I was watching ABC’s “This Week” yesterday (4/20/2014) and being Easter, the conversation revolved around religion with a pinch of politics and a dose of personal opinion. It came around to parenting and what’s the best situation for kids. The comment that struck me was stated by Cokie Roberts who said regarding families, “If we got better men we’d be in better shape”.
Everyone, including the religious leaders on the panel, agreed. So do I. This statement by Ms. Roberts, associating fathers and the health of families, is the one and only reason I write this blog, and it’s why I wrote a book on fatherhood. It’s personal to me because I have seen the pain and results when a father is not involved with his family. Where and how do we get better men? Are men solely to blame?
Why “better men” was singled out is interesting. The conversation was not about men, it was about adoption, gay couples, Russian children, and Vladimir Putin. When I single out the abandonment by some men of their families as a huge factor in the decline of the classical family unit, it's because that is what I know and focus on. However, families would be in better shape if a myriad of things were better!
Better and more available parenting education would help. Better sex education and education in general would help. Better relations between mothers and fathers would help. Counseling would help. Many more mentors would help. Organizations focused on keeping families together would help. And yes, even better women would help!
The evangelists on the show were not too convincing, but they stayed on topic. They opined that gay couples adopting kids was not the best scenario for raising children. For the record, who in their right mind would not choose a loving gay couple over an orphanage for a child? The evangelists were quietly gay bashing (not so surprising) while Cokie Roberts was not so quietly bashing men. What will no doubt be discussed by water coolers is the gay parenting issue. That’s not what caught my ear!
By the way Ms. Roberts, if we had better journalists there wouldn’t be so much bad reporting going on. But to be fair, you and other journalists are not the only problem:
Better and more available journalism schools would help. Better ethics education would help. Better relations between reporters and editors would help. Counseling would help. Many more mentors would help. Organizations focused on fair reporting would help. And yes, even better editors would help!
It wouldn't be fair of me to single out all journalists for the faults of a minority.