Coupledoms, Focus On Education!

Clarifying Priorities: I do not consider myself an expert on economics, not even adequate, but I am an expert on couples and families. Today’s New York Times’ Op Ed column by David Brooks is a must read for couples with children. Scroll down to paragraph 7 and read his description of something he terms “Red Inequality” which is the term he uses for that segment of the population without a college diploma.

Distracted Coupledoms: Mr. Brooks provides a assemblage of statistics that should jolt all who take comfort in the rational “college isn’t meant for everyone.” No indeed but there better be a good reason why your child is not headed in that direction, one way or another. What the numbers reveal is that kids without college degrees are more likely to smoke, divorce, have out-of-wedlock children, and fewer friends. Holy Tamole. Is it that serious? Yes. What worries me is when I see couples so distracted by their relational difficulties, whether married, separating or divorced, that they lose sight of the needed focus on educating their children. In fact, often the child’s education becomes another victim in the Coupledom mess, when former spouses fight over funding a post-secondary education to the point where the child gives up, acts out, and ends up dropping out. Or the father may message, “Hey, its cool not to go to college. I didn’t and see how well I am doing.” Yes but times they are a changing. And most of the human race is not Steve Jobs either.

Choosing Peer Groups and Communities: Where your children grow up and with whom also sets a standard that may message college is not cool. Guess what, apparently it is cool after all.

Take A Moment and A Look: And pass this along. I think this is a more than worthy read and wake up call for all of us.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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