Open thread: Solving the breakdown of the family

I’m trying something different today. Other blogs sometimes have an “open thread”, which is kinda like the blog equivalent of a call-in radio show. Rather than me write a story, I’ll just pose a question and see what great ideas the readers put in the comment box.

Today’s topic: the breakdown in the family, specifically in the UK. A number of commentators have expressed the view that the recent riots in the UK are a manifestation of the breakdown of the family. John Robson, who writes in the Ottawa Sun and also appears on CFRA radio, wrote an excellent piece about it here. A quick quote:

It is by now an intergenerational catastrophe. And while British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks sensibly about the need to fix broken Britain, he goes off the rails when he starts muttering about new government initiatives. We have tried everything liberal sociologists could suggest and it did the opposite of what was promised. It’s time to stop paying people to lead useless lives. (Source)

My question to our readers: how does a country go about fixing such a monumental problem such as the breakdown in the family? Of course, we must start with prayer. What else can we do?

Typically, when we have a major problem in our country, our natural (conditioned) reflex is to seek a solution through a new government policy. But as Robson expresses above, Big Government might have been one of the causes of the breakdown in the family. Is government really the right instrument to find a solution? Could any government policy contribute towards a solution?

All our lines are open and we’re taking your calls. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Open thread: Solving the breakdown of the family

  1. “Could any government policy contribute towards a solution?” A couple of things spring to mind that governments at various levels could do: (1) end no-fault divorce; (2) after a family breakup, assume shared-parenting unless one parent is proved GROSSLY unfit; (3) tax on combined family income, not individual income; (4) make zoning changes to allow “granny flats” to make it easier for the elderly to live with their families; (5) don’t subsidize daycares directly, subsidize *parents* who will then CHOOSE the kind of child care they want.

  2. Thanks Kathleen. Those are some very good points.

    I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate, but I do have a follow up question for our readers regarding no fault divorce. What would be the alternative? I’ve never been divorced so I don’t know much about the process. As Catholics, we understand that some relationships have failed in an incurable manner, especially if there has been spousal abuse involved. So we need to allow for separations to occur.

    But I suppose we don’t want to make it as easy as canceling an order at McDonald’s either. Should there be mandatory counseling and a cool-off period before a divorce can be obtained? Or (my preference) does part of the solution reside in preventing incompatible couples from getting together in the first place, through mandatory marriage prep?

    But how could any of these measures affect “common law” couples who don’t bother getting married at all? This group is probably more numerous than new marriages.

  3. Oh, yeah, that’s another good one—the government should stop recognizing shack-ups as equivalent to marriage complete with mandatory palimony payments upon separation. But your question about the alternative to no-fault divorce is divorce *when one party is at fault*, just like it used to be. One had to prove adultery or abuse or something before being granted a divorce. (Not something I’ve ever experienced either, thank God!) Mandatory counselling or something would be a good idea, too. And mandatory marriage prep is a good idea too (although the marriage prep hubby and I went through was rather lame, there is nothing to prevent it from being done well).

    Another part of the problem involving poor marriages is the length of time between puberty and when one is sufficiently well-educated to marry and have a family. From 13 to 23, 25, 29—too long. I hate it that so many jobs ask for a degree when they really only need high school, or jobs that require all of high school when Grade 10 is amply sufficient. Education is artificially extended in order to make jobs for teachers. Let people start their adult lives earlier instead of living in an extended period of irresponsible artificial adolescence.

  4. I say the bane and essence deals with the parents. You can’t depend on governments because they only think about themselves. Plain and simple. Parents need to stop being hypocrites when it comes to their Catholic faith and ACTUALLY PRACTICE it with the minimum being Sunday mass weekly, they need to start having a set of “balls” and stop being childrens’ friend with regards to discipline, and they need to start resisting whatever forces try to impose their secular/improper/anti-Catholic values, ideas, and morals. This means making those in positions of power over their children be responsible in their positions and actually do their job. This includes childrens’ teachers, Church clergy (for their spiritual lives), people in government, Catholic school board trustees, etc.

  5. Costly annual licensing for Internet, handhelds, computer games, television, cancelled/unavailable if on assistance programs, and not permitted to proceed from any government funding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
21 − 7 =