Does family breakdown matter?

When we read about the increase of family breakdown, not only here in the UK, but globally it is clear that over the last 40 years there has been a huge increase in children being brought up in a lone parent household.

I think I have mentioned before that when I first started work in education it was unusual to have more than one child in a class affected this way, by the time I retired it had become the norm in a class of 30 plus.

So the big question is why is there this huge increase?

I don’t think there is necessarily one reason but many different factors involved.

It does seem that we have moved towards the fact that the traditional family unit is a thing of the past, that couples don’t feel they have to get married to have a family, the family dynamic is completely different.

This is flying in the face of feminism but it is I feel a valid point.

40years ago, my mums generation, were still living their lives as had been done for so long, mum at home looking after the family, whilst dad was out earning money to keep his family.

Suddenly that all changed, the roles started to alter.

The days of ‘equality’ began, women could now go out and get jobs, they were able to have a career. Opportunities opened up to them. No longer were they tied to the home and all that went with it, they were independent people with a voice and they took full advantage of it. Many learnt to drive which in turn allowed them the sort of freedom that had been unthinkable.

One problem with this is that, men have found themselves without a role, no longer the breadwinner, no longer head of the family, they have become ‘surplus to requirements’ to many feminists. Those words were spoken to me today by a man.

I have said countless times that there is a difference with equality and feminism. Feminists are very powerful in every walk of life, they tend to believe that all women feel as they do, well I for one don’t.

We should celebrate the fact that men and women are different, we are not the same, we have our own strengths and weaknesses.

Women have made the decision that they don’t need men, that children don’t need fathers apart for assisting to conceive them, and actually that is not always the case now either.

It may be ok for the adults to pick and choose as to whether they have two loving parents involved in the nurturing and caring of them, but the children don’t have that choice.

Those who have chosen to be lone parents will no doubt say that there is no detrimental impact on their children, I wonder if you asked the children what they would say?

In my experience of working with children, and indeed my own personal experience, they love both of their parents,they want to be given the choice of having both parents in their lives.

It is true to say that a lone parent can receive more financial benefits than a couple, so there is no incentive there to be married.

Children are not children for very long and they too are now growing up to believe that the family unit is not important that a loving and healthy relationship between two people is no longer necessary. That children don’t need to have two parents in their lives and so the spiral of family decline continues.

I do truly believe that our society is in danger of breaking down all together if we don’t see a cultural shift back to family values, respect for family life and children benefiting from being part of loving and caring relationship.

Within these breakdowns we have the children who are denied contact  of any sort from one parent and/or family members, taking away the very building blocks that strengthen their family life. If there are no foundation bricks the building falls down.

Families left in a heap of rubble.


About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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