Family used to be the foundation of everything, families pulling together in the bad times and celebrating the good times.Family members looked out for one another, cared for each other.

In the modern era, it seems that family values have been undervalued and the importance of being part of a family is now redundant.

Rather than asking grandparents or other family members for help and support, people are increasingly turning to social media or the internet for answers.

Every member of a family was a link in the chain, each giving stability and strength, but once a link is broken the strength has gone.

We live in a society where it is necessary for organisations such as The Silver Line  or The Marmalade Trust to step in, where years ago it would be a family member at the end of the phone, it is now a helpline employee or volunteer.

Over the Christmas period and the beginning of the month The Silver Line took over 15,000 calls from older lonely people.

I was reading an article this week where an older person was saying that, she didn’t want to worry her daughter or family as they had such busy lives, so she just puts the radio on 24/7 to try not to feel so alone.

What a terrible inditement that is, where has the compassion gone?

It is clear that we are facing family breakdowns of epidemic proportions and that the children are growing up believing that it is perfectly normal to live with one parent, or that extended family is irrelevant, or having several step parents and step grandparents is the norm.  It also is ok to be disrespectful about a parent or any family member because that’s what they hear.  Children who have several new ‘parents’ coming and going in their lives all being called Dad/Mum.

Children learn by example.

Of course there have always been differences in families, and we have no doubt all had the  relation that always managed to rub people up the wrong way, but they were still family and that counted for something.

When the younger generation are old enough to have families of their own, I wonder what is going to happen?

Families have always been the bedrock of society, if those bricks are removed the foundations will fall, all that will be left will be a heap of rubble.

Families need to be a refuge from the storm, a security, an identity, they should accept you for who you are.

Each family is the key to a successful society.

Jane