‘What Children Want Most is a Ban on Divorce, Says Poll’ was a headline in a major UK paper several years ago. The poll question was: “What rules would you make if you ruled the world as King or Queen?”
#Ban Divorce was the number one request. Nationwide research of children under 10 years of age was carried out by Luton First, sponsors and organizers of National Kids Day. Patricia Murchie of Luton First said, “This particular age group has some very clear ideas on how to change the world” – ‘out of the mouth of babes and infants’ is an apt saying from the greatest book of wisdom ever written.
The sex, drugs, rock and roll generation, of which I am a part, demanded no-fault-divorce. No-fault-divorce is another pseudonym for legalised adultery. The concept behind no-fault-divorce was to make divorce easier, but divorce is never easy for our children. Our story by Tony Polambi, a child of divorce himself, is well worth the read.
My own story illustrates the heartache. Two wonderful parents who just couldn’t seem to get along. In today’s easy divorce culture, they would have gotten divorced. I thank God that they didn’t.
My brother and I always seemed to be moving house and school. By the time I reached high school I had been to 13 different schools – way too many changes of school for any child.
I can remember the police coming to our home to adjudicate the screaming matches. I can vividly recall being called into the Principal’s office at Milsons Point Public School, Nth Sydney when I was 10 with my eight year old brother. My mum was there, along with a man from the Child Welfare Department.
This man informed us that we were going to be put in a boys’ home because of our parents perilous relationship. I began to cry. My brother began to cry because we didn’t want to be separated from our dad. This had happened before when we were much younger, but we were powerless to object. Twice before my mum had taken us to ‘visit our Granny’ in Scotland. Two years is a long time to visit.
Thank God our lungs were now well developed and we were able to voice our objections. After a couple of hours of crying the man from Child Welfare relented in his intentions and allowed us to stay with Dad. That meant that we could see Mum too when she came home for a few days every fortnight.
I am quite convinced that my brother and I might never have seen our Dad again had we not protested so vehemently. These days, under the current anti-male family law and child welfare regime, I can guarantee we would never have seen him again. Growing up is hard enough without having to cope with family friction and the horrors of the Family Court.
I think that the children of the UK need to be listened to because they are echoing what children all over the world are wanting to say if only they would be given a voice. And they are not the only ones. Bill Muehlenberg in his incisive article in Quadrant, ‘The War Against our Children’ puts it this way:
Again, the social science data on this is as clear as it is overwhelming. Allow me to cite just two pieces of evidence. Bryan Rodgers of the Australian National University has been extensively studying how children suffer as a result of parental divorce. Says Rodgers:
“Australian studies with adequate samples have shown parental divorce to be a risk factor for a wide range of social and psychological problems in adolescence and adulthood, including poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, psychological distress, delinquency and recidivism, substance use and abuse, sexual precocity, adult criminal offending, depression, and suicidal behaviour.”
He concludes: “There is no scientific justification for disregarding the public health significance of marital dissolution in Australia, especially with respect to mental health.”
Professor David Popenoe of Rutgers University puts it this way: “In three decades of work as a social scientist, I know of few other bodies of data in which the weight of evidence is so decisively on one side of the issue: on the whole, for children, two-parent families are preferable to single-parent families and step-families. If our prevailing views on family structure hinged solely on scholarly evidence, the current debate would never have arisen in the first place.”
What then is the answer? The people from Luton First have a penchant for polls. The song title, ‘All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles was voted the greatest song lyric words of all time. Maybe it’s time to put those words into practice.
It is so easy to sing about love or even to talk about it. Eva Burrow’s words ring true, “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” That sort of harmony requires effort but it is not beyond our reach.
Yours for more love and less divorce