I took offense to Mortimer B. Zuckerman's "Family-Unfriendly Policies" [October 15].
I am the recently divorced mom of a 12-year-old son. As if single parents don't have enough to worry about, now we are told that our kids have a higher chance of doing worse in school and in their careers, all because we failed at our marriages. I admit that it probably is better for kids to grow up in a two-parent stable home. But I am doing my best to see that my son is a happy, well-adjusted young man. After an evening spent around the kitchen table encouraging him with his homework, giving him a hug when he was down, and saying grace before our dinner, I could've felt there is no hope for us after reading your article. Well, I know better. We are not broken; we are a family.
Zuckerman takes on a touchy subject with a firm hand and some balanced, well-researched insights into a problem that touches every aspect of American society, culture, politics, and the economy.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Divorce is so common now that we have knowledge about how to decrease risk factors for children. Families can adapt if conditions are favorable, and they often are. It would help if lay people and professionals alike would stop using terms like "broken home." Single-parent families have greater amounts of stress with fewer resources available to help cope. So why would Zuckerman suggest that fewer resources be given to individuals who need them most? Zuckerman, like many others, is far too invested in nostalgia of the past, even though our society continues to move forward in time. Embrace what is good about change, direct our energy toward creating policies informed by research, and avoid thinking that families of the 1950s were without problems. They were far better at hiding them.
Renda Ross, Ph.D.
Director and Chair
Social Work Program