the only family value
my group of forced bloodlines has
stab eachother with weaponous words
and then toss tissues
to clean the bloodless mess up.
it is demoralizing
or rather unmoralizing
when morals are lacking.
I have never
been able to
my family values were
what we tell people they are:
but instead we are forgiving and forgetting
the pain that fogs
so I dream
that one day
i can build
and hold their hand
beyond below the skin.
Traditional Family Values
For or against traditional family values? A very interesting question, and also very important. I decided to research a little, in order to gain more understanding into this subject. So, I looked at Wikipedia (please don’t be like my teachers and say that Wikipedia cannot count as a good enough source).
Wikipedia gave three definitions of traditional family values, the first being from Dictionary.com, the second from the Merriam-Webster, and the last from an Oxford Dictionary.
• “the moral and ethical principles traditionally upheld and passed on within a family, as fidelity, honesty, truth, and faith.”
• “values especially of a traditional or conservative kind which are held to promote the sound functioning of the family and to strengthen the fabric of society.”
• “values held to be traditionally taught or reinforced within a family, such as those of high moral standards and discipline.”
I’m immediately struck by these definitions; so, traditional family values are good things! They are principles that include fidelity (the state or quality of being faithful), honesty, truth, and faith. All very important things! Especially if we look at today’s society. Or, look at me: I have trust issues. I don’t trust people, because they can lie too easily.
Our society has a lack of honesty, truth, faith, etc. And so I withdraw. Because I hate being lied to, and I hate people that are disloyal.
The second definition puts these values as being a promotion for “the sound functioning of the family and to strengthen the fabric of society.” If you have a family, you know how terrible it is when you do not get along with them. Without these principles, we are more likely to not get along with our family, or other people, for that matter.
The third definition includes high moral standards and discipline. Discipline can be defined as either a noun or a verb. As a noun it means (using only the definitions of importance now), 1) “control gained by enforcing obedience or order”, 2) “orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior”, 3) “self-control”, 4) “punishment”, and 5) “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character”.
As a verb, it has fewer definitions, but they are as follow: 1) “to punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character”, 2) “to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control”, 3) “to bring (a group) under control”, and 4) “to impose order upon” (definitions from the Merriam-Webster).
Therefore, discipline has to do with keeping order. And we all need order in our lives, right? Imagine living in a country without a government. Chaos would break out very soon. Imagine living in a house where there is no order. The kids would come and go at free will, Mom and Dad will wake up and go to bed when they want, everybody will disregard mealtimes, and the house will be cleaned...well, never. The kids will be unruly, rude, and will have no respect for other people. And Mom and Dad will just not care about what people say about them, even if they are being an annoyance to the rest of the neighbourhood.
Have you ever met an undisciplined kid? It’s like meeting a demon from hell. You want to pull all your hair out of your head, you want to take the frying pan...no, the 100-pound hammer and bring it down on the kid’s head. You want to drive the tractor, the biggest truck, the backhoe, and the excavator over the kid. You want to do everything and anything, just so that you can get rid of this little demon.
On the other hand, have you met a child that is raised with traditional family values? They are polite, respectful, more ordered, more obedient, and more driven. You almost want to take the kid home with you. You want to offer them a position in your home, and in your heart.
My conclusion is, this world needs more traditional values to be brought back. Without those values, we are certain to become unruly, and live in a world where we fear kids, and just about everybody. Those who have read 1984 by George Orwell might even remember Winston’s one comrade’s kids. I think they were the Parsons. Little demons. There was even a comment made that parents feared their kids in that society. I would too!!! If somebody started calling me a thought criminal, or would report me to the Thought Police for something I said in my sleep?! No way will I stay there; I’ll run away.
We need traditional family values! They have brought us this far! Some have withstood the test of time! And only now, they are being discarded. We need to become disciplined again. For, the change starts with us. Within us. The future without these values will be frightening and devastating.
I once saw a stand-up comedy by Sebastian Maniscalco. He was making a comment about kids and their discipline. He said that he didn’t find the half-naked kid running around in the restaurant to be cute. Instead, what he found cute was the Japanese kid that was busy eating with chopsticks, while he was dressed up nicely.
What’s the difference between the two kids? Discipline. The family values. It makes all the difference! And it always will. We need order and discipline. We need traditional family values.
Fathers: Our most underrated commodity
Mothers will keep their babes “safe” at all costs,
Wrapping their darlings in wool against frosts,
Never allowing them things that might fright,
Always deploring a scrap or a fight.
I’m the same.
Oh my darlings,
Come gather to me,
I’ll protect you from everything baddish you see...
But the finest of sons have good mischief within.
They’ll find out ’bout violence and cruelty and sin.
And this is why lads need strong fathers who care;
To roughhouse, to harness the energy there,
To turn it ’tward goodness; grow vigor and vim;
To fill life’s grand chalice to the very brim!
He’ll show them that valour is valued again,
So that boys are permitted to grow into men.
My issue with “traditions” - of any kind - is often they’re based on outdated assumptions of how the world works or assume that by “going back” to earlier models we’ll fix so many of our problems, without recognizing the problems those earlier models had too.
I presume the “traditional” family that inspired this challenge is the predominantly white, Christian viewpoint - mom at home, dad at work, 2.5 kids, white picket fence. Looks innocent enough on the outside, if everyone’s happy, and honestly I’m sure several families across socio-economic backgrounds would agree it sounds blissful. It’s the cornerstone of the “American Dream”, right? But here’s where it falls apart:
1) Families can’t afford white picket fences anymore
As of 2016, 65% of households headed by adults under 35 years of age rent instead of own; black/Hispanic households are twice as likely to rent vs own as white families. Not only are we not expanding generational wealth transfer to non-white families, we’re increasingly leaving less and less wealth for future generations to inherit overall.
2) Families have to send Mom to work too
As of 2019, 64% of families have two working parents in order to pay the bills. Some have argued this as a, “Well, let’s just send Mom back home and pay Dad more!” except a) nobody’s going to pay Dad more, companies resist rising wages like the plague and b) forcing Mom back home doesn’t make sense not only from a moral but an economic position. Mom can do more than just “mom” and we’re wasting talent leaving her at home. Even if Mom - or Dad, for progressive thinkers - stayed home, the reality is one parent is not going to be able to provide the same standard of living anymore. I’d also argue that the “tradition” of pinning all our hopes for healthcare & wages on one parent placed families in a vulnerable position as “dependents” in the first place - and when Mom jumped in to help out, or had to take over ’cause Dad was out of the picture, she got sucked in to staying there. Now we have no backup - unless we start counting extended family models, where now Grandma & Grandpa chip in too and spend retirement either in childcare or pitching in financially.
3) Kids are financial liabilities
As of 2017 the average cost of raising one child to age 17 is $233,000; that’s nearly a quarter million bucks, or for that 2.5 magic number at least half a million. Studies have shown that, especially for women, having a child increases the risk of bankruptcy up to 60%. One of the leading reasons cited for women having abortions is lack of financial resources to raise a kid - yet not a single pro-life argument I’ve read adequately addresses this fact. The response I hear more often boils down to, “Well, if you’re poor/unmarried don’t have sex” and I cannot facepalm hard enough at this messaging. It comes off as condescending and/or puritanical, especially when we could just say, “Let’s invest more in sex ed so kids understand how to have sex safely because that actually is possible and would reduce rising STD’s in our nation too!” or “Let’s work to improve the lot of young people so they could actually afford the choice we want to forcibly make for them!”
Whenever I hear people say “We need to go back to traditional families!” what I understand is they’re angry about the points above; however, it’s been decades and nothing the same strong supporters of traditional families have done has fixed any of the above issues.
If you want your traditional family back, I’d say you need to make some concessions here so that it’s even possible. Personally I’d recommend doing deep, soul-searching research on:
1) decreasing economic inequality and the loss of the middle class
2) more flexible work schedules / reduced min working hours
3) paid parental leave / childcare options for both parents
4) free or low-cost college / post secondary education (i.e. Mom & Dad might afford a home if they weren’t shackled by student debt, or if they didn’t have to worry about paying for their own children’s education in the future).
5) more support for single-parent households
6) more recognition that LGBTQ+ parents can form healthy “traditional” families too (honestly if you’re going to limit who can form a traditional family then my respect for said model drops exponentially - even the friggin’ Pope gets it)
7) regulation of the real estate industry and support for affordable housing
Sadly, most of the people who seem to tout the traditional family model don’t seem to budge much or engage at all on the above points. Many, in fact, blame feminists for ruining everything by leaving the home - yet they ignore econ studies suggesting that women actually bring soft skills that are more in demand in modern workforces, or that traditionally male industries got hit heavily by automation even when women went back home after WWII. They blame welfare for encouraging people not to work - not recognizing how American welfare’s extreme min/max system actually discourages poor families from taking entry-level jobs that will literally cost them more in lost benefits they can’t afford to go without, or penalize people with disabilities from building up their savings and safety nets. They also blame “broken homes” for pretty much everything under the sun - without taking a closer look at why we have those broken homes or how we can better support families who have no unbroken models to follow.
I don’t think it’s the loss of “traditional family values” that has led to the loss of the traditional family. Instead I’d say it’s the emphasis on other values - like economy first / tax cuts are king and trickle down economics has totally worked out great for everyone / military spending is more important than education spending / social services are for leeches / 60 hour work weeks are the only way to get ahead / vacations are for the retired / healthcare is a privilege we provide to full time workers not a right for everyone / sex should only be used for reproduction / marriage is between a man and a woman / post secondary education is overrated and we’ll bring those automated factory jobs back / women should be dependent on men because it’s easier for men to focus on being economic workhorses rather than equal home caregivers and all women just wanna be moms obviously soft skills work best at home / - that led to the greater inflexibility of Americans in the face of changing times. This, I would argue, has ultimately led to the loss of the “traditional family” itself.
Although frankly if the above values were the requirements of having a traditional family, I honestly don’t miss it at all.
Make a case for traditional family values
Lemme start out.
You don't fuck with tradition.
I like things that make sense. Things that are stagnant. When stuff changes, it gets fucky.
My point is, when things change, it's a fucking headache.
Dictionary, page 57
Family. what a word. But, family is just a word. It will always be just a word. This isn't just the case for family that treats you badly or family that isn't really your family, because family shouldn't mean you have to do something. Family shouldn't mean that you have to give up something for someone else, family shouldn't mean that you are forever connected and nothing can break you apart. That's not what family means.
I honestly don't think anyone really knows what family means. Family is supposed to mean those who are blood-related to you... but blood is just a liquid. If blood were what connected us as human beings, wouldn't we all be family? And sure DNA might have something to do with what family means, but DNA is just a fact. A scientific fact.
Someone giving birth to you makes them your mother by fact, DNA, and blood. Someone giving you a sense of what the word family really means has nothing to do with facts, DNA, or blood.
If you can look at someone and think, they are my family, (and not in the sense that they are related to you)if you can really sit and think and say they are my family. mine. They love me, I love them and We Are Family.Then you know what this word means.
The biggest misinterpretation people make about the word family is that you can't choose it. And they're right, you can't choose who your family is. But not in the way that most people think. You can't choose who you're related to, and you can't choose who’s family to you. If they give you that family feeling, whether you like it or not they are family. and that's what family means.
That's what I believe family means. But, like I said, family is just a word. Family is just a word because it can mean anything. You won't find any true meaning in a dictionary because that feeling that you're looking for, apparently, there's not a word for it.