Letter: The nuclear family just cannot cope

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The Independent Online
The nuclear family just cannot cope

Sir: It seems to me, a working wife and mother, that the modern nuclear family is inadequate as a framework for the raising of children ("The 11th commandment: thou shalt not pass the buck", 28 October).

It may have worked in the past for those of the prosperous middle classes where the father's income was sufficient to support a wife, children and servants. Nowadays a huge proportion of the employed have insufficient income to support their immediate family. This is why so many wives and mothers are having to work for money.

A single, traditional marriage of adults simply cannot provide sufficient resources for the proper raising of children as loved, respected and fully developed individuals. I think we must look for better ways of pooling our resources.

A group of about 12 adults would have enough energy and skill to raise shared children and care for and nurture each other. They could each play a role as appropriate, in earning outside income, producing food, keeping the abode clean and functioning, nursing, educating and entertaining. Each child would have a choice of adults in each situation without draining the emotional and energy resources of just one or two.

We must stop harking back to the outmoded, inadequate nuclear family.

HILARY CHIVALL

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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