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It’s enough to make one nostalgic for Andy and Aunt Bea, and for an age when TV life tended to be exaggeratedly innocent, not exaggeratedly coarse.
The truth is that millions of today’s single parents — moms and dads both — labor heroically to provide for and nurture their kids. Many succeed, but the challenges others face play an enormous role in persistent child poverty, educational problems and declining social mobility.
The issues are maddeningly difficult to discuss, requiring a exactingly delicate blend of compassion and admiration, candor and concern. But progress against poverty almost certainly depends on our society’s identifying ways to pursue two somewhat contradictory goals — improving the condition of single-parent families while slowing their growth.
Where once we had carefree fiction about single-parent families, today we need more freedom to confront the real-life crisis the circumstances of so many of them represent.
D.J. Tice is at Doug.Tice@startribune.com.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.