Friday, 11 June 2010

"Who Needs Siblings?" Asks Britain

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“Be fruitful and multiply” is an injunction not only in the faith of Christians and Jews but throughout most great civilizations. Devout Christians and Orthodox Jews have historically produced large, close families. In America, the “Baby Boomer” generation after the end of the Second World War reflected an affirmation of life by couples who had endured the Great Depression and the Second World War, periods in which having children was a problem that many simply could not afford.  

Western Civilization in recent decades has witnessed a dangerous trend away from large, happy families. The explosion of unwed mothers means that many millions of children grow up without a father or, at least, a father in the home.The ease of abortions means that conceived unborn children are killed in the womb. Britain, which has been on a long moral decline over the last fifty years, now faces the extinction of multi-child families. Demographic trends indicate that by 2020, the one child family in Britain will be the norm. 

Psychological studies indicate that singletons — one child families — tend to produce children with more social problems than children who grew up with siblings. But that is not stopping the British establishment from discounting the problems of a single child family. Sky News reports that a study of 90,000 parents in 2009 showed that three-child families were the happiest, but in Britain such families are often portrayed now as homes with overstretched parents. Manuals like “Baby-Proofing Your Marriage” give advice to couples about how to avoid the “problems” of children. BBC programs like “Outnumbered” reinforce the image that parents with several children get more grief than parents with one child or no children.

The bias against large families extends even to the criminal justice system in Britain. Last summer a Southampton mother of five, who was also a Sunday school teacher, was charged with the offense of leaving her younger children briefly in the custody of her oldest child in a park while she went to shop at a nearby establishment. When Yvette Garside wanted to take her two young children for a swim at a pool in Bolton, she was advised that each child had to be accompanied by an adult.

Non-governmental organizations have gotten into the act as well. Although statistics in Britain indicate that 46 percent of families have only one child, when the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children announced that one third of British children were lonely and bored, it completely ignored the possible impact of no siblings in the home. If all this sounds too much like the narcissistic and disconnected world described in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, that is not coincidence. The deconstruction of family, begun many decades ago by people like Margaret Sanger, is rolling steadily onward, leaving only the state or “society” as the proper object of affection and respect.

Photo: Six youngsters line up outside a Los Angeles, Ca. courtroom on June 18, 1969 to await approval of contracts calling for them to play brothers and sisters on a new TV series called "The Brady Bunch": AP Images

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