The “bushfire” threatening Australia: fragile families

Posted By on September 9, 2011

From Carolyn Moynihan at Mercatornet:

Australia is known as the Lucky Country but a report on child welfare published this week suggests that its luck is running out. Like Britain and the USA, it has an increasing number of fragile families where children are at risk of abuse and neglect, thanks to marriage breakdown, single parenthood and cohabiting relationships which have a high risk of breaking up….

Prof Parkinson, a family law specialist who helped shape family policy under the Howard government, warns that these problems are not just “spot fires” but signs of a “major bush fire” burning in the background. And that raging bushfire is family breakdown.

Read the entire piece HERE. Please note: LAF is not endorsing the government “solutions” to these problems–just highlighting the problems for families in Australia. Carolyn Moynihan notes, “As long as politicians and professionals persist in the “families come in all shapes and sizes” ideology and fail to support and promote marriage, any scheme to strengthen families will fail.” Government “solutions” only add to the confusion and make the problem deeper. Solutions must come from the bottom up, not the top down.

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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of ten children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

5 Responses to “The “bushfire” threatening Australia: fragile families”

  1. abba12 says:

    Nonono! As an Australian I’ve not heard about these proposed ‘relationship education’ schemes, but I will be completely against them. Yes, we have a problem with single mothers and defacto relationships, absolutely our kids are suffering for it, but indoctrinating everyone to the same point of view, bad. Especially because many people still, unknowingly, hold basic christian ideas in how to manage marriage and children, passed down from their parents. When they start getting educated in the opposite, they will start believing the opposite.

    I was all but forced into birth classes, which included post-birth coping and care. Most of what they told us I disagreed with completely, but the other women there, even those who disagreed themselves, seemed to eventually come around to the given opinion. These classes are creating a generation of women who never allow their babies to cry for any reason (and as a result a bunch of toddlers who still can’t sleep through the night), become dependant on weekly and monthly doctors visits without the confidence to care for their own children, and who hold to a list of do’s and do not’s that, at best are needless, at worst harmful. And lets not forget that you are a failure as a mother if you cannot breastfeed (and then once baby is born those same nurses sabotage your attempts).

    I can just imagine what these secular, government run classes would teach on children. Forcing your kids to do chores is abuse (we already learn that in human rights class at school), smacking/spanking is abuse, not having your own room is abuse, raising your child a christian is abuse (funnily enough they never seem to take issue with raising your child a muslim). Children need privacy and independance, and you have to give them what the other kids have, otherwise they will be outcasts, bullied and doomed for failure. Friends are the most important thing in a childs life and disipline is unneeded as children will ultimately choose the right way in the end.

    And their opinions on marriage? It’ll be somewhere along the lines of, you both need ‘me-time’ away from each other to have a healthy relationship, bottle up conflict unless it really has to be stated, Privacy and secrecy is healthy to be an independant person, and you both need your own friends that the other dosen’t really know so that you have someone you can vent to.

    I’m sorry for the long rant, but this concerns me a lot. Here in Australia there is still in a majority of cases some respect for parents, and parents beliefs are still being passed along. These classes would do to marriage what childbirth classes have done to early parenting, removing any traditional values (read: biblical values) and replacing them with the government philosophy.

  2. defman says:

    “As long as politicians and professionals persist in the “families come in all shapes and sizes” ideology and fail to support and promote marriage, any scheme to strengthen families will fail.”

    This is what works, real marriage provides stablity, and stability is what makes a family endure times of good and bad. Without this stabilty, how can a family survive?

    So I seeks a good honest “walks with God” woman, but I have never met one yet. Maybe if she exists, we might meet. I’m still hopin’ though. Oh well.

  3. Abba, I apologize for the confusion. LAF is NOT endorsing the government “solutions” to these problems–just highlighting the problems for families in Australia. I will add that clarification to the post on the front page. Mercatornet notes, “As long as politicians and professionals persist in the “families come in all shapes and sizes” ideology and fail to support and promote marriage, any scheme to strengthen families will fail.” Government “solutions” only add to the confusion and make the problem deeper.

  4. joluise says:

    I have read the full report and no this is not government policy, nor was it written for the current government, this was commissioned for by the Australian Christain Lobby. It is similar to one done for the British conservative government a few years ago. I have some issues with this report and as with any research undertaken by any lobby group it has produced results that the lobby group wanted to be found.

    The fact is, keeping people married does not create happy families, what it does is keep unhappy people together. And we are talking about people who are not Christians, so being married does not necessarily create any more stability than cohabition

  5. Point taken about the lobbyists, joluise. However, I would respectfully disagree that keeping marriages together only helps Christians. My father’s parents were not Christians and got to the brink of divorce several times in their 46-year marriage, yet they chose to stick it out…first for my father’s sake, and then for the grandchildren’s sake. When my grandmother lay dying after a stroke, my grandfather wept and said how glad he was that they had never divorced. He went on to become a Christian about four years later, but the benefits of staying married had accrued to him even in a non-Christian marriage. They definitely benefited my father, who had the support of both parents through his school years and into his own marriage.

    I think the problem here lies in the definition of “unhappy.” There are definitely cases where a marriage dissolves because of abuse or neglect. That’s genuine “unhappiness” with concrete causes. But a lot of people divorce today just because they “fell out of love” and not because there’s really anything more fundamentally wrong with their marriage. Choosing to stick it out and work through issues together can bring stability and long-term benefit, especially when there are children involved. One study noted that “researchers also found that two-thirds of unhappily married spouses who stayed married reported that their marriages were happy five years later. In addition, the most unhappy marriages reported the most dramatic turnarounds: among those who rated their marriages as very unhappy, almost eight out of 10 who avoided divorce were happily married five years later.” Sticking it out has benefits for all but the most extreme cases where abuse is involved.

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