Write About Families

My family lives in Tokyo, Japan. My husband's family's lived in San Francisco for 30 years. They are from Taiwan. 130 people came to our wedding party, about 70 were family members. It's a big number. I'm very lucky and happy because they are very friendly and kind. When I started to live in San Francisco, many nieces and aunts called me. We went shopping, played cards, and cooked. Also, they invited me to American and Chinese culture parties (Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, etc.) Most daughters-in-law have negative feelings, but my mother-in-law is nice. I give 95 points to her. She speaks Japanese very well, and loves my son very much. She is nice to us in everything. A long time ago, women stayed home and only a few women worked as a nurse or something. Now, there are not many housewives, but husbands don't help with housework. I think small children need their mother to stay home and take care of them until they are 3 years old, if they can.--Ako

I saw a news report on TV two weeks ago about a woman who hit a boy on the street who was assumed to be her grandson. People were looking for her in order to arrest her. It was strange to me. As I grew up, when I did something wrong, I was spanked by my parents. I thought that if children did something wrong or made a big mistake if they knew before doing that, the parents should make them know they are incorrect. In this country, the parents don't use punishment like spanking. But in my country they sometimes hit their kids. However, it is not the result of being angry at their wrong actions. As you know, it is the way that their children grow into good human beings. When I was spanked while I was young, I didn't like my parents and was afraid of them. Now I don't think the same as when I was young. I think it's not important whether parents hit children or use other ways as discipline. The important thing is showing to their children that their parents always love them. And it is up to the parents.--Eun Sook

I don't have any children right now, but I can imagine how serious a step it is to take care of children and work. My mother worked at four part-time jobs at a time and took care of us. She has four daughters. Two are older and my twin sister and I are the youngest. It was a very difficult time for her to raise us. She was alone, but we never needed something; everything we wanted she bought for us. I'm very proud of my mother and appreciate her for all the love she gave to us. I can't be like my mother. That is why it's complicated for me to have a baby and work at the same time. Maybe later I'll be ready for that. Our life isn't easy. Most important is the help from your spouse or relatives in your family. If you're together, you can do much more in your life.--Julia

In my native country, the mother-in-law always helps the daughters or sons to take care of the children and they also live together, but in the USA, the mother-in-law doesn't like to help you. They don't want to spend the time with their grandchildren. I have a friend who told me she has a bad mother-in-law. They always argue with each other and her mother-in-law also likes to shout at her children. She hates her mother-in-law so much. I do too because I know her mother-in-law is very lazy.--Joanne

Family is the basis for all society. Family is reliable in a state when all of them live well. I think the family in the USA is more reliable than in my native country. My family is not so big. It's my wife, son and daughter-in-law. They all live in San Francisco. My relatives live in my native country, Germany, and Israel. The first one to come to San Francisco was my brother with his family. The Russian community and my relatives who lived here didn't help me. When I lived in my native country we all worked outside. My wife had one child. The care arrangements for my child were kindergarten and parents. For a long time I lived with my wife's parents. My mother-in-law was very good. She didn't interfere in my family. The American family is different than the Russian family. The Russian wife has children, cooks more, likes to sit at home and is very polite to her husband. Most Russian families are very good.--Iosif

In my native country, Japan, working women have been increasing recently. However, when women decide to get married, employers want them to stop working or cut down their salary. Almost none of the husbands help with chores. Of course, it depends on the personality. Typical old-style Japanese husbands don't even come close to the kitchen, but some young husbands cook dinner for themselves.--Mizuho

I arrived in San Francisco last Wednesday. Before, I just stayed for 5 weeks in California last summer. I'm not sure that's enough to make a comparison betwen French and American cultures. The only idea that I have about American life comes from the TV...sorry. But my first impression is that the French and the American society have the same ideas about liberty and the protection of the citizen and the equality between men and women. The only thing that I know at this time is that the Americans are busier than the French and they have less time for their children (in comparison to the French).--Fleur

Laws in this country are very different from my country. In my country, a husband hitting his wife is okay, or parents spanking or hitting children. Even teachers spanking students is okay Some husbands help with chores. As for mothers-in-law in my country, some are good and some are bad but 80% are bad. I don't have a mother-in-law. She died before I got married. Anyway, I like the laws in this country.--Thip

I have a big family. I was the first in my family to come to the U.S. with my two daughters. In my country, nobody has a babysitter. When a woman has a baby, she should stay home for one year and the government will pay her to raise the baby. All the family members help to raise children. In my country, 70% of people like to live together with older parents. In my country, parents should spank their children a little bit to raise them the good way and in my country the children have good respect for their parents, not like here. If it happens here, the children will call the police. (I don't like it.)--Roza

In my native country, most women need to work like men. When they work every day, they almost always send their children to preschool, but if they live with their parents or parents-in-law, it is an exception. In the U.S. most American families like a small style. They don't like to live with their parents, so the children must be sent to the preschool or have a babysitter take care of them. However, for the Asians or the new residents, the old men or old women usually take care of their grandsons and granddaughters, take them to school and pick them up and take them home. That way they can help their son or daughter save a lot of money. In America, most seniors can get SSI every month . They can get $600 or more so they don't need their son or daughter to give them any money.

We have a big family. There were nine sisters in the family. Our parents and some of my sisters are back home in the Phillipines. I'm the first who came to the U.S. through my husband, and he helped me to settle here with his family. I'm lucky because all of my in-laws here are very nice to me. In my country, a husband and wife are together for better or worse. They help each other with household chores and other things. When the woman works and has small children, they have to be with their grandparents, aunts, or in-laws. After work you need to pick them up and when you get paid you have to give them something for groceries or a little money for taking care of the kids. However, it's not necessary to give them something. Actually, there's a big difference with families in my country because even if you are an adult and you are not married you could stay with your parents. When you are newlyweds, you could live with your in-laws too in the beginning, only until you are settled down. Sometimes parents should spank their children if they are hard-headed and don't want to listen to their parents. That is the way to discipline their kids.--Maribeth

I have two children. My younger son is 3 years old. I am not working, but some women are working. They have some small children. I think it is very hard for women, because they work in the daytime and come home and work at home too. In Japan, men my father's age didn't help with housework, but now some women are working so men help their wives. I think this is good!!--Miho

I had a very smart and intelligent mother-in-law. She passed away when she was 92, but until the end of her life, she liked life. She read a lot of newspapers and books and told us about interesting things that she read while we were working. She was interested in everything that happened in Russia and all the world. She had her own opinions about different things and events. She was an amazing woman!--Lyudmila

I had a big family in Beijing China, father, mother, sister, and many relatives. Now, I have a medium-sized family, my husband and I, two kids and my mother-in-law. In China, most young couples live with their parents. I think that is a good idea, because their parents stay at home. They may take good care of their kids. On the weekend, the whole family goes to the restaurant or to the park, so the old people will not feel lonely. Today, when I'm sitting in this classroom, I feel so thankful that my mother-in-law is looking after my two-year-old son at home. I hope that I will cook a good dinner for her after school--Zhao

Families are not so big in Russia. They usually have one or two children. Most women work outside the home. There are many childcare institutes, like prekindergartens in Russia, but sometimes grandmothers take care of children. The government's law gives rights for women to take care of their children for three years and pays them benefits, but just a little. In Russia, men and women have equal rights. Usually husbands help their wives with cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc. It depends on men's interests. Of course, most of the household work women do themselves. It is convenient if you live within easy reach of your older parents because it is an easy way to support each other. I had a perfect mother-in-law. She was very helpful and cared for my daughter and me. She was also very kind, wise, and affectionate. She passed away, but I love her very much.--Irina

This is my opinion. I think today women are almost like men. They can do every kind of job. Today in China the law is equal for women and men. Women also work outside too. Some of the men have a division of labor with their wives. They reach a tacit agreement and cooperate with each other to do household chores and take care of the young children. But in old-fashioned times, men were allowed to have a few wives and controlled everything. Unfortunately, some women were abused by their husbands. They were not able to resist their husbands because women depended on their spouses to support them. However, compared to now it is a very big change. Everybody is equal.--Rebecca

An adult shouldn't live with his parents unless he is totally broke and risks getting homeless. He has to make his own way by creating his financial autonomy, renting or having his own house, and supporting a family to be very well integrated in the society. But in our days with the successive economic crises, parents shouldn't refuse to take care of their adult children, hoping the economic situation will get better as soon as possible.--Ali

In my family, I have my parents and one sister, but my father has one brother and one sister, and my mother has four sisters and one brother. That makes me have a big family. About whether women with small children should work, I think nowadays it is necessary that women and men should work. In my country, the husbands usually don't help the women doing the chores, but sometimes they work in the backyard. Men usually do those kind of chores.--Cristina