There are way too many phrases that make me want to scream. The term ‘broken home’ has to be up there at number one.
It’s a phrase usually accompanied by statistics:
“Children from broken homes 5x more likely to suffer from mental health problems” (Daily Mail)
“Children from broken homes nine times more likely to commit crime ” (Telegraph)
” 7/10 young offenders come from broken homes” (Telegraph)
I’ve read through these articles,I’ve read the statistics and it seems that broken homes in these instances are those where there are not two biological parents living at home with the children. Broken home is often used to mean fatherless home,although there are of course motherless homes too.
I just think that these articles and statistics and panic inducing headlines do single parents a huge injustice.
Sure some families will struggle after splits and divorce.Sure some single parents will find it hard to cope so maybe we could look at how best to support them rather than write off their children as future thugs.
I don’t know one single parent who always envisaged this as the dream they’ve always wanted to persue from being a young child.I think most people would wish to raise their children in a marriage or long term relationship with their father.To have a calm,stable family life of mum,dad and children where the little ones can learn about healthy,respectful relationships from just observing their parents. Unfortunately though this sometimes simply doesn’t happen.
Scary headlines don’t help. I for one have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about being a single mum. That chip wasn’t put there by me though. I feel judged because I am judged,often.
An academic,Patricia Morgan,who has written several studies on family break up says this
“Broken families and serial fathers produce homes full of conflict and chaos and they are terrible for children”
Well Patricia, I am not as well educated as you . I’m not an academic. I am however on the front line of single parenting,everyday.
This house you speak of terrible for children? full of conflict? That was our life when we were living in the conventional family that you are so keen on. The fatherless ‘broken’ home we live in currently is one of relative calm , of happiness and laughter , of comfort.
As for the serial father bit that you chucked in there Patricia. We happen to be single parents we’re not animals looking for the next particularly fertile mate.
Yes there are families where the headlines and stats and stereotypes unfortunately ring true. That’s huge shame for all involved. It’s a shame for society.
The single parents I know though,raising our future thugs and villains?? We’re actually doing a bloody good job in really tough circumstances.
We’re resilient, we’re adaptable, we’re hardworking and we’re tough. Rather than looking for the next serial father to jump we’re actually making a cosy haven for our children,making sure they feel safe and loved and secure . We’re doing a two person job single handedly often whilst working or caring for other family members or studying.
The conventional family my children lived in once was a stifling,suffocating one. It was unhealthy and dangerous. It was not the calm nurturing environment it should have been.
My children are not from a broken home. They are from a fixed one.
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