I'm not one for serious subjects, but I think this one should be addressed. So get ready for the wisdom I'm going to lay on you- it's going to blow your mind.
Here in America, we have many things, but a good family structure isn't one of them. Oh sure, we used to be the epitome of wonderfulness, but that was in the fifties; nowadays family structure is so messed up, I would compare it to rickety, rusted scaffolding. There might be a few metal bars in there that are strong, but not enough that the entire thing won't collapse the moment you set foot onto it.
Let me explain.
It's like trying to build a house on sand- if you don't have to have a strong foundation, the house will fall apart. People get married too fast. Many people have kids before the marriage (it used to be afterward), then couples find out that their six-month romance was a fleeting thing, and marriage 'just doesn't work' for them. So they get divorced and look for another whirlwind relationship. Those couples that do work out the rough spots (or are even *gasp* happy in marriage) fall for the idea that they must provide everything for their children, so both parents keep working. 'Things' have replaced 'Time' as the best way to handle children, letting them have the latest gadget or watching TV until their eyes burn out instead of taking them to a park, reading to them, or playing a game.
A parent can spend over half their paycheck on daycare and babysitting. Then when the child grows up a spoiled, unruly teenager, parents wonder what happened to the sweet child they gave birth to, not even realizing it wasn't they who really raised their kids- it was the sitters! So now we have a bunch of adolescents with bad attitudes applying for jobs- that is, if they feel like working.
Unemployment is also a big issue, which ties into the family structure as well. Think about this- say you have 50,000 married people living in an area. If just one parent stayed home to care for the kids, that would be another 25,000 jobs available for other families that can't find work. Yes, you'd have to tighten the budgeting belt, but it would be worth the sacrifice to see your children growing up before you, and knowing you were a major part of it.
Imagine that- Neighbors chatting with neighbors as their kids play with each other, getting to know people face-to-face instead of having a phone attached to our ear or hands. Not having to deal with a cubicle and a boss staring over our shoulders. If most families did this, I really believe this is what would happen. More jobs filled, less family stress, and we might actually talk with each other over coffee instead of the cell phone!
Yes, I do understand that some families really need both parents working, but I'm talking about the people who are doing it just to have the extra cash and luxuries. Sometimes it's a good thing to make your children wait for things. This world puts way too much emphasis on instant gratification.
Parents are supposed to be the ones who teach their children morals, home skills, and work ethics. Yes, I said work ethics. You do work as a homemaker- the big payoff just doesn't come until the kids have grown up. And in an 'instant gratification' society, not many want the job. But who could possibly do a better job than you at raising your kids?
Women need to step up and be good, loving, and responsible wives and mothers. Men need to step up and take care of their wives and children, and lead their children with moral guidance and discipline. Both parents must work as a team to give their kids a loving, stable environment, as well as being loving to each other.
As for the younger people still dating- You simply cannot rush into a relationship and expect a perfect marriage. Good relationships take time- and restraint.
The modern family structure is broken, and will take a lot of work to fix. The question I ask is this- how many are really ready to do the work to make things better?