To understand a nation, you should first get to know its minimum unit — family. 1
In the US, upon reaching an appropriate age (usually between 18 and 21 years), children are encouraged, but not forced, to “leave the nest” and begin an independent life. 2 Parents do not arrange marriages for their children, nor do children usually ask permission of their parents to get married. Young adults meet their future spouses(配偶) through other friends, at jobs, and in organizations and religious institutions. Although children choose their own spouses, they still hope their parents will approve of their choices.
Parents feel that children should make major life decisions by themselves in many families. A parent may try to influence a child to follow a particular profession but the child is free to choose another job. 3 A son may deliberately decide not to go into his father’s business because of a fear that he will lose his independence in his father’s workplace. This independence from parents is not an indication that parents and children do not love each other. Strong love between parents and children is universal and this is no exception in the American family.
4 It is not like we Chinese. Parents are rulers and masters. We Chinese love our parents with fear and total respect. In America children always have their own opinions and even can talk about some sensitive problems with their parents, like family financial situation, the relationship between mother and father, and even sex.
5 Therefore, it is contrary that on one hand, Americans admire independence and equality that they don’t want to make sacrifice to make up a family, but on the other hand, Americans think highly of family in their value system.
A. In the American family, children and parents are equal.
B. It can reflect the traditional values and customs of a nation.
C. When it comes to big problems, children do not have to always follow their parents’ ways.
D. After children leave home, they often find social relationship and financial support outside the family.
E. Although Americans pay much attention to independence and equality, they don’t believe in making sacrifice.
F. Sometimes children do precisely the opposite of what their parents wish in order to declare their independence.
G. Many of them are expected to leave what could be life’s most important decision — marriage — almost entirely up to luck.