After reading the recent New York Times story finding that more U.S. women are living without a husband than with one, many people likely sounded the familiar drumbeat that the traditional American family is under attack.
Stop the music. It's not buckling under an attack. It's slowly dying from neglect.
Strangely, the full Times article spanned almost 1,500 words without mentioning one word:
Mind you, the authors were very comprehensive in the way they interviewed middle-aged women embracing their singlehood after years under the marital yoke, or women who simply don't want to get married.
And there's nothing wrong with any of that.
But the minefield the Times chose not to enter is an area in which children suffer from not growing up in households with a mother and a father.
It's a fact that's painstakingly well-documented. Involved, loving fathers contribute significantly to children's cognitive development, achievement, motivation, sense of security, confidence and the likelihood of making sound life choices, according to study after study cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That's not to say marriage is a magic bullet for a happy family. Not every dad is a Bill Cosby or an Ozzie Nelson. And marriage shouldn't have to be forced on a capable parent who is happily single.
However, all children deserve the best chance at success and happiness, and the best way to deliver it is through a mom and a dad.
But don't take our word for it - ask your parents.