Podcast Episode 57: The Problem with the Nuclear Family

Podcast Episode 57: The Problem With the Nuclear Family

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 57 of The New Family Podcast where we explore the state of the nuclear family.

What if there was a better way to raise our children than the nuclear family? My guest on the podcast for this episode is long-time journalist and author Vicki Larson. She and her co-author Susan Gadoua were on the show way back on episode 12 “Are We Doing Marriage Wrong?” to discuss the findings of their book, The New ‘I Do’: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels, which is one of our most popular episodes so far. Vicki and I discuss something that’s a pet topic for me—the limitations of and problems with the nuclear family, and the fiction we’ve built up around it. Vicki has a book on the subject in development, and she explains how a form of shared parenting—sometimes called “alloparenting”—is deeply ingrained in how we evolved and learned to thrive as a species. In fact, though we still put it on a pedestal, the nuclear family is already no longer the norm. Fewer than half of children under the age of 18 are living in households with married heterosexual parents in their first marriages. She shares some thought provoking ideas about how we could really learn to live accordingly to the “it takes a village” philosophy.

Here are some great resources related to my discussion with Vicki.

Episode 12: Are We Doing Marriage Wrong featuring Vicki and Susan Gadoua

The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels

The New I Do website

Vicki’s blog, OMG Chronicles

The works of academic Anca Gheaus

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

The 1,000 Families Project

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This episode is brought to you by Wise Bites, makers of healthy, allergy-safe snacks that are great for the whole family and perfect to send to school. To get free shipping on a case, go to wise-bites.com and use promo code THENEWFAMILY at checkout!

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by