Family needs to retain its importance in society
Some people today consider the family an inherently oppressive institution that is merely designed to instill conformity and discipline.
There is a view that the traditional two-parent household in suburbia is an outdated idea and that having a family naturally restricts people’s development as human beings.
It might be hip and trendy to decry marriage as inherently unstable and to hold a cynical opinion about the family in general, since many television shows and movies reinforce this, such as Californication and Revolutionary Road.
Raising children is increasingly considered a burden rather than a blessing, as exemplified by lowering birth rates across Canada and much of Europe, whereas single life, in contrast, has become seen as liberating.
The rate of natural population increase in Canada has been declining since the beginning of the 1990s, according to Statistics Canada, and in 2005-06 growth was at a mere 0.0033 per cent.
I do not believe a family has to fit the traditional nuclear family definition – extended family parenting, step-families, common law and homosexual parents or those who adopt can do every bit as good a job as heterosexual biological parents at raising a child.
But while many single-parents work very hard, I do not believe single parent households are ideal.
It is particularly unfortunate that some parents abandon their families and leave one parent to raise children on their own.
In 2006, Statistics Canada reported that out of the total households within Canada, approximately 16 per cent were lone-parent households averaging 2.5 people.
The absence of a father figure can cause young males in particular to seek male role models elsewhere.
This can lead toward them seeking negative role models who may spur them toward a life of criminality.
Single parent families tend to be more impoverished, and their children more unhappy.
For instance, a Swedish study found that children from single-parent households are around three times as likely as children from two-parent households to commit or attempt suicide by the age of 26.
Having the positive influence of a second parent is always more beneficial to children.
The family unit is integral to people’s development as human beings, and should not be viewed as inherently oppressive and outdated.