Jennifer, Jim, Ethan, Elle and Aiden Vodden stroll at Camp Howard.
We should do all we can to support parents because family life is hard today.
Wages have not kept pace over the past decades, so families are poorer than they have ever been. Workers in the post-World War II boom were able to get raises and buy houses and save for college, even setting aside something for a summer vacation.
Now, average Oregon families have smaller houses and less cash for trips much beyond the beach. Despite the generosity of donors, families who make the commitment to Catholic education are dealing with a slim budget. If moms and dads need to re-tool for the information economy, tuition takes another chunk.
This whole phenomenon is forcing families into more troubled neighborhoods, while well-off couples and seniors occupy the safer zones. Crime and drugs next door are far too common an experience for many of our children.
These are also unprecedented times when it comes to the influence of media and culture on family life. The lyrics are raunchier and the films more explicit. Video games glorify assassins and those who wreak the most havoc. Those who glorify personal choice over the common good are now pushing same-sex marriage and legal marijuana, ignoring the ramifications on families. Even some of our Catholic high school students are getting on the gay marriage and pot bandwagons because such self-serving causes are appealing to adolescents.
We need to keep pointing out consequences and supporting parents who want to do the right thing despite the exhausting number of challenges in the age of social media.
Those of us who have emerged from the parenting years can give our employees better wages, support charities, donate to scholarship funds at Catholic schools. Let us know your ideas and we will print them. Families need us.