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The June 10 Viewpoints article regarding the nuclear family illustrates everything that is wrong with today's concept of child rearing. Caryl Rivers claims that the fractured, dysfunctional family systems on the rise today are simply representative of family systems over the last one or two centuries. While this may be true statistically, the reasons she pointed out expose the root problem.

She stated, "The big difference is that in the past, death was the prime architect of family structure, followed closely by economics. Today personal choice has taken death's place, with economics still a powerful force."

She seems to draw some moral correlation between an 1800s tragedy of losing a spouse and current abandonment. In other words, it's OK to walk out on your family because, hey, families have been dealing with it for years.

To make my point better than I can, The News included a picture of a 2-year-old girl standing alongside her grandmother, who was sitting in a wheelchair.

The caption said the girl is being raised by her grandmother. This is a good thing? The writer went on to say, "Many people choose alternative family forms in the pursuit of happiness." In other words, ditch the kid with grandma and go have a good time.

What seems more egregious than the obfuscation of parental responsibility is our willingness to accept it. Lost in the noise over the rights and needs of the adult, are the rights and needs of the child.

Rivers took another jab at good parenting, saying, "The factor most positively related to a whole range of good child outcomes is socioeconomic status." Which is to say that poor parents evidently make poor parents. How sickeningly elitist.

Rivers tried her best to justify bad adult behavior and choices. However, those of us who stick to their marriage, and raise their kids like they mean it, understand how hollow her argument is.



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