Single parents statistics and a new model of family law

Gingerbread has a handy list of statistics about single parents.

  • Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of  households with dependent children are single parent families, and there are 1.9 million single parents in Britain today.

  • There are 3 million children living in a single parent household, 24 per cent of all dependent children

  • Single parents are predominantly women, although 8 per cent of single parents are fathers. Single fathers are more likely to be widowed than single mothers (12 per cent of single fathers are widowed, compared with 5 per cent of single mothers), and their children tend to be older.

  • Whilst they think that safety lies in numbers and use the proliferation of brokenness as a reasoning why we should give failures equal rights, I just see that any single parent family is an awful hack that brings all sorts of problems, not only does the adult get a horrible life full of very hard work, but the kids (especially if they are singletons) have a very lonely childhood and are not socialised fully.

    Most of these people have life-long bonding issues and lack the social tools to experience a traditional marriage -- like stone age settlers, they stay with someone for a while and when too much garbage accumulates, they move on, leaving their mess behind.  At the same time, they expect to move into a perfect relationship, they don't want to invest into building something (and don't know how to either).  Culturally, they are completely different people to family folk.

    Result:  Most of those people will end up being single parents, since this is all they know -- a marriage also teaches kids how to be married by observation, over nearly 2 decades.  Without this long training and the benefit of a tradition that sets out a proven framework, people have to go back to first principles to make things work, and the result is aall too often failure.

    And that is before one adds the high amount of sociopaths into the equation, whose kids have an even harder time, because there is no second family adult to temper the behaviour of the first one.

    Anyway, there are at least 3 million kids out there who have a broken, incomplete childhood -- no child chooses to be fatherless or have their mom at work all day, and many kids end up with crazy adults in charge and without family to protect or advise them. Charities like Gingerbread never point this out(nor does anyone else), because doing so would admit that single parent families are a total catastrophe for children. 

    So, to the point of this post, in essence, the problem we have is not enough children, and of the few we have, we have too many that are set up to fail before they even are born, and we have too many people who have no idea how to conduct a relationship or how to parent.  How long will such a self-sabotaging society produce enough excellent people to keep the show running for everyone else?

    Can it be fixed?  Maybe, but we would need a different model, one that preserves the concept of romance but also changes marriage from a contract between two adults (which is no longer is, more like a license to annoy, pester and impoverish) into something completely different -- a contract between two adults and the children they have created, with the adults being on one side and the kids being on the other, having claim onto the adults.

    How would such a contract look? I'll write this up for my next post. 

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