Families in meltdown?

  TopCat® 18:48 05 Apr 2008
Locked

No, not my words but those of Mr Justice Coleridge, a Family Division judge for England and Wales. Strong words indeed as he hits out at the government and accuses ministers of not doing enough about a "meltdown" in family life. He goes on to warn the results could be as destructive as global warming. And there's more. click here Does anyone believe he is right? TC.

  lisa02 18:52 05 Apr 2008

My other half works and I do not.

We would be a couple of grand better off if we lived a part. Add that to the Tax increase this year and escalating other costs we may well end up splitting up because of financial difficulties.

  Forum Editor 19:11 05 Apr 2008

to make these fiery speeches. We have a judge in our family, and he has made a couple of controversial speeches from the bench in his time. It's a way judges have of releasing some of the pent-up frustration they feel, having to sit there, day after day, seeing all the signs of problems in society.

I tend to think that there's something in what this judge has said. He said (amongst other things)

"I am not saying every broken family produces dysfunctional children but I am saying that almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family. What is government doing to recognise and face up to the emerging situation? The answer is: very little and nothing like enough. It is fiddling whilst Rome burns."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Families and Schools said:

"Most children and young people in England today are safe, healthy, and achieve well." She added: "We do not agree that there has been a breakdown in the family - 70% of families are headed by a married couple. And a recent BBC poll suggests that three-quarters of people in Britain are optimistic about the future of their families, 24% higher than when the same question was asked in 1964."

Take your pick. I believe that the true situation is somewhere in between. I don't believe that the government is doing very little, but I do think it might be misreading the situation, and possibly doing some of the wrong things. I'm with the judge when he says "almost every dysfunctional child is the product of a broken family", and in fact I would go further (at risk to life and limb) and say that the huge increase in the number of single-parent (usually single mother) families is going to result in a huge increase in the number of dysfunctional adults further down the line.

  Bingalau 19:36 05 Apr 2008

I don't know where this spokeswoman gets her figures from. I think the families headed by a married couple are few and far between. They may have been married, but haven't remained so for very long. I've got three children who have all been married but no longer are. One of them has been married twice and is now living with his fourth "woman". The other two of my children are separated. I've got eight grand-children and eight great grand-children, fifteen of them are well behaved and the other one is a wee bit wayward. But not too far to be curable. It seems commonplace these days either not to get married in the first place or if you do get married, to be divorced or separated within a few years.

  anskyber 19:36 05 Apr 2008

We have, as I am sure you remember, had quite an interesting thread on this subject a while back.

The focus was on the relationship between single parent families and dysfunctional children. The evidence appeared to be somewhat contradictory depending on which study the then protagonists chose to use.

My view, which has little other than experience to draw on, rests with the thought that the relationship (the dysfunctional issue) is loosely associated but does exist but cannot be used as a predictor. Badly put; more simply one does not follow the other but it can sometimes.

Looking at the converse I think a stable family environment has a better chance of leading to less occurrences of dysfunctionality.

I think we agree although the balance between the two outcomes may be seen differently by each of us.

  Jim Thing 20:25 05 Apr 2008

"A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Families and Schools said:

"We do not agree that there has been a breakdown in the family..."

Did it say what country/planet this woman was talking about?

  laurie53 20:38 05 Apr 2008

The current trend seems to be one partner early on to have fun with, one later on to have children with, and finally one to grow old with.

No evidence for this, just a personal view.

The one I had (and am still having) fun with is the same one I am growing old with, but I don't see this as the norm.

  €dstowe 22:05 05 Apr 2008

Look no further than the Windsor's for a shining example for us all.

  rdave13 22:28 05 Apr 2008

I think Bingalau's post is spot on. Marriage is on the wane and will be a thing of the past eventually. Many unmarried couples today bring up children and stay together without the certificate. Sad as it may seem, values are changing.

  georgemac © 09:10 06 Apr 2008

I think it is the quality of parenting provided that determines how the child turns out. A lot of single parents are what I would call good parents, doubtless it is tougher bringing up children on your own, but a supportive family can also play a huge role in this.

I think most dysfunctional children come from homes with bad parents, can be one or two, and these parents usually have drug, drink or mental health problems.

I also think the policy of keeping very badly behaved dysfunctional children in school with mainstream kids has been a big mistake, leading to poorer education standards for the majority due to the disruption these kids cause, and the requirement for the teaching staff to spend their time on these kids at the expense of the majority of other kids.

I do agree the problem is getting bigger with time, and we will have many more dysfunctional adults in future.

When we left school, the majority of us went into a job, normally an apprenticeship where we were under the influence of mature adults who really were good role models for us, and you tended to listen to your workmates more than your parents and this helped you mature and develop as an adult.

Now the majority go to Uni/College or on the dole and miss this guidance from mature adults in our society.

  JanetO 09:31 06 Apr 2008

...I think it is the quality of parenting provided that determines how the child turns out. A lot of single parents are what I would call good parents, doubtless it is tougher bringing up children on your own, but a supportive family can also play a huge role in this...
Spot on georgemac ©.

It's a fact that kids learn how to behave as responsible well-adapted human beings from their main carers. If the role models of the kids are disfunctional then there is a good chance the kids will turn out to be the same. It's now evident our society is fast becoming a disfunctional environment, and I agree with and admire the judge for voicing the obvious.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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