Was the Nuclear Family a Mistake? - Answering David Brooks
Andrew Walkerâ€™s response to Brooksâ€™ essay makes the very important point that what Brooks is looking for in so-called â€śchosen families,â€ť already exists in another institution thatâ€™s been around for a couple thousand years: the local church. Jesus didnâ€™t start the Church to replace biological families, and what other social institution offers the love, support, and community that can help hold a household together? The reality to which Brooks points is a marvelous opportunity for the church to be the agent of restoration Christ has saved it to be....
The Nuclear Family is a logical prerequisite for the Extended Family, e.g. Noah, Abraham.
The Quiet Christian wrote: â€¦ Hillary Clinton's "It Takes A Village" mentality.
...where "Village" is Progressive NewSpeak for "Federal Government." For if it really "Takes a Village," in the sense it supposedly does in traditional cultures, then why should it be of concern to a national politician? And there have been villages long before there have been politicians to deceitfully quote their proverbs.
"And so, he (Brooks)praises networks of shared parenting in such places as African-American neighborhoods with low rates of fatherhood, same-sex and polyamorous arrangements in LGBTQ communities, and even groups of friends living together to support one another.
What Brooks misses is that all of these things are attempts to mitigate the situations caused when families break. They are not replacements. As noble as some of these attempts are, the outcomes for those involved in â€śchosen families,â€ť especially outcomes related to the long-term health and well-being of children, are consistently worse than they are for those in nuclear families."
As David Brooks point it out, extended families is the norm for humans, and the nuclear family only worked in unusual times.
David Brooks wrote: ..... If you want to summarize the changes in family structure over the past century, the truest thing to say is this: Weâ€™ve made life freer for individuals and more unstable for families. Weâ€™ve made life better for adults but worse for children. Weâ€™ve moved from big, interconnected, and extended families, which helped protect the most vulnerable people in society from the shocks of life, to smaller, detached nuclear families (a married couple and their children), which give the most privileged people in society room to maximize their talents and expand their options. The shift from bigger and interconnected extended families to smaller and detached nuclear families ultimately led to a familial system that liberates the rich and ravages the working-class and the poor....
excerpt from, "The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake--The family structure weâ€™ve held up as the cultural ideal for the past half century has been a catastrophe for many. Itâ€™s time to figure out better ways to live together."