Deseret News best of 2012: Family life
Josh Stauffer, Megan Pilling Kemp and John Pedersen don’t know each other. Their stories don’t seem to have much in common.
Stauffer is a high school student trying to undo mistakes after nearly losing himself to substance abuse. Kemp has advanced breast cancer and is trying to build lasting memories with her young daughter. Pedersen is a young dad trying to do everything right with his own kids despite the lack of powerful role models as he grew up.
Their stories, which are among those I’ve had the privilege of telling this year, share a theme. They are all about family. That's my beat at the Deseret News.
Families are the glue that holds society together. Though those bonds can be fragile, broken, mending or strong, the human experience with family resonates, and we can learn from and help each other.
We’ve offered our readers stories that cross the spectrum from practical advice about when it’s time for an elderly person to relinquish the car keys to an in-depth look at the pressures facing boys and young men today in school and from the media. We have dealt with sensitive topics like suicide and shared the sorrow of a mother whose toddler fell from a window to his death.
The pressures on family have never been more intense or the stakes higher. From a purely structural perspective, fewer couples are getting married, though sociology experts say that’s the best family structure for children to thrive. Moreover, fewer couples are having children, and many are having fewer children. Look to middle age and beyond, and more people are choosing to go it alone. Safety nets are being strained and sometimes tattered. Governments wrestle with the very definition of what family is.
What happens in families writes the future.
The stories they've shared this year have left me pondering the meaning and impact of family and what we learn from each other. I can't wait to see whom we all meet in 2013.
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