BY SHARON MARTIN
It’s hard, too, for a family to live on one salary. When companies demand more from workers but decline to increase wages with productivity, children, with one parent or two, are the losers.
While I never want to return to the social structure of the ‘50s, when a woman was shamed into giving up a child conceived out of wedlock, I would love to return to an economic model that allows one of two parents to be home when the children get off the school bus.
There are solutions. I was able to work at home when my children were in school. Often the hours were long, but I was there to fix breakfast in the morning and put a proper snack on the table when the kids got home from school. We ate dinner around the table as a family most evenings.
Family time is more important than being able to provide gadgets, games, and fashionable clothing. Children need parents more than they need things. They need role models and rules, and they need security.
Here’s another solution: teach sex education in high school. Filling in bubbles on a standardized test won’t teach children what their parents may not have learned, that sex isn’t about sin, it’s about responsibility.
Having children is a choice, regardless of what the Bishops say.
Humans have urges – to eat, to fortify a piece of property against invaders, to procreate. We can do these things willy-nilly or we can make conscious choices.
Which path we take almost always starts with education, whether we learn from our families or at school. And if parents aren’t teaching the social responsibilities of family life, schools need to step in.
We have a responsibility to give our children the best lives we can possibly give them. We can’t control all circumstances. There will always be widows and orphans and parents gone to war or working on the road.
But in most cases, the type of home we give our children is our choice to make. That starts with deciding when we’ll have children and who will be there to raise them.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer