Saturday, May 30, 2009

Children from broken homes lagging behind in education

Does Mr Driessen know what a political statement he has made? His words are not in the least sensational. His observations make perfect sense. But they will be heresy to some fanatics.
Education consultant Joseph Driessen said children who came from broken homes were typically 25 per cent behind other children in achievement.

"Boys are affected by divorce very deeply because 85 per cent of custody goes to the mother and guys just disappear. That needs to change," he said.

"We need to have a family split-up philosophy where we realise that sons need their fathers. All custody and access should be 50-50."

Many women - and some men - do not want to know, especially from an educational specialist, that children from broken homes are lagging behind. That challenges the orthodoxy that women alone can raise children (of both sexes) just as well as a couple. I am not talking here about single mums finding it a battle having been deserted by an irresponsible father; those struggling and doing their best to fill the void. I am talking about the intellectual elite who told and taught that family structure is neither here nor there. In fact a family structure free from the heavy hand of the patriarchy may be preferable. Those that purposefully set about harnessing the power of the state to replace fathers with anonymous public money.

And there is a section of the legal fraternity that would vehemently disagree. Custody battles are often about who gets the money. If a 50/50 split is assumed it is left to the parents to make their own arrangements. There would be no point in child support because they would be cancelling out each others payments. A great deal of family court work would dry up.(I always remember one unusual academic saying to me that in practice it was probably better for the father to have custody as he generally had the higher earning power. It was said with some irony because, again, it made sense but would be considered audacious in the current feminist-dominated cultural and political environment.)

So await the bru ha ha this triggers. The first objection put up will be the poverty problem. It is poverty - not lack of a father. If I had the time this morning I could write the response myself as predictable as it will be. But I don't.


Andrei said...

The Mum, Dad, two kids and a dog family structure isn't just a 1950s sitcom structure.

It has been around since before Roman times because it works - and it is the societies that have supported it which have developed into the most advanced and humane societies that have ever existed.

Ai caramba!, the social experiments of the sixties flower children are really starting to bear their bitter fruit - but the orchestra is still playing as the Titanic goes down with the latest developments on the family front - women marrying women and sixty-six year old divorcees bearing children.


Coupled with fathers who maybe violent alcoholics, such dysfunctional families can leave the kids with severe issues, which a couple of friends of mine still suffer from in their late 20s and early 30s.
The kids are truly suffering from the sins of their fathers.

Psycho Milt said...

This is classic social science - the researcher finds a correlation and starts spouting on about what causes that correlation as though he had some evidential basis for doing so.

Equally plausible in this case: the kind of people who will commit to a relationship and provide a secure and positive environment for their children to grow up in produce academically more capable children, and the kind of people who won't, don't.

Here's my take on it: 60 years ago these one-parent-family kids wouldn't have had only one parent, but they'd have had just as dysfunctional an upbringing. The main difference is that back then nobody much cared that there was a 25% academic difference between kids from functional families and those from dysfunctional ones. You can pass whatever laws you like, a certain proportion of fathers are going to be wasters, and a certain proportion of mothers the female equivalent.

Anonymous said...

Howard changed the divorse Laws. First test case results make for a huge change in attitude.

Agony of children at divorce has clout

Caroline Overington | May 30, 2009
Article from: The Australian

THE Family Court has at last recognised the "agony" children suffer during divorce by forcing their warring parents to live close to each other, says a campaigner for the reform introduced by the Howard government.

Michael Green QC, a family law expert who campaigned for the shared parenting amendment enacted in 2006, said yesterday recent decisions proved that the right of a child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents after separation was being taken seriously by the court.

The Australian reported yesterday on the case of Rosa and Rosa, in which a couple moved with their four-year-old daughter to a remote town in northwest Queensland, so the husband could take up a job as a mining engineer.

The marriage broke up six months later. The wife wanted to move back to Sydney, where their daughter was born and had lived four of her five years. She was lonely in the mining town, and living in a caravan, unable to afford anything better.

But the Family Court, and the full bench on appeal, said she could not take her child to Sydney because the reform required judges to presume the best interests of the child were served by having a relationship with both parents.

"I know there are many women associated with the more radical feminist groups who like to underplay the damage done by separation, on children of any age," Mr Green said.

"But in fact the loss, the agony, the child experiences when it loses regular contact with a parent is significant."

Retired Family Court judge Tim Carmody said "it used to be that the mother's right to move with her children was generally seen as compatible with what was in a child's best interests.

"That's no longer necessarily so. The best interests of the child is now seen as being served by having a meaningful relationship with both parents. But what kind of relationship? And at what cost?"

Mr Carmody's decision to leave the Family Court coincided with the reform, and he believes his concern about the ways it would work is now justified, "especially in this situation, where you have a parent condemned to live somewhere they've never really lived, for who knows how long".

Kathryn McMillan SC, a Brisbane family law expert who will speak on the subject at a forum next month, said "relocation cases are always difficult, because it tends to be all or nothing.

"Somebody wants to move, and that means that somebody else is going to lose time with their children.

"One of the questions the judge will sometimes ask is, if I don't allow you to move, will you go without the child?

"Most parents will say, no, of course I won't move without the child.

"And in a sense that means they are damned if they do and damned if they don't, because if they won't move without the child, the judge can make orders that there should be shared parenting, which means they get stuck."

Jacky Campbell of Forte Family Lawyers in Brisbane said the "shared parenting laws are being imposed on people who are not co-operating at all, and the outcome is often poor".

In Rosa and Rosa, the wife's parents, sister and other family members had nothing good to say about her husband, and that played against her because the court thought they wouldn't encourage her to keep the child in contac

mojo said...

To the contrary, Lindsay ... there has, or should need to be a jolly good reason why the predominant caregiver before a separation should not be the predominant caregiver after a separation. Split custody arrangements, often 'not what is in the best interests of the child,' have a lot to answer for ... such as generational perpetuation of violence.
That there has been a change in educational outcomes is questionable ... I believe girls have always as a generalisation performed better than boys academically, however previously did not remain in the education system as long as boys.

The '30%' tail of non performers in the education system can largely be attributed to societal change ... generational unemployment, loss of routines, maximising benefits through family splitting, devaluing education, rewarding dishonesty ... the Douglasian 'trickle down,' reinforced by Clarke's intent to atone for her notion of'liberal guilt.'
Together these folk have created a 'God awful mess.'

Anonymous said...

Ask any Headmaster of a Primary School or Secondary School and they will tell you, off the record, that children from single parent families do not do as well academically as those children from a two parent home.

Sure there are probably the odd exceptions but it's usually because a Grandad has stepped in as a surrogate dad or the single parent has strong emotional and financial support from other family members.

But how do you tell people about whats bad about a single parent lifestyle without seemingly attacking single parents?