Should we ditch the nuclear family?

Should we ditch the nuclear family?

Young people are staying at home for longer because they can’t afford to study, or to pay rent and save for a deposit on a house or flat. When they do have children, their parents often look after them because child care is so expensive.  And, at the other end of the spectrum, increasing pressure on residential care is causing growing concern as to the fate of the oldest members of the family.

So how about we stop treating young people who stay at home as though they’re immature takers, and their grandparents as if they’re a worthless burden, and let go of the idea that the nuclear family is the model we should all aspire to?

No-one appreciates having their own space more than I do and, obviously, shoving people together who don’t necessarily get on is a recipe for disaster. But, given that these issues can only become more of a challenge over time, should we start thinking about how larger groups of people could be housed in a workable way?

I would think that, for many families, pooling resources could provide everyone with a more pleasant living environment than they could afford individually. In terms of design, there must be ways to ensure people have the private space we all need as well as opportunities to come together and provide support where it’s needed. And having more people around would surely ease the enormous weight of responsibility for both the very young and the very old that, at the moment, one or two family members are often forced to bear.