Is it time to change the word ‘Broken’ Family ?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

Is it time to change the term ‘Broken’ Family?

I was speaking on BBC radio about a new piece of research around mental health and stepfamilies.

What struck me as unhelpful & laden with negativity is the word ‘BROKEN’ to describe parents who are divorced, separated or apart.

Broken implies a failure, broken implies damaged, no longer able to work, something destroyed & dysfunctional  but I think it would be more helpful to describe the relationship and the family as different and CHANGED.

It’s no longer appropriate to speak disparagingly about ‘broken families’ it conjures up political overtones of the 70’s & 80’s.

Children survive and thrive after a divorce if parents handle it well. It’s not the divorce that damages children but the level of conflict they experience during the transition and afterwards.

I write copiously about positive ways to handle divorce and it’s never quick, simple or easy BUT it can be handled with respect, dignity and maturity if you CHOOSE to rise above the arguments that drove you apart and focus on the children’s wellbeing and happiness, as well as your own.

Check out my many articles on managing divorce by clicking on the category.

Start here with The 7 Stages Of Recovery During A Divorce







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