Discussion Topic - Family

Discussion Topic - Family

Part 1: Introduction & Interview

Q. 1. Do you have a large family or a small family?
Answer: I would consider my family to be small because we have only five members in my family including me, my elder brother, my younger sister, my father and my mother.

Q. 2. Can you tell me something about them?
Answer: Both of my parents now are senior citizens and retired. My elder brother, in his early 40’s, is a married man and working as a software developer for a renowned software company in my country. My younger sister, in her mid-30’s, is married and a housewife and lives with her husband and two kids. Finally, I am a senior officer in a private organisation in my country.

Q. 3. How much time do you manage to spend with members of your family?
Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t really manage that much time to spend with the members of my family because I have to remain too much busy with my job. Besides, whatever time I have during the weekends, I have to spend it taking care of my many important house choirs in addition to help my elderly parents. But, whenever I am free, I love to spend time with my family.

Q. 4. What sorts of things do you like to do together?
Answer: I like to watch movies with my family members, visit some restaurants in order to enjoy some of my favourite meals together and travel to some beautiful tourist spots. Besides, I also like to watch our favourite sports together by going to a stadium from time to time.

Q. 5. Do you get on well with your family? [Why?/why not]
Answer: Yes, I do get on well with my family members because we all are respectful of each other’s privacy. Besides, we all try to listen to each other’s concerns with an open mind so that we are able to sort out our differences. Finally, since I have a rather small family, we don’t really have that many problems with each other.


Part 3: Details Discussion

Q. 1. How has the size of the family changed in the last few decades in your country?
Answer: The size of the family in my country has “shrunk” in the last few decades or so where families are more like a “nuclear” family which only consist of the parents and the children as opposed to the “large” or “extended” family consisting of great grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles/aunts and cousins. Today, most families in my country have just either one son and one daughter or just a single child due to some awareness created by different NGO’s and government organizations to curb the rapid population growth.

Q. 2. Is it better to grow up in a small family or an extended family? Why?
Answer: In my humble opinion, it is better to grow up in an extended family primarily because it creates a “better sense of belongingness and security” among the family members where they could always turn to each other for all kinds of social, emotional and material supports. Besides, growing up in an extended family also teaches us to nurture our “interpersonal” intelligence and social/communication skills at an early age while also teaching us the value of “collaboration” as an adult after entering the real professional world. Finally, it helps reduce the family’s financial strain as everybody can chip into sharing different kinds of family costs and bills.

Q. 3. How do you think the family will change in the future?
Answer: The “concept” of a family, in general, has changed over the last few decades, and there are obvious reasons to believe that it will change in the future. One of these changes will manifest in their bonding as more and more people would move far away from their families due to professional reasons. Besides, the number of “multi-generational” families, living under the same roof, will increase because it would help them to cope with the soaring cost of living by sharing different “bills” with each other. Finally, robots and “surrogate AI parents” would get involved more in taking care of future children and teaching them, independent of their “real” parents.

Q. 4. Should husbands and wives have different roles within the family? Why/ Why not?
Answer: I don’t think that husbands and wives should have different roles within the family primarily because it’s not the “separation” of roles which keeps a family intact and going, rather it is the open/effective communication, healthy negotiation and meaningful compromise between them that does. Besides, the situation in a family changes from time to time, and the best way to deal with such “changes” is to “improvise” as best as we can, but with the rigid ‘separation of roles’ in place, such improvisation just might not always be possible in order to keep our families moving forward.

Q. 5. What role do grandparents play in a family?
Answer: Grandparents play an important role in a family, especially in the lives of their grandchildren, by providing “expert knowledge” on many unique situations/problems, wisdom, maturity, stability and unconditional love to the lives of their grandchildren. The supports of grandparents usually provide an emotional, financial and social safety net for the entire family with the ever-increasing living cost, parents’ career demands and other social problems. However, the most important role is played when they provide important advice to parents about different parenting issues.

Q. 6. Who should be responsible to care for the elderly? Should it be the family or the government? Why?
Answer: In my opinion, the family should be the primary caregiver for the elderly people mainly because they are the people who have a 'natural social and emotional bond' with the elderly, and thus making the caring job much easier. Besides, families understand the problems and conditions of their elderly family members better than anybody else, and as a result, are able to provide much better care and comfort than the governments or other “outside” caregivers. Finally, family members should take care of the elderly people because this will almost inevitably set a very important example for their children so that they, in turn, could also take care of their elderly parents or grandparents in the future out of a moral/ethical obligation but not as a “professional caregiver”.

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