The so-called "nuclear" family has just about been the death of Western Civilization. Reducing a family to its absolute minimum amount of components, and then expecting each family to function properly in all situations with little or no external support, is an absurd concept. While the primary need for a "family" is to provide for the raising of children, it is absolutely ludicrous to expect every mother to do this (actually or virtually) alone, with little or no support from the father, especially in light of the modern trend towards needing two incomes in order to be able to afford even the minimal necessities of life. Accordingly, we need to return to the concept of an "extended family," which embraces not only blood relatives, but those with whom a large portion of the life of an individual has been spent.11 This "extended family" may then engage itself in the practice of "team parenting," whereby the adult members of the "extended family" may each take turns as the primary supervisor of all (or at least most of) the children. Older children may be recruited to interact with, and participate in the training of, younger children, so long as the older children are of such an age and maturity that they will not willfully hurt the younger children with whom they are expected to interact. While the family might logically be composed of any number of individuals who no longer live together, the essential concept to grasp here is that the physical family unit consists of all individual family members who have arranged to live in close proximity to one another, and furthermore, such close proximity living arrangements are to be very strongly encouraged by society. It is a great waste of both human and natural resources to encourage each individual to establish an individual household, which thereby separates that individual from the rest of the family of said individual.12
11 The hierarchy is thus: the "nuclear family" (consisting of one or more children, living with at least one parent, and possibly two); the "family" (consisting of all blood relationships); and the "extended family" (consisting of all blood relationships plus all other individuals who have made an extended and important contribution to the development of the individual).
12 I must believe that Western Civilization has encouraged this trend primarily for economic reasons, in that the more individual households there are, the more need there is for the goods required to support such an individual household.
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