A Look Back in Time

I suspect we began to see the disintegration of family values during my lifetime, and it seems to have begun shortly after the end of WWII. Divorces began to increase in the United States during the 50’s; they increased sharply during the 60’s, again increased greatly during the 70’s, and peaked in 1981. Current statistics argue that the divorce rate is actually declining of late; however, statistics are often misleading, and recent studies suggest that the recent divorce decline is at least partially explained by the fact that fewer couples are actually getting married but rather are living together without matrimony.

Add to that the fact that in 2010 there were 11.7 million single parents with children, and that 9.9 million of those were single moms, and we begin to see at least part of the picture.

This discussion would be sorely lacking if we just discussed divorce. Also during the 50’s we began to see a phenomenon whereby both parents began to work full-time jobs. The American Dream was alive and well after WWII, and more families attempted to grab that dream by working more, earning more, and spending more on new homes, possessions, and the other trappings of “modern” life. Currently 58.5% of married couples with children have both married members working, and that percentage has steadily increased since the 50’s.

We have also seen, over the past fifty or sixty years, a decline in the schools of value-based teaching. As more and more emphasis is placed on testing and test scores, and as budget cuts continue to eliminate programs that are outside the core subjects, less and less emphasis is placed on educating children about character and morals.

Studies consistently show that the greatest influences on a child during the developing years are parents and teachers. If that influence is lessened or even eliminated, then the influence will then come from peers and social media. When that is the case, the child is skating on very thin ice.

Our little family
Our little family | Source

My Own Observations

Change often happens in such small increments that it often goes unnoticed. Suddenly, one morning, we wake up and realize that things are quite the way they once were, but we really cannot pinpoint that exact moment when change occurred. So it is with family values!

I clearly remember growing up, surrounded by the teaching of morals and principles. When I wasn’t getting it at school, I was getting it at home, and it should be noted that it was not always a spoken lesson. During my formative years I witnessed on a daily basis the proper way to live life.

Principles like compassion and fair treatment, respect and love of others, were modeled for me by my parents, extended family, and neighbors, and I was gently, and at times not-so-gently, steered in the right direction regarding my behavior.

I have thought about the disappearance of family values in society often, and I have to tell you, I lay some of the blame on the Decade of the Sixties. The Love Generation leaned more towards leniency in the family, and less on demanding that children grow up by a certain moral code. Discipline became passé, and that was passed down to the generations that followed. Of course it is not the only explanation, but I definitely think it aided in the decline of some values that are so important in the development of children.

My son raised by the same values
My son raised by the same values | Source

An interesting seminar on family values

A Strong Family

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Returning to the definition at the beginning of this article, we are told that a strong family unit provides a safe, positive and supportive place for all members to thrive, and that adults set the tone.

Can you think of a family in your circle of friends where that is not the case?

The formative years, generally considered the first five years of a child’s life, are crucial for their development and well-being. Children are basically human sponges during those early years, and their primary teachers are their parents. This cannot be over-emphasized! Children observe parents, absorb from parents, and model behavior they have witnessed from parents.

As a parent, this is a heavy responsibility for sure, but one that must be taken to heart. If you argue with your spouse….if you show anger often….if you show little in the way of physical acts of love…..if you are cold and uncaring….your child will, more often than not, become that which they have seen.

If, on the other hand, you are warm and embracing, if you are compassionate towards others and generous, and if you are loving and accepting, chances are excellent that your children will parrot those traits as well.

Remember this well: children are not born bullies. Children are not born cruel and they are not born scornful. Those are learned behaviors, and chances are excellent that those behaviors were learned at home. If parental influence is lacking or missing completely, then a child’s behaviors will be learned at school from teachers and/or peers.

One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received from my father was when he told me that a parent should never try to be their child’s best friend. A parent’s job is to be a parent, first and foremost. I received that same advice when I was training to be a teacher. My job as a teacher is not to be buddies to my students, but rather to be an educator. It is a difficult concept for many new teachers, but it is incredibly important that it be learned.

So That Leaves Us Where?

Well, if millions of young parents were to read this article, and vow to live by the advice given, then I would feel pretty darn good about the future regarding family values. However, since reality rarely matches wishing, then I suspect we will have to suffer a bit as a society until this particular trend reverses itself, if indeed it does.

As a society we have been horrified in the past twelve months as one mass shooting after another stole more of our collective innocence. We seem to be assaulted daily by more stories of cruelty and violence, and it leaves us shaken and wondering who to blame.

I suspect that we will see more and more of this until we, as a society, return to a strong set of family values. We cannot expect our legislators to correct this problem. Legislators are not in our homes as we raise our children. Legislators do not have meals with us, and they do not have quality family time with us. In fact, in truth, our legislators are very low on the list of people who are influential in the lives of our youth.

No, this problem falls squarely in the laps of the parents. There is some good news and some bad news related to that fact. The bad news is there is no one else to blame. The good news, however, is that we can reverse it starting today!

A chat about what is important in life

TODAY

Today we can be the positive influence that our children deserve. Today we can be the models of compassion and empathy. Today we can be the models of fairness and inclusiveness. Today we can show our children, our most prized assets, what love looks like in our every word and action.

We must roll back the clocks and peel away the pages of the calendar; we must return to a time when family was the most important thing in life. Family values did not disappear because of rock music, or the internet, or video games or social media. Family values did not go the way of the dinosaur because of the NRA or the Westboro Baptist Church.

Family values declined in this country because parents failed to do their job!

It is now time to correct that failure!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jainismus, you make an interesting point. I do not know what the next step will be, but I suspect the economy will dictate the size of families in the near future. Thank you for your observation.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Long ago, human lived in tribes, then they started to live in big families. In recent decades the average number of members of families decreased to 4-5, and now a days many couples are preferring to live without children, many people prefer to be single. What will be the next step?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I am convinced that this country will not stabilize until the American family returns to core values....but then I could be wrong. :) Thank you and have a great weekend.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Last Sunday, the priest was talking about the decline in family values in today's society. It reminded me of this hub. voting up & sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix (by the way, your hub name is hard to type :))....we have those talk shows and reality shows here. I have mentioned them several times in hubs because I think it is disgusting...and what is more disgusting is that millions watch them and find pleasure in watching misery. I simply do not understand it, but I have serious concerns about humanity.

      Now I'll step off of my soapbox. :) Thanks for the return visit.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      It isn't just the fact that people drift in and out of relationships leaving a trail of destruction in their wake that's infuriates me. It's also the fact that people use their trains wrecks of a life to get on TV. We have Jeremy Kyle here (possibly in the States too, not sure) and he has built an entire career on luring these people in front of a TV camera where they can shout, swear, accuse and threaten each other in front of an audience. It's all justified because they provide 'counselors' back stage to help them sort out their issues. This sounds good except that even that is broadcast to the audience.

      It's dreadful to watch. They probably go home and brag about being on TV. Don't they realise that their problems are still there and all they've managed to do was embarrassed themselves?

      My soapbox is starting give way from overuse. I'm jumping off now. You have a good weekend too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I seem to have found a subject you feel strongly about. :) There is not one word of yours that I can find fault with. I have had arguments with other Hubbers about the "good old days" being better. Sure there were problems, but people worked through them, and kids grew up understanding the value of hard work. I knew one divorced couple when I was a teen.....one....and that was a case of abuse. Nobody pulled the plug on a marriage just because there were disagreements. No father would dare walk away, leaving children fatherless and unprovided for. Now look at today!

      I'll need to write about this again at some point; not sure what good it will do.

      Have a great weekend Phoenix!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I remember a time when a single-parent home and half siblings were the exception not the norm. At school, my children were considered novelties because they all had the same father and their parents were actually married not just living together.

      What's happened to people? Did they watch to much TV when they were growing up and actually believed family life was supposed to be funny and problems were solved 20 minutes? When did it become OK to bail out on the marriage and kids when things started getting rough?

      Why did no one explain to them that a successful marriage, like a successful career, has to be worked at?

      When did it become OK to get pregnant two months into a new relationship? What's the rush? Do they believe this is the best way to cement a relationship? By weighing it down with a ton of responsibility that kills it before it had a chance to start? How's that working out? We are fast becoming a society where children grow more and more insecure and confused because there is no stability in their lives. They don't really know anything about their fathers because they disappear once the pregnancy is announced or soon after. They are then supposed to bond with a new 'Dad' until he decides to take off as well never to be seen again. By this time they usually have a new brother or sister that needs looking after. So 'Mom' heads out in search of a new 'Dad'; it's a never ending cycle. These children are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow? What are we doing to them?

      We have truly lost the way. We were dazzled by shiny new stuff that made the old ways, the tried and true ways, look old and dusty by comparison. Be that as it may, we can't deny that the old ways worked.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I firmly believe that....one does not compromise principles...once you do then the results usually are not good.

      Thank you!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is really true. How many of us know family of one mom and dad and full brothers and sisters? It is like the world telling us today everything is OK, anything is OK! Everything is right if that is the way you want it. Wrong. There is a right way for good results, and you have made that clear. Thank you. Thank my mom and dad too I only had one each.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So, Beckie, how do you really feel? LOL do you need a moment to collect your thoughts so you can really let loose?

      It would be funny except you are completely correct. You see, dear Beckie, nobody wants to take responsibility for the state of this country. We all want to blame the government or the NRA, and that is all b.s....it starts with family....period! The family unit has disintegrated in this country, and then everyone shakes their heads and can't figure out why.....and we all have to be so PC that we can't pray in schools for fear we will offend someone...take faith and family away and what do you have left.....Sandy Hook!

      Thank you for caring so deeply. I will not go quietly into the night my friend.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You know Billy - many may not agree with me but here is my reflection on this. I don't agree with constantly correcting someone because God is spoken in school. We used to go in and start our school day with the Pledge of Allegiance. I found out that my nephew doesn't even know what the Pledge of Allegiance is! In his school, it is not practiced.

      I also got a rude awakening when my husband divorced me. I never cheated, always contributed financially and lovingly, made sure a hot meal was on the table every evening, he went to work with a full packed lunch and I also worked a full time job. When my brother killed himself and my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, he divorced me because my time was no longer spent at home. Divorce for him, and so many others is too easy. I put up with quite a bit but never once did I consider divorce an option. Throught hick and thin, better or worse. But today's society is based on an instant fix. Don't feel bad for me because I DONT!!! He showed his true colors and I am better off without him.

      My point of stating this is to show how easy people today take the first exit point possible. Another sign of this is the family dinner. It's too easy to stop by the local fast food place to pick up dinner. I still make a full sit-down dinner with Mom. I will say this as well - some of my absolute favorite, and I mean favorite moments are in that kitchen when preparing dinner with Mom. I also cherish the wonderful conversations at the dinner table. My parents raised us this way and guess what? Every one of my sibling practice this same dinner process every evening.

      Furthermore - PEOPLE HAVE TO GET BACK TO CHURCH!!! I don't care what your religion is, but have some kind of structural belief system in your life and teach it to the next generation. It does wonders for coping skills when life kicks you. You and I both know how hard life can be and my faith has pulled me through some unimaginable times. Hell - I'm still here aren't I???

      Sorry to rant and rave but i am tired of people wanting to blame violence on the guns, mental illness, lack of attention...give me a break. How about family structure? Do you think I or any of my sibling could have stowed away an arsenal of weapons like those Columbine kids had in their bedroom? First of all, we never would have done something like that because our families and CHURCH and school taught is not to. But furthermore, as long as I lived under my parents roof, they were the master of my bedroom and made sure we knew it!

      OK - I'm done.

      Oh - Nice article....XO

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I don't know what it is going to take for our leaders to wake up. All we do it put bandages on cancerous tumors and hope that the tumors go away. It ain't working!

      I'm going to get riled up if I continue; thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it sure has! Glad I'm not the only one to realize that.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Parenting has definitely changed since we were kids, hasn't it?

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, another masterpiece, somethings in life should not be messed with, we've had far too many social experiments, governments assuming responsibility for children and tying the hands of parents. Parents having so many partners that the children never really gets a sense of security, the move from extended families, so many changes post 50s and 60s but most of our current problems stems from, yes, economics but also the need to change for the sake of change, we call it progress. If it isn't broke, we should use our common sense, progress isn't all it's cracked up to be. Maybe the time has come to see where we went wrong, you are on the money, we now need the powers that be to catch on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, let us hope that there is a shift in thinking among society....we can only hope that they find the wisdom in returning to old values and principles.

      Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very powerful message and much needed at this time of chaos in our society.

      And so, my wish for 2013 is that we may all return to a time when family was the most important thing in life.

      Excellent hub! Absolutely voting up and passing along.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jainismus, thank you! I do think this is a very important issue, and I'm glad you agree.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      billybuc, thank you for writing on this important issue. One more great Hub from you. Shared.....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I see no reason to pull punches on this one...parents need to step up and do their jobs. Thanks buddy!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Family values declined in this country because parents failed to do their job!

      This says it all!

      Great work Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, thank you! Very nice words as my week draws to a close. The offer stands...if I can be of any help just let me know. I'm always around to help others if possible. In the meantime, it is nice having a new Hub friend. Have a great weekend and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Kim Grbac Diaz profile image

      Kim Diaz 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Hi billybuc...thank you for your fan mail and welcome! I appreciate a person of your caliber and writer of your quality...looking forward to reading more of your hubs...I feel the same on much of your content...continue to offer your views, advice, and ideas...great stuff!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I have yet to see grandchildren, but I have no doubt Tyler will be a great parent. Man on man, the mistakes I made....and somehow.....well, my parents get a lot of credit. :) thanks buddy!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Family Values.....BIG topic, bil. Obviously, since ALL values have appeared to diminish through the decades, it follows that the Family also, will suffer. But, as with most similar issues, I have hope and I do see a bit of a change. Young families are pulling themselves up and out and realizing what MATTERS.....There will always be those people who should never even attempt to be "a family," because they just have no clue.

      For me, although I always "hoped" I did the very best job I could possibly do for my sons....and more often than not, felt confident.....doubts and self-analysis always creeps in. THEN, they became parents..and O M G....if I had even a tiny part in making them the positively awesome parents they all are.....I'm damned sure I did something very right!! I'm so proud of them. Seriously, they are much better parents than I ever was.......UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SG, I agree with your points. This materialistic society is out of control, and the priorities are upside down, but how do you change the way of thinking of the majority of people? I haven't figured that one out yet. :) Thank you and Happy New Year!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Louisa and welcome back! Yes, that was a reason for many women to enter the workplace, but I think the majority did so for gain rather than a personal philosophy. Love your input as always.....and women had no more to do with the loss of values than men did for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE; I think this is an important matter as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, thank you for sharing that.

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      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You have made so many great points here! Raising our children should be the one most important job there is! Mothers used to be able to stay home and do this. I believe when women started leaving their children to join the work force, is when the decline began. We don't spend enough quality time with our children. If a woman wants a career, at least wait until your children are a little older. We are taking our children to baby sitters at 6 weeks old! It seems as though material things have become more important to us than our family time. Both parents are working so they can have that fancy house, or buy that brand new car. How much time are we spending with our young children when we don't get home until 6:00pm and our children go to bed at 8:00pm. I see this with my daughter, she gets to spend so little time with her little girl, who is 15 months old. I just thank God that I am "the baby sitter"! I understand that these days it is impossible for some people to live on just one income, but maybe we need to back up a little. Do we really need that 4 or 5 bedroom house with the study and the pool? Do we really need to drive that new car, that cost us $500 or $600 a month? I am afraid we have become too materialistic and our children are suffering for it. We need to spend more time raising our children, what ever it takes to do it! Up and awesome! :)

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      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Hi Bill, Returning slowly to Hubpages after a week away. You speak a lot of truth here, as did your father to you. I agree about the Sixties (of which I was a part!). The Sixties also celebrated a "me, me, me" ethic, which led to a kind of narcissistic parenting style. I don't think, though, that the fact that so many people entered the work force (of which we are speaking of women: men already were in the work force!) was simply a function of materialism. Women were seeking to see what they could achieve, and how they could contribute in a larger sphere than the family, and that is something to affirm. I often hear women indirectly (and sometimes directly!) blamed for the loss of family values and I reject that (not saying you're doing that).

      I don't know where it's all going to end up. I frankly wish more people would choose not to have children. Wish on! Thanks, Bill.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Family values must be taught at a young age discipline should be too, but it is sad when most families lack the true meaning of family values. Something that many families don't have these days. You have an excellent Hub on such an issue thanks

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Sadly, as I look back, I was responsible for the deaths of many traditions.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, it does indeed take time, but I am hopeful and actually optimistic that changes will happen in our lifetimes. Cross your fingers, I'll cross mine, and we'll see if we can't will some change to happen. :) Thank you Ruby!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, great comment before the battery died. :) I obviously agree with everything you wrote. I noticed it most definitely when I was teaching; even though I taught for only eighteen years, it spanned over three decades, so I could see quite a change.....and not necessarily a good change.

      Thank you Doc!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Instilling good morals and principles should start at an early age and it definitely starts in the home. I agree with your views. I notice a tremendous change in society as well. People are seeking happiness and satisfaction through acquiring material things, but deep inside they're empty. I'm not a parent, but this is from what I hear and noticed. Many parents these days don't want to discipline their kids. they want to be their child's best friend. They have no respect for authority and there are no consequences if they don't comply with the rules. My computer is about to shut down. I have to recharge the battery, but this is an awesome hub!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Looking back, i could see a decline in family values in the eighties. It was after the war and many found out the truth about our involvement. Also mothers started to work leaving latchkey children to forge for themselves. the last thirty years we have seen a one parent family. Hopefully as people age they see that they need to return to a more simple time, some fathers are looking at their children for the first time. That is wonderful. We will get there. It takes time to undo wrongs committed in the past..Loved this topic Bill. Thank you..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paul, it has been interesting, watching the change in society, and the ramifications of that change. Hopefully we, as a society, can turn it around soon. Thank you for your comment and for sharing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      College, that is an amazing statement by that realtor....and what makes it more amazing is that it does not surprise me. What does that say about society?

      Thank you Sir and have a very Happy New Year!

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      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      So many children are raised without values by disposable families. I had a realtor tell me recently that you want to drive around looking for the homes with lots of kids in the yard. Those are the neighborhoods to stay away from as those are the neighborhoods with drug, alcohol, and crime issues. It's sad that one would associate children with such things.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope you are right Michelle; something needs to change regarding the way kids are raised. Thank you!

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Great! Parenting is a fine balance between being a caring listener and a tough disciplinarian. You are right in that the first thing one should never do is to be buddies with children. It sends the wrong signals, something I learned early on. Thanks for sharing, and hopefully social media, etc will be used to propagate good values to our young.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Billy,

      This is an awesome hub, and I agree that family values have disappeared in many places because parents have failed to do their duty. Yes, the Great American Dream, and the tendency to think about oneself first before others. The consequence is both mother and father chasing money, and the kids often time being left neglected. The easy road to divorce instead of trying to make a marriage work for the sake of the kids has also hurt. Hopefully, family families will become more important for everyone in the future. Voted up and sharing with followers on Facebook and Pinning.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I'm sorry...I was thinking of another Hubber when I wrote a remark meant for you....you are right of course about the right wing nut comment....something as elemental as family values has become a rally cry for the right wing, and that saddens me.

      Thank you for a great observation and comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, isn't that an interesting observation, and you are right of course. I actually hesitated before writing this out of concern that people would think I was a right wing nut. LOL Oh how times have changed! Thanks for pointing that out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, that's an interesting observation, and an example that I hope is practiced by many divorced couples. I will remain hopeful. :) Thank you as always!

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      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I’ve read where certain divorced parents are making an effort to put differences aside, and work together, harmoniously, to raise the children of their marriage in a way that instills values, and the qualities of life and love they want their children to have. A friend of mine is doing this as well. She told me, recently, that she and her husband get along better now than they did when they were married. She said that they always make time for their children, and that this was not always the case when they were both so “busy” in their marriage. This is heartening to hear and know. Excellent hub, Billy, as usual.

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      Johnkadu123 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for the hub. My understanding of family values is rooted in the practice of community living. It is all about selflessness and thinking about others. However in the cultural wars of the USA, ‘family values’ are often an euphemism for the extreme views of self righteous bigots. That is rather sad. Now when you speak of family values, people become suspicious and imagine that you are a right wing nut.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Farm, I have seen too many examples of people breaking the cycle because they were willing to do so. It is most definitely possible, but there must be a willingness.

      Thank you as always; I hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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      farmloft 4 years ago from Michigan

      I really like the point that a strong family passes its skills on to the next generation. What to do about it ? Break the cycle of the weak family. Support projects/programs that do that. Help youth to learn by doing and being invovled in a community. Break the cycle. When a young person "gets out of the slums" or "gets out of credit debt" or "turns away from weak morals", then that person can hopefully start his own strong family. It does circle back to personal responsibility... and with guidance and commitment, anyone can break the cycle.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I think any rational person can see the wisdom in your words. The question is what to do about it? It seems almost impossible for some people to reverse the course of their lives. They can't seem to conceive of doing without their possessions, or doing without the huge home they think is necessary. In fact, it is all nonsense. Family must be the most important thing in life; nothing else has meaning without a sense of family and personal interaction with those we love.

      Thank you my Minnesota friend; I hope the cold and snow isn't too bad yet.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sarah, you said it all much more eloquently than I did. Values are with us forever; all else is window dressing. Yes, a sense of community, which of course begins with a sense of family. As a society we are moving in the wrong direction; social media, in a way, has isolated us, and kept us from personal interaction and social skills.

      Thank you for a great reflection.

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Great hub, Bill. I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think so many parents are working full-time to get that American dream (or even now, just to keep their head above water) that it makes the children vulnerable to outside influences and peers...Maybe a 'bright" side of the recession will be the fact that there are a lot of families where one of the parents were laid off and they are now stay-at-homes. I saw a statistic somewhere (can't find it now) that the number of stay-at-home dads had increased by a large percentage--and I think that will have a huge positive affect. My husband was way ahead of the curve and has been at home with our 2 boys for the last 15 years. So many boys don't have good male role-models...But, as you so elegantly stated, if we take the responsibility for the decline in family values--we can also take the credit when we correct it!

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      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      I love this. I think to go along the lines with this is that we also seem to have lost a sense of community. I think we are by nature social beings and we seem to be less social in the traditional sense, whether it be for a lack of parenting skills or otherwise. I think this makes us less happy and that definitely has an effect on society.

      One thing I do notice is that some parents replace quality time with physical things they buy the children. Spoiled children do not make productive adults. Personally, I was very blessed to be raised by parents who gave me things, but also spent a lot of time with me and teach me the value of hard work. Things come and go, but values (hopefully) and good work ethic don't.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I would love to hear more about growing up in the slums. Maybe some day I'll get to hear that story. Anyway, the point that you made, and that I made, is correct.....there has to be a commitment to parenting, and if it's not there then expect what you put into it....nothing! I am tired of parents blaming the system, or blaming the schools, or blaming whatever....the first line of defense is the parenting unit....it is remarkable that you turned out to be a quality human being without that solid foundation.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I grew up in the slums with parents who weren't much interested in me. I didn't have any role models I could look up to. The teachers didn't want to be there and it showed. We had a couple of teachers who went in for the 'be a pal' method. Disastrous. They were unable to control the class and the bullies just ran circles around them. With that sort of background, the best I could do with my own kids was not make the same mistakes the grown-ups in my childhood made.

      I was lucky in that my husband grew up in a family with very strong values. Whenever any of her three sons strayed, my mother-in-law wasted no time in steering them back. Usually a calm talking to and suspension of privileges till further notice was all that was required. And she had a full-time job as well.

      I learned from my husband and mother-in-law how to be a Mom and I guess it's paid off. Between us and the grandparents, our kids have turned out pretty well. My two oldest are employed and my son is will attending college next year to study computer science.

      I guess the point is, if you really want your kids to grow up right, you have to commit to it. No putting it off on the grandparents, teachers or society. It's all on Mom and Dad. My past wasn't great, but there was no way I was going to put it on my children. I wanted better for them.

      You've made so many good points here and I couldn't agree more with this hub. Well done, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tim, all of your points are excellent. I raised my son as a single parent and he is morally sound and a good man. I, too, have seen traditional families with huge problems and no moral compass. Technology today, although wondrous, has also served to steer us away from the basic family unit and what it stood for. There are too many problems to adequately cover them in one hub, but I know for certain that family and moral values must return or this nation is in serious trouble.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, your words are true. I do not own a gun, and never will, but I certainly will never blame the NRA for our societal problems. We have much deeper issues in this nation than who owns what type of gun. Moral people will act morally no matter what they have in their holster. :) Thank you, Sir, for a great comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I had an advantage in that I taught in a Catholic school for most of my teaching career, so prayer was not a problem, nor was teaching morality. I think it is ridiculous and sad that we have gotten away from that, and I think we are paying for it now in society. Maybe one day the intelligent leaders will put their heads out and come to realize there was much to be said for teaching morality in school.

      Thank you my friend; I hope your Christmas was a wonderful one. Ours was fantastic; now it's back to work and the business of shouting from the mountaintop continues. :)

      blessings and hugs coming your way as I embrace those angels.

      bill

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      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      When we hear people mocking religious values and the family values we saw in shows like 'Leave it to Beaver', we see the crux of the problem.

      We are evolving from a moral nation to a secular nation, and life is suffering as a result.

      Great and timely Hub!

      (BTW, I'm an NRA member, and it too is a moral organization, despite all the accusations to the contrary.)

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Again, I am going...hear, hear. And and as you said in a recent hub, the buck stops at the door of all. Because while we may be a model family, one that does 'everything' to model values that will follow our children all of our lives...some days we can slip. Some days we can let slide what we are preaching---losing our temper in anger for example, and then we need to be big enough to say we blew it to our kids.

      I hope the young parents are reading this and listening.

      You spoke of values not being taught in school---I took time away from stuff to inject values education into the classroom because it is a fundamental part of a child's life experiences. Sometimes I would get caught being off task and had to explain it. And I did. Another thing that is missing is the prayers we used to be able to say....I just think it was important. And I would would talk about God sometimes too in class and always waited for someone to complain...but it never happened, thank God for that. There is a lot wrong with this huge country, huge world we are now in...but I remain optimistic that if you and others keep putting out there this type of article that we can begin to make some changes even in a few lives...and that is a beginning..

      Sending those Angels to you....ps :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Linda, for sure it does, and that's was the whole point of this. I just didn't feel like pointing fingers in that direction. Being divorced is no excuse, but that is a facet of society that has to be looked at as an excuse used. Having two working parents is no excuse, and yet it is used as one. Hell, you wouldn't need two working parents if couples would quit buying so damn much of crap they don't need. All you need is a roof over your head, some food, and a whole lot of love.

      Thanks Kindred! I am so far behind...two more customer articles and then two blogs....then I can start thinking about the next hub. :)

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, my friend, good job. The research you did on this is really interesting and the statistics clearly demonstrate when and how things began to go so wrong. The thought that occurred to me though, is that although our society changed to one where two incomces were needed to sustain a family and divorce rates skyrocketed, these things cannot be blamed for the problems we see today. Why? Because there are plenty of children growing up in single parent homes that are respectful, responsible young adults. Look at your own situation. Divorced...single parent...raising a boy on your own....and look at the the man he has become. So, it makes me wonder...are divorce and income only excuses for not taking personal responsibility?

      It all comes back to your previous hub on "Personal Responsibility" doesn't it? :-) I love it when that happens. lol

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      Bruce 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Billy,

      Another good hub and I do agree that there are many areas where family values have been slipping. But, I also think we tend to look at the past with rose colored glasses (especially if we had a “good” general experience). Both of my parents came from broken homes – divorce and alcoholism was the culprits. This was pre-war – 1920’s & 1930’s. Yet both managed to survive and instill good values on the next generation. In the exploration of my families past, I have found other past family units that also broke-up (and once again, I suspect alcohol played a role as everyone drank way too much back then), and I have found suicide as well. Having a larger family support system might have been the saviors of some of those generations and that is often missing today. I would say that while it is harder to raise a family in a single parent household, I have also seen many “traditional looking” families that completely fail in the area of family values (they only look like a family). The media and communications explosion that has occurred over the last 20 years is the single biggest challenge to parents today and I would say we have it a lot harder than the past generations (at least in terms of dealing with outside influences). I could go on and on but I will leave it at that . . .

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness, Eric....entitlement....don't even get me started on that topic. That issue needs to be discussed often, and the issue needs to be forced out in the open.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flacoinohio, yes, there will be those who think that, but I can't help it. I believe strongly that the Age of Consumerism has done more to harm this country and our moral values than anything else. If people have a problem with that then I welcome their input. Thank you for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Mike, thank you! I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas my friend, and here is hoping that 2013 will be a wonderful New Year. Become involved with your children.....what a concept! :)

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great Hub Billy,

      I remember back when my, now twenty something children, would come home and argue with me based on what a school curriculum had taught them. In particular that they did not need to earn respect, that they were entitled to it. I suppose I should be grateful because it forced the issue. It is a complicated issue, but certainly entitlement is not the answer.

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      flacoinohio 4 years ago from Ohio

      Well stated. There are going to be some who will be offended by believing that you are calling them a bad parent. There will be some that merely select a random section of this hub such the mention of the recent school shooting and expound on that topic rather than discuss the topic of family values. We are producing violent uncaring violent entitled consumers rather than well rounded adults with morals and compassion. The family concept has been degraded thanks to the increased need to consume which takes away from the traditional family core.

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      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Again, you have hit the nail on the head. Morals, values, and all encompassing love have been replaced by greed, need, and lack of involvement. Become involved with your children; allow them the opportunity to welcome you as someone who listens, cares, and leads rather than being bothered by a child and not havingthe time or compassion for them. Grat job, Billy. Tremendous hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, how are you? I hope you and your family are well. Obviously I agree that moral education must be brought back into schools. For many kids it is the only time they will get it.

      Thank you my friend and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Sha and thank you! I will keep repeating this until I am blue in the face; until this country returns to some basic values our problems will continue.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, once again, you are so right. Change in this world must begin at home by bringing the family unit back together. Monkey see monkey do! It must begin with us - the parents!

      Awesome and very important message!

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      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Great hub Bill! I agree that there area by factors that have lead to a lack in family values. I especially think this is related to taking the Bibke out if schools. The Ten Commandments were removed and no moral education was provided. Since then teenage pregancy and violence in schools has escalated. Great hub Bill!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, having been a teacher, you have the same perspective that I have. It is so easy to see the problems when one sees the parents....in many cases.....parenting is a serious job for serious people who want the best for their children. It is not a part-time job! Thank you for being the type of mother that you are; your girls will be just fine in the coming years.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Honey! I love your compassion and caring attitude. I always feel better when I read comments by you and others like you.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Such a strong and powerful message here and as a mother I couldn't agree with you more on this Bill. My kids are my world and I do hope that in these few years that they have been with us that they have seen my husband and I modeling the right behaviors. I am not going to lie, we aren't perfect, but do hope that overall they have learned positively so far from us and continue to do so. As a teacher, I saw so many kids who did not have good role models in their own lives with their parents and saddened me so. I truly never want anyone to think this of me as my kids are growing up. Thanks seriously for putting this out there for all and have done my best as always to vote and share all over!!

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      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      Another wonderful, inspiring hub that gives excellent advise to people who want to raise their children to do the right thing. Thanks for sharing, Billybuc. +++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I agree totally with the entitlement issue that you raised, and the concept of too much noise is accurate as well. The thought of many caretakers is done in other cultures; hell, in many ways it was done in the U.S. decades ago. I don't think it would hurt this country at all to revisit some old principles. Thank you!

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      There are still family values in many homes as we all know. However many of these cohesive families allow their children to become victims of entitlement. They get all they want and get to do what they want..but still have strong values.....I was also lucky to grow up in a two parent household and I had a lot of freedom by strong conscience...Also my kids grew up in a two parent household..for most of their growing up years.

      I know there is divorce and all the other reasons you listed for the disintegration of the family. But I also think there is way to much noise.. sensory overload. If kids are not playing computer games parents have them in more activities than a person can handle. I obviously have some of this in my family and I see the kids as very entitled grownups..That is of course another story. So I am grateful so far my kids are together as parents and good human beings. I do worry about the changing family situation...Maybe some day kids will grow up in group atmosphere with many caretakers...A thought. ...Great hub..Voting up and sharing.....