Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The Need For Intact Families

The societal salience of two-parent households used to be obvious. Today, however, this social structure has been labeled reactionary, an antiquated norm from a bygone era. 

But there is no disputing the facts: children raised by both parents are far better equipped for the world than their counterparts from single-parent households. 

While inconvenient for some to hear, this is an empirical reality. 

Robert Putnam in his 2015 book, Our Kids: The American Dream In Crisis, takes this even further with his thesis that kids raised by a mother and father with college degrees have the best outcomes. 

His rigorous research, both qualitative (interviews and anecdotes) and quantitative (graphs and regression models) makes his conclusions hard to challenge. 

But, college education aside, we must concede the point: children from two-parent households are more likely to perform well in school and in their professional careers, and are less likely to become addicted to drugs and commit crime. 

What's more, children raised by both parents perform far better economically. There is myriad data to support this. Author William A. Galston once wrote that "the best antipoverty program for children is a stable, intact family." 

Certain paleo-conservative and traditionalist sectaries, it should be noted, will take the two-parent family to mean the "nuclear family," wherein mom stays at home and dad is the breadwinner. This is, in fact, reactionary and unrealistic. The perceived halcyon days of the 1950s are, whether they like it or not, long behind us. Today, dual-income households are the norm. 

This fact, however, does not diminish the overwhelmingly positive role that both parents play in a child's formative years. 

I am beyond fortunate to have been raised by two incredible parents. I am deeply saddened, however, when I think of all the children who were not so lucky. They started from a severe disadvantage. 

Gen-Z, some of whom are becoming parents now, must inculcate robust family values in their children. We need badly to return to a previous temperament that glorifies the two-parent model.