A report issued by a British Christian organization asserts that "Most of the obstacles children face today are linked to the belief among adults that the prime duty of the individual is to make the most of their own life, rather than contribute to the good of others."

(It's available in bound form on Amazon.)

Normally, I resent a religious organization telling me to have "family values," because what usually comes next is an order to stay home in the kitchen, baking pies for my family.

But this group didn't say I can't work. Instead, they call on parents to simply love their children and be committed to one another, and for the government to offer a number of things, including "civil birth ceremonies" which would presumably cement parents' feeling of responsiblity toward their children.

Not only was I surprised to find myself agreeing with a church group, but I found myself wanting to go farther than its recommendations. I'd recommend that parents -- as a couple -- examine the number of hours that work and other pursuits separate them from their children, and work to reduce those hours.

That doesn't mean that all mothers should forsake work outside the home. That means that between them, parents should not be working more hours than they have to, at the expense of the children.

Problems attributed to parental work schedules in the report include premature sexual activity and spending way too many hours under the influence of media and video games.

Maybe if anything good comes out of this recession, it will be that newly under- and unemployed parents realize that their families need fewer material things than they thought, and that time at home is never time wasted.