January 22, 2014 · 7:00 PM
Let us define the traditional nuclear family as a mother, father and their children. Any additional, related kinsmen would then make an 'extended family'. An argument could be made that the nuclear family has been an existential reality for some time. The question is whether or not that nuclear family is relevant today or if it even exists. Given single parent households and gay marriages, plus attempts at removing the parent altogether as in the Israeli kibbutz program, are we not deviating from the structure of the traditional nuclear family concept? Can we sustain such a deviation? And what about the function of such a structure? In many households both parents deem it necessary to work. Thus, children spend time with nannies, babysitters, kindergarten teachers and elementary school teachers, not to mention neighborhood peer groups--and sometimes perhaps not even 'peer' groups. So, if we examine the structure and function of the so-called nuclear family, can we say it is still relevant? Or maybe it's still relevant, but impractical. But wouldn't 'impractical' imply irrelevance?
I'm sure you can think of many other issues that revolve around this question. I look forward to having you share your thoughts and ideas with us at the next meeting. See you then.