Romanian families place a high value on children; their protection and well-being are considered to be parents' primary responsibilities. Considerable efforts are made to provide children with what they need. Parents' hope and pride are focused on children's successes. Interdependent and reciprocal relationships are encouraged among members of the Romanian family. Parents provide care for their children and in return, children are expected to be obedient and respectful and, in later life, to care for their parents.
Dedication to extended family and friends is another important value. A complex system of rules and obligations regulates each individual's relations and responsibilities within the extended family. For example, in many cases, grandparents assist parents in raising their children. During the communist regime, the social networks of friends were an important source of emotional and intellectual support. In the transition period accompanied by financial strain, this support has often become financial. In addition, in one-child families, friends often become substitute siblings.
Education is very important, with the school holding a central role in the life of children. During the school years, children are expected to perform well, and parents try their best to help them. Success in school is prized because of its relation with economic advancement. Therefore, play and the other leisure activities are usually subordinated to studying.
Religion has always been an important value for Romanians. The majority of the population (70%) is Christian Orthodox, with the rest divided among other religions (Roman Catholics 6%, Protestants 6%, others and unaffiliated 18%). Religion has been one of the strengths of families, providing them with spiritual sustenance. Many family practices and customs are related to religion. Rites of passage, baptisms, weddings, and funerals are rich in rituals, and they are celebrated with the extended family and friends. Other important celebrations are Christmas, Easter, and name-days. Many people are given saints' names, and their name-days coincide with the celebration of the patron saint's day.