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The Utah Deseret News has published its choice of the top ten articles of 2011 on the family.

#10 — Raising Special Children

A 2009 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 13 percent of children met criteria for at least one of six mental disorders. Some have multiple issues. And there are far more than those six disorders to consider.

A Utah Easy to Love, Hard to Raise parent support group helps parents who have to cope with raising a special child while still functioning as parents of other children and people with vocations, hobbies, and dreams.   The organization was created by two such moms, who set up a blog: and who meet with other parents in two Utah cities.   (Read more…)

#9 — Genealogy: Expanding the Family Tree

This year family history viewers have topped 149 million, based on website statistics from, as users, typically aged 45 and older, seek out connections to relatives.

More than 100 million records will be made available this year via companies like Salt Lake City-based FamilySearch International, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Provo-based Inc. and Palo Alto, California-based Part-time ancestral sleuths are turning to the Internet to find their progenitors, with companies trying to keep up with a growing market.  (Read more…)

#8 — Teen’s Dad Spends School Year Waving at Bus

Rain Price is a high school sophomore whose bus route changed so the bus would pass right by his house.  Every day, his dad showed up to wave at the bus — each time in a different costume.

“No recycling costumes, that’s the rule,” Price said. “I managed to adhere to that, and for better or for worse … we have some interesting costumes.” (Read more…)

#7 — Progress and Challenges for Women

…a new comprehensive report was recently released by the White House Council on Women and Girls — the first of its kind since a 1963 report by John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

That commission, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, was charged with recommending ways to overcome “discriminations in government and private employment on the basis of sex” and point out services that would “enable women to continue their role as wives and mothers while making a maximum contribution to the world around them.”

The new report shows that women have made great strides, but that they still lag behind men in the workforce — in both pay and financial stability. (Read more…)

#6 — Marriage Gap Grows

The marriage gap is growing as co-habitation becomes the new norm.

Between 1960 and 2009, the number of nonmarital cohabiting couples — “sexual partners who are not married to each other but share a household” — in the United States increased more than fifteenfold, according to “The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2010,” produced by the University of Virginia National Marriage Project. About one-fourth of unmarried women 25 to 39 live with a partner and a similar number have done so in the past.

The full impact of this trend will not be felt for years, but many negatives are already showing up, especially where children are involved with co-habiting couples.  (Read more…)

#5 — Pro-life Movement Making a Comeback

For decades, Americans have argued over the morality and legality of abortion, in an emotionally heated and often intellectually clouded debate.

Yet this debate has reached a new intensity thanks to a wave of Tea Party and conservative Republicans who were swept into the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures November 2010.

In Washington, it has become a no-holds barred battle.  One fighting ground was the debate over funding to Planned Parenthood.  (Read more…)

4— The Age of Entitlement

A sense of entitlement…

isn’t just in preschool classrooms; it’s in homes, high schools, offices and even the highest levels of government. It impacts the way children treat their parents and siblings, interferes with education and can contribute to a lifetime of unhappiness, financial instability and disdain for work, experts say.

Entitled children and adults think they deserve to have everything their way, and that they shouldn’t have to do anything they don’t want to.  They have a very low tolerance for frustration, are impatient, and tend to raise their kids to be the same way.  (Read more…)

#3 — Blending Motherhood and Work

In the United States today, among mothers with children under 18 years of age, 71 percent of them are working, the highest number on record. In 1975 it was 47 percent.

While those numbers refer to mothers who punch a time clock or pull in a paycheck, any mother will tell you that motherhood is its own job — minus the public recognition, office perks or paid holidays.

American mothers who work are forced to be “supermoms,” but all eventually find that “doing it all” is taxing and daunting.  Most feel they are not getting to everything and shortchanging either home or work, or both. (Read more…)

#2 — Emerging Adulthood Changes Dating Rituals

Members of the LDS Church as well as people worldwide — young and old — are grappling with the question of marriage in a swiftly shifting society.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age for a man to marry is about 28 and a woman 26 — a figure that has been on the rise for the last few decades — with members of the LDS Church consistently getting married about two to three years earlier than the national average. Earlier this month at the LDS General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson and other church leaders encouraged young single Mormon men to more actively pursue matrimony.

Some studies have shown that since women are striding out in education and career opportunities, men are lengthening their youth and waiting to make commitments such as marriage.  Thus, even in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where marriage and family are of central importance, young people are waiting much longer to marry.  (Read more…)

#1 — Fatherless America

One third of American children have no father in the home.

In the past 50 years, the percentage of children who live with two married parents has dropped 22 points. During that same time, the number of babies born to unwed mothers jumped from 5 percent to 40 percent.

Studies show that a father’s influence is important for children, and has been linked to profound emotional, physical, and psychological milestones in development.  “Several leading sociologists have labeled father absence ‘the most pressing issue facing America today.'” (Read more…)


* Top Ten Deseret News Stories of 2011 on Family Life

Additional Resources:

Threats to Marriage and Family

The Church of Jesus Christ on Marriage and Family

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

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