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Nuclear family gets nuked by the Gen-Xers
The Australian ^ | 9/15/05 | Bernard Salt

Posted on 09/15/2005 9:28:57 AM PDT by qam1

THE Australian family is under attack: not from an evil outside force intent on destroying a wholesome way of life, but from a none-too-subtle shift in values between generations.

Whereas the boomers were great supporters of mum, dad and the kids, later generations of Xers and now Ys are clearly less enamoured with family life, at least in youth. If there is a place for the traditional nuclear family in modern Australia it has been relegated to the late 30s and early 40s wasteland.

In 1991, 41 per cent of all Australian households featured a traditional nuclear family. This proportion would have exceeded 50 per cent in the 1960s. In this early manifestation of the traditional family, "the kids" numbered four and upwards.

Not like today: families have slimmed to two kids at best; a single child is common.

There is now a whole generation of Ys, and increasingly of Zs, growing up as lone kids in suburban houses. There are no brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles or aunties. These kids are quite alone.

The role of the family changed dramatically in the 90s. By 2001 only 33 per cent of all Australian households contained a traditional-styled family. In one devastating decade the family yielded 8 percentage points of market share to other, flashier, trendier, sexier households such as singles and couples.

Gen Xers didn't want to be stuck with a permanent partner and kids. They wanted to flit from relationship to relationship, job to job, home to apartment and then back to home, or from Australia to London and back.

Xers wanted to "discover themselves"; doing the daggy family thing just didn't sit well with Xer's plans for their 20s. Xers are incredulous at the suggestion they should pair up, bunker down and reproduce by 25.

"This is a no-brainer, right? The choice is either the pursuit of a cosmopolitan and funky 20- something lifestyle or spending this time cleaning up after a two-year-old? And the upside of the second choice is what exactly?"

Well, my dear little Xers, the upside of having kids in your 20s is that you grow as a person; you discover a wonderful sense of fulfilment in caring for and raising a well adjusted child who depends on you for everything.

"Bernard, please stop it. I can't take it any more. My sides are hurting. Tell me the real reason why we should forgo earning an income and having a good time in our 20s to have children.

"You mean that's it? That was for real? Look, if previous generations were dumb enough to waste their youth doing the kid thing, so be it. But don't lay any guilt trip on us just because we are exercising options that others were too stupid to grasp. And if I wanted a wonderful sense of fulfilment, then I'd go shopping."

And so the family shrivels.

By 2011 the traditional nuclear family will make up barely 28 per cent of all Australian households.

Singles and couples will account for 28 per cent of households. By the end of this decade the traditional nuclear family will no longer be the dominant social arrangement within Australia.

This is a very different world to the childhood of boomers 40 years earlier. In that world the family ruled. The family was reflected positively on television rather than in dysfunctional parody.

A suburban three-bedroom lair was designed specifically for families. No-one questioned the logic or the sanctity of the 1960s family.

The family is projected to continue on its current downward trajectory to make up just 24 per cent of all households by 2031. Single person households at this time are expected to make up 31 per cent of households.

What will Australia look like in 2031 when almost one in three households contains a single person? And this is not the young, sexy 20-something single that blossomed in the 1990s. No, the burgeoning market for singles during the 2020s will comprise sad old lonely baby boomers whose partner has died.

If we accept that there was a cultural impact from the baby boom in the 1950s that shaped consumer demand for 50 years, then we must also accept the confronting fact that there will be a "baby bust" 70 years later in the 2020s. The former delivered and deified the family; the latter will deliver a fatal blow to a social institution wounded by the shifting values of Xers and Ys 30 years earlier.

No need for sporting fields in Australian suburbia in the 2020s, but there will be a need for social and religious clubs to stem isolation within the burbs. It is an odd fact that as Australians get older and closer to death they also get closer to God. The 2020s will see a rise in religious fervour.

The bottom line is that the family is in transition, downwards. It is little wonder that political institutions are rallying behind its demise. The stark and brutal assessment is that within half a century we will have shifted from a situation where traditional families accounted for one in two households to one in four.

There will never be another decade like the 1990s when families conceded 8 percentage points in market share. After all, if we did this in the 2020s, then by the end of that decade traditional families would make up barely 17 per cent of all households. And at that level, you would have to question the basis upon which we as a nation bring up our kids. I don't think the Australian nation would ever be happy to have the majority of our children brought up in a social institution that does not contain a mother and a father living in cohabitation.

If these are our values, then the attack on the family that started in earnest in the 1990s must slow down and grind to a halt in the 2020s. Such a shift will slow down the rate of household formation and, combined with the dying off of the baby boomers in this decade, will lead to a severe slowdown in the demand for residential property in the 2020s.

As a consequence, I reckon the property industry has one, perhaps two, boom periods to run before it hits the wall at some stage during the 2020s.

Bernard Salt is a partner with KPMG

bsalt@kpmg.com.au


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: deathofthewest; genx; havemorebabies
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To: RMDupree
Unfortunately, most guys want their wives to work either because the 2nd income is necessary to pay the bills or simply because they resent the notion of her staying home while they have to work.

Isn't it funny how what started out as an accomplishment for "women's liberation"---the idea that a woman could and should work outside the home to fulfill herself---has become a millstone?

Indeed, in some circles, it's become a status symbol if a woman does not work. It means (in these circles) that her husband makes big bucks and she doesn't "need" to work.

51 posted on 09/15/2005 11:08:02 AM PDT by wouldntbprudent ("Tell the truth. The Pajama People are watching you.")
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To: Campion; yellowdoghunter

Lots of people's lives (including children's) are destroyed by the combination of one lousy partner in a marriage, and the other partner insisting on staying anyway, either out of financial necessity (read: I always assumed I'd be part of a great pair forever, so I made no plans to be financially secure any other way), or out of misguided religious beliefs ("til death do us part" isn't supposed to mean "until I die at my husband's brutal hands, with my children watching"). I know plenty of people who are lifeling psychological basket cases, as a result or growing up in a home with an intact but awful marriage. They're easily in as bad shape as those who grew up in the middle of a vicious tug-of-war between divorced parents.


52 posted on 09/15/2005 11:08:20 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Having been married and divorced in my 20s and now happily married to to someone who had never been married before, I can look at these issues from various sides.

There is no cookie cutter solution to the problem, because every one is different.

My ex had 3 children from a previous marriage - when that ex sought an increase in child support for the youngest, my income was included in the calculation for the increase.......he attempted to not only get me to pay him spousal support, but to keep up the child support payments for a teenager who was not my child. Had I not has an on-the-ball attorney, both would have been granted to him.

My ex-husband passed away this spring - all alone because not even his sons, all grown men, wanted anything to do with him. He wasn't a boomer, or a gen Xer - he was born in 1939....and was divorced from the mother of his children long before no-fault divorce and the "feminist agenda"


53 posted on 09/15/2005 11:08:35 AM PDT by Gabz ((Chincoteague, VA) USSG Warning: portable sewing machines cause broken ankles)
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To: RMDupree
You must have a lot of expenses.

Not really, I save/invest over half my income.

support my 2 kids and my mother on $35k a year plus ~$300.00 per month of support. It's a struggle, but I've done it for almost 4 years so far.

I said, I'd have kids if I felt prosperous. By prosperity, I mean how long I can live my current lifestyle without working.

While today's standard of living is certainly higher than in the past, I dispute the assertion that the average person is more wealthy. Last time I checked, America's saving rate is negative.

54 posted on 09/15/2005 11:08:50 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: qam1

oh, relax - the pendulum will shift the other way inside ten to twenty years: the nice thing about fads is that they die.

reality will reassert itrself, and the old ways shall return to the forefront.

the only questions:
1. will the lesson stick?
2. will it be too late to save the western culture?


55 posted on 09/15/2005 11:10:06 AM PDT by King Prout (and the Clinton Legacy continues: like Herpes, it is a gift that keeps on giving.)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

The nuclear family isn't the only possible strong family structure in which children can be raised into happy, self-sufficient, socially responsible adults.


56 posted on 09/15/2005 11:10:55 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: k2blader
You don't have children so they can take care of you when you're old. Do you? Besides, who's to say they won't die before you do? Who's to say they won't develop some kind of disease or get hurt terribly in an accident and you won't have to take care of *them*? I feel sorry for who plan their old age around "who's going to take care of me"? Very leftist viewpoint when you think about it.

What a silly response. Extended families have been around since the beginning of time, and its only been the last few generations where we began shuttling parents off to old folks homes (though certainly sometimes for medical reasons that is the best choice.) Nothing leftist at all about the concept of taking care of your own family.

Each person has to make their own moral decisions, and I'm not going to second guess them, but one of the benefits of extended families has always been that those who cared for their children for 18 years would in turn be taken care of when they could no longer care for themselves. That isn't asking gov't to do so, that is a family taking care of their own responsibilities. Some may have lost sight of that, for whatever reasons, but it is something to consider.

57 posted on 09/15/2005 11:11:25 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: AdamSelene235
My comment was in response to this:

It is not possible for a man to enter a legally equitable relationship with a woman. Married men are 2nd class citizens and men married with kids are little more than serfs. I.E. no real claim on their future labor or even the custody and upbringing of their children.

That is an opinion, and a very anti-marriage, anti wife opinion, in my opinion.

While I sympathize with men being torn from their children because of those who abuse the system - I've seen many women experience the same at the hands of the same courts.

However, I refuse to broadbrush either with the same brush, because as was said earlier - it happens both ways.

58 posted on 09/15/2005 11:16:57 AM PDT by Gabz ((Chincoteague, VA) USSG Warning: portable sewing machines cause broken ankles)
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To: AdamSelene235

I quite agree, and I'm female. Personally, I think it would really be better to go back to the legal concept of children as chattel, only with male and female parents recognized equally. Girl children belong to the biological mother, boy children to the biological father, unless the biological and any other parents involved have contracted for a different arrangement, or a court has found a parent to be utterly unfit to have custody of any child (not just less fit than the other parent). You leave a relationship, you take your kid(s) with you, and you have no rights or responsibilities with regard to your ex and his/her children.


59 posted on 09/15/2005 11:18:31 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Diddle E. Squat

There are plenty of people in nursing homes who stayed married and raised their children in a nuclear family, whose spouse has died and whose children are nowhere to be found. Spouses and children aren't insurance policies.


60 posted on 09/15/2005 11:20:35 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: GovernmentShrinker

My only problem with your proposal is the idea that boys don't need mothers and girls don't need fathers. I think that a presumption of shared custody would be better- there would be less of using children as pawns to hurt your soon-to-be ex-spouse.


61 posted on 09/15/2005 11:23:08 AM PDT by LWalk18
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To: AdamSelene235
I dispute the assertion that the average person is more wealthy. Last time I checked, America's saving rate is negative.

Yes, but why? Do people not save because they spend money on things they want or things they need? America is a very consumerist society. Frivolous spending is an issue of wealth management, not wealth ownership.

62 posted on 09/15/2005 11:24:12 AM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: GovernmentShrinker

My great uncle lived in a nursing home for the last year of his life after suffering a stroke. He had never married nor had children, yet he had by far the most visitors. Many of the others with children had few or no visitors at all.


63 posted on 09/15/2005 11:26:12 AM PDT by LWalk18
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To: Diddle E. Squat
its only been the last few generations where we began shuttling parents off to old folks homes

It's the last few generations that have seen great increases in lifespan. I would argue that the nursing homes are a function of the number of extremely old people in a society, wherein physical deterioration is most severe.

64 posted on 09/15/2005 11:27:06 AM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: wouldntbprudent

Most women can get pregnant in their early forties with high-tech help, and if they've been working at something productive all those years, they shouldn't have any trouble affording it. And reproductive technology is galloping forwards so fast that this will be a non-issue by the time today's adolescent girls are old enough to think about having children. Very soon, anyone will be able to have children that are genetically their own, at any age they choose. As it is now, any woman who doesn't have serious health problems, can bear a child that is not genetically her own, well into her 50s, and some are even doing it in their 60s. And IMO, the day when no woman is choosing when and whom to marry "because I'm running out of time to have a baby" can't come soon enough.


65 posted on 09/15/2005 11:29:31 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: qam1
In 1991, 41 per cent of all Australian households featured a traditional nuclear family. This proportion would have exceeded 50 per cent in the 1960s. In this early manifestation of the traditional family, "the kids" numbered four and upwards. Not like today: families have slimmed to two kids at best; a single child is common.

I think if I lived in Australia, I'd be learning to speak Chinese...
66 posted on 09/15/2005 11:31:09 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: Gabz
However, I refuse to broadbrush either with the same brush, because as was said earlier - it happens both ways.

It happens a hell of alot more one way than it does the other. Women, standing the most to gain, initiate divorces at a rate far higher than men and they are granted custody in the overwhelming majority of cases. Hell, in California, boys statutorily raped by women are forced to pay child support. Show me an example of a teenage girl paying child support to an adult male rapist.

67 posted on 09/15/2005 11:32:30 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Those who are constantly wailing about how awful it is that the "nuclear family" is increasingly scarce, are conveniently forgetting that most of the people who are now choosing NOT to participate in such arrangements, did grow up in a "nuclear family" household.

Actually, I'd be willing to bet that most people choosing NOT to participate in a nuclear family were the products of dysfunctional nuclear families themselves. I would argue that many of these families were missing one vital component--an active religious life.

The traditional nuclear family by itself is not a panecea for all of society's ills. A nuclear family without God is just as likely to fail as any other random household unit.
68 posted on 09/15/2005 11:35:00 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
I quite agree, and I'm female.

Are you single and do you like warm fires in rustic mountain cabins?

8-)_~~

69 posted on 09/15/2005 11:35:06 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
A lot of people have also seen first hand how marriage can destroy lives, and are determined not to make that mistake.

Marriage has also rescued a lot of men from lives of dissipation and degradation. Myself included. I thank God for my wife and kids at least once per day.
70 posted on 09/15/2005 11:36:28 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: A Ruckus of Dogs
Yes, but why?

Prolly has to do with interest rates being below the rate of inflation and FDR's decision to make stimulating consumption a high government priority.

71 posted on 09/15/2005 11:38:37 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: RMDupree; AdamSelene235

One of his big expenses is that he's having a lot of his money confiscated by the government to pay for raising your children. Take a hard look at all the goods and services your family uses, starting with public schools, and you'll quickly see that YOU aren't supporting them on the budget you describe. Public school districts are fond of concealing the true per student costs of their operations (often by omitting the substantial cost of purchasing and maintaining land and buildings), but most are spending at least $15,000/year per student, and quite a few are spending over $20,000. And most of that is NOT being paid by the parents of the students who attend those schools. And if your children attend a private or church-affiliated school, their tuition and/or scholarships are similarly subsidized, just by private contributions rather than tax money.


72 posted on 09/15/2005 11:40:17 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: k2blader
But I have never, and I mean never, wanted children.

Quotes from Teddy Roosevelt on the subject:

On motherhood as the true source of progress, Teddy Roosevelt said:

"A more supreme instance of unselfishness than is afforded by motherhood cannot be imagined."

Before an audience of liberal Christian theologians in 1911, he said:

"If you do not believe in your own stock enough to see the stock kept up, then you are not good Americans, you are not patriots, and ... I for one shall not mourn your extinction; and in such event I shall welcome the advent of a new race that will take your place, because you wil have shown that you are not fit to cumber the ground."

On the centrality of the child-rich family to the very existence of the American nation:

"It is in the life of the family, upon which in the last analysis the whole welfare of the nation rests....The nation is nothing but the aggregate of the families within its borders."

On parenthood:

"No other success in life, not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or anything else, comes up to the success of the man and woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up to call them blessed."

On out-of-wedlock birth versus practiced sterility:

"After all, such a vice may be compatible with a nation's continuing to live, and while there is life, even a life marred by wrong practices, there is a chance of reform.

In another place, on the same subject:

"...[W]hile there is life, there is hope, whereas nothing can be done with the dead."

On the behavior of 90% of those who practice birth control:

"[It is derived] from viciousness, coldness, shallow-heartedness, self-indulgence, or mere failure to appreciate aright the difference between the all-important and the unimportant."
73 posted on 09/15/2005 11:43:18 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: AdamSelene235

Adam, your posts are saddening, but true. I'm afraid there IS a financial disincentive for marriage, and especially for men. But what is the remedy?

I believe that government and society do have an obligation to do what they can to encourage the furtherance of the species and the country by encouraging families. The only means they have to do this is through monetary and tax policy. Would you support a movement to change those policies in ways that would support families? Would that change your mind about marriage?

Or, maybe it's too late for you, but future generations of men could be reached before it's too late.

I truly believe that the future of mankind lies with building on what we have learned and done in Western civilization. If we do not have children, all of what has been built over the centuries will be lost.

Paying women to have illegitimate children has worked - we now have LOTS of them. The sexes are perpetually angry at each other. Far too many people would rather have casual or paid sex than a true relationship.

It is sad, bad and dangerous. I would like to see it changed. Would you?


74 posted on 09/15/2005 11:46:06 AM PDT by Shazolene
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To: LWalk18

Parents can share custody if they want to, but if they don't want to and it has to be enforced by courts, the children usually are harmed more than benefitted. And more and more children are comfortable with their custodial parents subsequent significant others, so they aren't necessarily without a parent figure of the opposite sex.


75 posted on 09/15/2005 11:46:55 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Diddle E. Squat
I wonder how many who opine that the nuclear family is overrated will still feel that way years down the road,

I reckon none. We've got a couple of these in my extended family and they all cling to their nieces and nephews like grim death. Too many people don't realize the preeminent importance of family until it's way too late.
76 posted on 09/15/2005 11:46:57 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
One of his big expenses is that he's having a lot of his money confiscated by the government to pay for raising your children.

Testify !!! More little blood sucking brainwashed commies.

The trick is, of course, to buy up enough tax liens so that you have no net exposure to property taxes.

77 posted on 09/15/2005 11:47:22 AM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Truth has become so rare and precious she is always attended to by a bodyguard of lies.)
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To: AdamSelene235
Women, standing the most to gain, initiate divorces at a rate far higher than men and they are granted custody in the overwhelming majority of cases.

An article posted on FR the other day said this was due to men having a higher probabilty of behaving badly - more drunkeness, drug abuse, physical abuse, cheating, etc ..

78 posted on 09/15/2005 11:47:52 AM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: A Ruckus of Dogs
Not really. They could room with each other, like the Golden Girls.

And Lord knows how often life immitates Hollyweird.
79 posted on 09/15/2005 11:49:32 AM PDT by Antoninus (Dominus Iesus, miserere nobis.)
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To: RMDupree
As goes marriage, so goes the nuclear family.

As goes the nuclear family, so goes the nation.
80 posted on 09/15/2005 11:51:44 AM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: Antoninus
I would argue that many of these families were missing one vital component--an active religious life.

Wishful thinking. Religion does not automagically fix all problems no matter how active and devout the religious life. Such assertions are vacuous platitudes that actively ignore reality.

I am the son of a small-town preacher in flyover country. Was an active religious life part of my family experience? Yup. Was my family dysfunctional? Yup. The religious aspect was almost entirely orthogonal to why the nuclear family was dysfunctional, and all the Christianity in the world wouldn't have fixed it (and didn't).

81 posted on 09/15/2005 11:53:51 AM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Antoninus

I see nothing wrong with old (or young) folks who are alone and have no family sharing the same house as roommates. Not only will they have company, they'll be able to share expenses. It's sure better than having to get 200 cats for company.


82 posted on 09/15/2005 12:00:31 PM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: tortoise
I am the son of a small-town preacher in flyover country. Was an active religious life part of my family experience? Yup. Was my family dysfunctional? Yup. The religious aspect was almost entirely orthogonal to why the nuclear family was dysfunctional, and all the Christianity in the world wouldn't have fixed it (and didn't).

No one said that any set up, even a nuclear family with a strong religious component was 100% bullet-proof against dysfunctionality. As a matter of fact, what you cite above is one of the main reasons why my Faith (Catholic) doesn't allow its priests to marry. It constitutes a division of loyalty between the pastor's flock and his biological family. So I would argue that the religious component in your family actually may have caused rifts that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

There is a reason why Catholic families have a heritage of being rock-solid. They're based on Truth, not platitudes. Those who follow the Truths of the Catholic faith are likely (not certain, but much more likely than not) to have joyous, successful, loving families. I thank God that mine has been so blessed thus far.
83 posted on 09/15/2005 12:02:26 PM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: qam1

A world of bastards awaits.


84 posted on 09/15/2005 12:02:48 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: A Ruckus of Dogs
I see nothing wrong with old (or young) folks who are alone and have no family sharing the same house as roommates.

Yeah, but how often does it happen? You may notice that by the age of 40 or so, most people are so set in their ways as to make living with someone else difficult to say the least. And they get more set in their ways and difficult as they age--particularly if they've never had to be considerate of another human being sharing their living space before.
85 posted on 09/15/2005 12:04:22 PM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
And more and more children are comfortable with their custodial parents subsequent significant others...

Huh? Where did you get that idea? Seems to me that you are cheerleading for societal breakdown. What societies have flourished when its people stop honoring marriage and family?

86 posted on 09/15/2005 12:05:59 PM PDT by teawithmisswilliams (Question Diversity)
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To: Antoninus

Not in my experience. Of the three nearest neighbor families where I grew up, that had clearly happy functional marriages and were religious and active in their churches, one has 3 children (2 male, one female), none of whom have ever attempted anything like a nuclear family; another has 4, of whom 1 (male) is part of nuclear family, one (female) is single and childless, one (female) had one child while in a lesbian relationship and another on her own after that relationship ended, and the fourth (male) I don't know about; and the third family had two boys, one of whom has never married or had children, and the other married and divorced a woman who already had two children by a prior marriage, and still keeps in touch with those (now grown) children. So at most, this is 33% of these families' children who grew up to try form nuclear families at all, and 22% who succeeded in maintaining such families. Per my unscientific neighborhood sample, this is only very slightly higher than the rate for the children of parents who were miserably married, divorced, or religiously inactive (or some combination of those).


87 posted on 09/15/2005 12:17:14 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Antoninus
most people are so set in their ways as to make living with someone else difficult to say the least.

I don't have any statistics on old folks in boarding houses but it would sure be interesting to see them. I did know a fellow who shared his house with 2 other unrelated people. Everyone seemed happy and able to get along.

I would say that, with a lot more people choosing to forego children than at anytime in history, it will become more common. Of course, people will have to decide what's more important - human company or their own living space.

88 posted on 09/15/2005 12:17:30 PM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: GovernmentShrinker
This is just a natural change in society.

Like in ancient Rome. At some moment Romans stopped to have children and they got replaced by the barbarians.

89 posted on 09/15/2005 12:19:22 PM PDT by A. Pole (" There is no other god but Free Market, and Adam Smith is his prophet ! Bazaar Akbar! ")
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Not in my experience.

Like I said, it's not bulletproof. The insidiously corrupting influence of the pop-culture has a lot to do with the destruction of such families as well. And too many parents, my own included to a certain extent, didn't realize this until late in the game. There but by the grace of God go I.

On the contrary, my wife and I are fully aware of the societal rot and intend to keep my own kids shielded as much as possible from the sewer our culture has become until they're old and smart enough to judge and reject it of their own accord. Homeschooling will be a big part of that. Lack of TVs in our home will be another part.
90 posted on 09/15/2005 12:22:11 PM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: Antoninus; tortoise
I would argue that many of these families were missing one vital component--an active religious life. The traditional nuclear family by itself is not a panecea for all of society's ills. A nuclear family without God is just as likely to fail as any other random household unit.

Actually no, quite the opposite

Divorce by religion (from Barna)

Born Again Adults  - 27%
All other adults - 24%

***

Non-denominational Protestant - 34%
Jews - 30%
Baptist - 29%
Mormons - 24%
Catholics - 21%
Lutherans - 21%
Atheists/Agnostics 21%

91 posted on 09/15/2005 12:22:50 PM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: teawithmisswilliams

From the children of current friends and co-workers, from my memories of college classmates, from children who I used to know when I coached gymnastics, and from the revolving cast of college students to whom I've been renting rooms for the past 15 years. Not all children are miserable when the parent they live with acquires a new significant other. Some are quite happy about it. And a few end up being even closer to the new significant other and/or step-parent, than to either of their own parents. You may regard my position as cheerleading for non-traditional family structures, but I can just as reasonably regard yours as cheerleading for the failure of any alternative family structures. If children and adults are constantly bombarded with the message that they're supposed to be miserable if they don't live in a married-forever-with-children family, they're a lot more likely to be miserable, than if they weren't getting bombarded with that negative message.


92 posted on 09/15/2005 12:24:25 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: A. Pole
At some moment Romans stopped to have children and they got replaced by the barbarians.

It was quite early in the game, actually. Augustus Caesar actually had to pass a law against bachelorhood to encourage the lay-about Roman men to marry and have children. The Romans existed on the stored up capital of their military system and societal prestige for a good 500 years after that, but their society was rotting from within for much of that time. When the Goths broke through in 378, the Empire was more or less an empty shell.

Thus Western civilization at present. Any guesses as to where the big barbarian break-through will happen this time?
93 posted on 09/15/2005 12:25:17 PM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: A. Pole
Like in ancient Rome. At some moment Romans stopped to have children and they got replaced by the barbarians.

Actually, they got replaced by Christians, who did not practice female infanticide.

94 posted on 09/15/2005 12:25:25 PM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: AD from SpringBay

It's already here.


95 posted on 09/15/2005 12:27:15 PM PDT by thulldud (It's bad luck to be superstitious.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
One of his big expenses is that he's having a lot of his money confiscated by the government to pay for raising your children.

My 8 year old is in public school because I cannot afford private school on my budget.

My 3 year old is taken care of by my mother.

I am not signed up with any kind of government assistance - something I pride myself on.

So you place your condescending commentary where the sun don't shine, doll.

96 posted on 09/15/2005 12:29:16 PM PDT by RMDupree (HHD: Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/)
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To: tortoise
For most people, it does not make sense to have children in your 20s

For women, early 20s are biologically the best time for having children. Men are a different story, though.

97 posted on 09/15/2005 12:32:40 PM PDT by Feldkurat_Katz (What no women’s magazine ever offers to improve is women’s minds - Taki)
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To: qam1
No, not quite. Those stats leave out one very important factor--how many atheists even bother to get married at all? I'll bet if this chart included atheists who are in 'committed relationships', the stats would be dramatically different.

And, as with most of these types of surveys, it doesn't attempt to separate out those who are committed to their Faith from the RINO (religion in name only) types.

Even so, if 79% of Catholic marriages stay together, I'd say that's a much better trend than what we see in society at large these days.
98 posted on 09/15/2005 12:33:01 PM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Ok, I'll bite. What do you think is a better arrangement?


99 posted on 09/15/2005 12:33:10 PM PDT by Melas (The dumber the troll, the longer the thread)
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To: RMDupree

You go, girl!


100 posted on 09/15/2005 12:33:31 PM PDT by SuziQ
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