In a recent article for The Atlantic, David Brooks claims “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake” ( He contends that the model of a married couple with 2.5 kids was an anomaly in the 1950s and 1960s, and that this nuclear family model is no longer working for many Americans, especially those who are less privileged. To address this family crisis, Brooks argues we need to break out of the nuclear-family-is-best mindset and “thicken and broaden” family relationships by incorporating extended families and “families of choice” (e.g., friends, co-religionists, and other voluntary groups living together) as better ways to raise children. Bishop Barron offers his thoughts on the article and how they compare with Catholic social teaching on the family.