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posted: 2/23/2013 5:00 AM

Get to the heart of problems: broken families

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Recently I watched a TV panel discussion on the president's failure to fight the war on poverty. It got me upset. When are we going to put political correctness aside and confront the real cause of so many social ills in today's culture? These include poverty, drugs, gangs, addictions, promiscuity, drive-by and mass shootings, respect for life, one-parent families, school dropouts, lack of job skills and many others.

For fear of offending this group or that group, we cannot talk about the single most important cause of these problems. We must end our denial and admit that the breakdown of the family is the source where many of these problems raise their ugly head?

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Why is the family unit the starting point? It is in properly formed families where children learn and get their motivation to make the crucial decisions that set them on a path to success. A child that is guided by a mother and father, supported by willing grandparents, and encouraged by emotionally mature older siblings will learn to share, sacrifice and respect others. This positive formation will help them appreciate from early on the importance of an education. And it is the motivation to get a good education that leads to success.

Sometimes the unpredictable and uncontrollable manifests itself even in the best of families. Many good families have to deal with this reality. But throwing more borrowed money at poverty, more police on the street or more education reforms will not solve their respective problems. It will take decades to see progress, but we must admit that the starting point is to invest in programs that improve societies' lowest but most important common denominator, the family unit. That is where most values, both positive and negative, are instilled into children.

LeRoy Kunkel

Palatine

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