In Italy, a great and stable family life is extremely important and is one of its core values. Unlike most Western countries, it is more common to have an extended family in Italy that the concept of a nuclear family composed of parents and kids only. Italians also enjoy family gatherings most of the time. They also love spending time with their kids and it is common to see children maintaining a close relationship with their entire family up until adulthood. In fact, their new family after marriage will be incorporated with their old family, in a larger network.
Italy in the past
Back then, Italy is known for having huge families. Usually, each family has more than six children. However, this has drastically changed in recent years. In the southern part of Italy, women used to be just plain housewives. It is a very patriarchal society where women are barred from working. Hence, they have no other task aside from raising their own kids. However, with the industrial revolution and the decline in the agricultural system, this idea has also changed. Families are more practical and have opted to have fewer kids than before. There are still those who prefer not to let go of the traditional model though.
Modern Italian families
Though recent families in Italy tend to be smaller, with one or two kids, it seems like everything is still huge considering the amount of time everyone spends to gather together. Extended families see to it that they gather at least once a day to eat and share their lives with each other. Those who live far from their parents usually bring their new family back to their old home for special celebrations such as Christmas or Easter.
According to statistics, in the southern part of the country, families are still bigger than that of the north. This can be explained through some factors including the reduction of new births and even the decrease in the number of marriages. The rise in the number of single parents has also contributed to this. However, there are also some families that are considered as reconstituted. This means one or more of its members travel across the country to work. Hence, the other members of the family live together.
Aging is also becoming a problem in Italy these days. The rate of aging is booming and is one of the fastest in the world. Older couples usually age from 74-85. Birth rate has also declined rapidly. However, the surge of immigrants in the country has paved the way for the increase of birth rate by a few percent. Yet, this remains a problem still in the country as more couples refuse to get marry and have children, and focus their attention more on having a successful career.
Modern family concept
Of all the changes in the Italian society, the role of women is the most significant. Women are now considered more independent and are as successful as men in terms of career. Social revolution has drastically affected the Italian society in a positive way. Sadly though, this change created a few down sides. This includes more families with only one parent, unmarried couples, childless couples and many more. This has also decreased the number of huge families to just 5.1%.
Nevertheless, visiting Italy and seeing how families are working together is a good idea. Visiting various parts of Italy will also provide you a glimpse of the differences among the families. Indeed, there are a lot to learn from Italian families. You have to see the differences and learn from them.