Families together is important

Larry Janesky: Think Daily

Our subscriber Willis Ponds commented about another thing that is critically important that few talk about; the breakdown of the family structure. He says “That is one of the single-most destructive problems facing today’s society. Children that come out of broken homes statistically don’t do as well in life, aren’t as productive, aren’t as good at solving problems, become a burden on society, commit more crimes, etc, etc. If we don’t solve the family problem then we will have poverty in plenty in the future.”

I agree.  Do you?

I’d add the economic case too.  It seems to me in the past we had two or even three generations living together.  Parents could go to work while the grandparents watched the kids.  They all shared the heat, the property taxes, the mortgage, and many other things.  It was simply cheaper per family member to live. And there was more than one, maybe more than two incomes in that household.  Wisdom and values got passed on from generation to generation.

Today everyone needs their own household.  Those three generations live in four places now.  Four rents, four gas/electric/tv bills, less people to help, talk to, and share with.  Child care and elderly care costs are way up.  With COVID, a single Mom can’t work when her small kids are home and need help going to school in front of a screen.

Ok, we can’t all be the Walton’s.  And in some families you are better off not having certain members around the rest.  But clearly the idea has changed and it results in more expense, which requires more working by the head of a small household, which means even more time away from the kids…

If you don’t have a family member to turn to for help, you wind up turning to a government agency.

Now, everyone doesn’t want to be home all their lives and wants to feel some independence over their home and life.  So “in-law” apartments” seem to be a good idea.  BUT, in many places they are illegal.  Zoning laws do not allow another residence on one lot.  This makes this problem worse.

What do you think about all this?

Comment with the orange button.

Bob ligmanowski

Wow…this is deep ! Family is everything, and seeing or talking on the phone with my sisters (my older brother passed away a couple years back) always brings a smile to my face. Guess I was lucky my dad worked his butt off for us, and was a little tough (I was the youngest, so I was spoiled:). And my mom stayed home with us, to “manage the family” I would be happy to help any of them ! Most families at least have your back (I know… not all)

Mary Lawrence

When we went to Italy in 2019, we did a walking “food tour” in Venice. It was just the 4 of us and her. We spent a lot of time talking about this very subject! She was in her middle 20s. She said it’s very common, especially in Venice, for several generations to be in one home/apartment. There is nowhere to build, but it’s important, and traditional for them to stay together. She said that living with her family allowed her to get her education, help out with the family and work a job. We found they are very passionate about generations being together, and homes and farms staying in the family for hundreds of years. I loved that part of our trip.


Family is great and important that there is love and kindness there too. My wife and I have tried to instill in our children the idea of the family bond, by spending time together and by example with our relationship with my siblings, (my wife is an only child and she longs for siblings). But….for the past 5 yrs ish, my wife’s mom 83 and in good health and widowed and my mom 74 ish in good health and divorced, have lived with us and although its nice and all that, it is indeed a stress on our marriage and a bit of stress on our kids too, having three moms. Fortunately my mom works as a live in cna so is only home every other weekend, if she were here 24/7 like my wife’s mom, we would be in trouble. Just not sure if 3 generations of family’s living together is a good idea, you did mention in-law apartments, probably a better option. Here are the stats, 48, 48, 25, 16, 83 and 74. Gender split 3 male , 3 female and thank God no one is unsure lol!

Gene Henslay

This is great!!! I do believe in these theories as I come from a broken home and so does my wife. I think we both wanted something different in life and 33 years 3 children 2 grandchildren later we are still together and stronger than ever. I believe without the help of our moms and Grandparents life could have been different.

Willis Ponds

I agree with your economic case as well and I actually had that exact multi-generational situation in my own home for a while. It is considerably less expensive for more people to live in one house than to live in two or more houses. However, as you mentioned and Jeff pointed out above it is not for everyone and I would say it doesn’t always work perfectly all of the time. All of the benefits you mentioned are there though.

Brandon Carr

Zoning laws need to be changed.

Dan Cox

We have my mother-in-law with us and that has allowed us to both work while the kids are well taken care of. In addition, it gives her security and company as she ages.

Sheila Marr

There are still some fairly prosperious countries that this is still the practice, some have multi story homes with each house hold having their own floor or wing, ect. This is how some have been able to amase wealth.
I’d have to have my own space, but it makes a lot of sense.

Michelle Smith

Good points, and novel idea & idealistic. However, not all family members are healthy to be around.

Patrick O'Toole

I’ve typed out several different responses, as this has taken me on quite the journey! I think that in the end, in short, you can’t just fix the “family problem”, you need to fix people in general and you can’t fix anyone who doesn’t want to be fixed or think there is anything TO fix. At least in my own personal experience with family, you can’t fix an issue if someone won’t accept there is one. Too many people believe that the way they were taught growing up was the right way, because who would teach a child the wrong way? I’ll safely say its probably VERY FEW people that purposely misguide their children, but people have a very hard time accepting that they are wrong about something for whatever reason, shame or pride etc etc etc. We need to fix PEOPLE, and we can’t fix PEOPLE if they aren’t open and welcoming to the process. I wish you the best of luck, and offer my services if I can assist at all because I dream of a world where we as a society can show the humility required to address these issues and ask for help correcting these behaviors. There’s too much to put in a comment, I need to start a “Reply Daily” blog!


I totally agree with the topic, the family relation makes a huge impact on our life as much as in bussiness. we need to talk to our government officials to reduce the tax on the hard working people specially the single young people how do we expect them to do good if the government takes almost half of their paycheck.


My family story starts with a second attempt to start a business. Mom answered the phone Dad ran down parts and equipment , I sold and installed equipment and my wife worked full time at the hospital. Five years later we had our second child my wife took over mom’s job while raising two boys and creating detailed financials . Hired employees I ran sales and production and Dad kept crews on jobs by getting whatever they needed. Year 7 we bought a 5000 square foot building and moved everything at year 9 Dad retired for a second time . My parents now were having trouble with stairs , my wife and I decided to help them since it would have been very difficult for them to go in debt and build a new home. It was satisfying to pay it back for my parents who had always helped us . Thirty two years later we sold our business and have been able to help our boys and grandchildren in their ventures. When I read Larry’s comments about our country and future it is true ,we live in the greatest country at the greatest time . Sorry to ramble but my family was absolutely critical to success and I hope to be able to pay it forward.Thank you to my family

Jerry Sirois

Personally I wish we could have 3 generations in a household and I think it would be best for everyone

Marsha Reynolds

Sigh! The old story that the breakdown of families is always destructive. It was difficult for sure but we did have our Grandmother to look after us when Mum worked. The long and the short is both my Grandmother and Mother encouraged education and as a result we all have degrees and including 2 PhD’s. We have all been successful contributing members of society. Are we an outlier? Maybe it’s that we only hear about families that don’t do well? Mum would go bananas when she heard such stereotypes. Interesting conversation.

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