Introduction

  1. New pair of glasses today, – new lens.
  2. Unrecognised by legal profession, education, health or mental health services, or the people themselves, (and I will come to that in a moment), or even in politics do not acknowledge it’s prevalence. Why? Because advise is always for nuclear families eg parenting classes.
  3. Parallel Universe.

Summary sentence

  • Figures for re-integrated families
  • the effect
  • work with the modern normal family these – case studies.

Point 1. Statistics – Prevalence of integrated families.

  • 4m households 2013 (ref: ONS Oct 2013).

30% one person. (ref: ONS Oct 2013).

70% m families. (30% with dependent children and 30% without)(ref: ONS Oct 2013).

Just under 7-8%  single parents with dependent children (ref: ONS Oct 2013)

= ¼ of all families with dependent children are single parent families.

 

  • Step-family Stats:How many families are living as re-integrated familes?

There are a lot more step-families than statistics lead us to believe.

11% (a drop of 14% – ONS 2014)are step-families.(ref: ONS Stepfamilies in 2011)= 22% actually.

47.2% of all children born in 2011 were to unmarried mothers (ref: ONS statistical bulletin)

47% live as co-habiting families 52% (I.9m) with single parents (Centre for Social justice 2012)+(ONS Dec 2013).

25% of all families with dependent children are one parent families. (ONS 2013)

These single Mums may have new partner who don’t live in and their father’s may be counted as part of the families number or as a single person living alone

= double these numbers too and you are up to almost or at least 50% of all families being a step-family.

 

  • Divorce Stats bear this out.

42% of all marriages end in divorce – stable over the last year. (ref: ONS 2012).

Half of all couples (48%) divorcing in England and Wales in 2012 had at least one child aged under 16 living in the family. (ref: Radcliffe health)

80%of men and 75% of women who divorce before aged 35 re-marry within 10 years, (ref Radcliffe Health).

33% of these divorces are to people married for the first time.

60-70% of all second or subsequent marriages end in divorce (because of the children)

If the parent is sexually active it may be safe to assume they will find a new partner and create a step-family.

Husbands who are step-fathers are twice as likely to divorce their wives than in nuclear families. (Survey conducted by  ‘step-dadding’ 2013) . They feel unappreciated and have arguments over the children.

 

  • The trend… co-habitation

“Married couples have officially become a minority” The number of people able to tie the knot has dropped from 51% – 47%(Census results 2011.)

 

On average co-habitations last less than 2 years before breaking up or converting to marriage (Ref: ONS Dec 2013).

Only a quarter of couples who move in together see it a step towards marriage (A poll by co-operative legal services 2014)

Co-habiting couples with dependent children are 4x (or 6 times if Marriage Foundation)  more likely to break-up than married couples with dependent children. (understanding Society survey 2013 from the Economic Research Council)

Unmarried couples account for more than half of all family break-downs even though they make up only a fifth of all couples with children.

38% of all cohabiting couples with children were stepfamilies, compared to just 8% of married couples with children. (Ref oneplusone)

Both men and women are less faithful in co-habiting relationships, children born to cohabiting parents are more likely to experience a series of disruptions in their family life. (Ref: Research project Patricia Morgan).

Headline “The tale of the vanishing step-families” Headline May 2014. Not as many families living openly as a family but sharing a relationship but living separately (?) no stigma of lone parenting? Once bitten twice shy? Troubles with the children? Out of London.

 

  • Children:
  • Children born in 2010 are more likely to be step-parented than not before 18. Or At least one in four children will experience the divorce of their parents by the time they are 16 years old. (ref Radcliffe health)
  • The risk of being killed by a step-parent at between 50 and 100 times greater than the risk of being killed by a In the UK NSPCC state children living with their biological parents are 2o – 33 times safer (Times on-line 8thSep 2007)
  • By the age of 11 more than one in three children have already lived through a domestic upheaval such as seeing their parents break up and only half have still married parents by the time they finish primary school. (Millenium Cohort study 2000)

Stand-up test

I would just like to do a little test in this room. And we will take the three generations of a family. All stand.

Parents:Are either of your parents been in a step-family situation? One married again after death? Had previous children before or after you? Do you have a step-parent?

Partners:Do you or your partner have children from previous relationships?

Our children:Do your children have partners or were themselves in previous partnerships with children? Is your child either a step-parent or a pivotal parent?

If so sit down.

It’s amazing 99% of you are step-families. Now often in our lines of work we only take the current family, (not the grand-parent layer) – but still, if we reduced that figure by half we still would be way ahead of statistics on the subject.

My experience

–       is of meeting a man who asked me what I did. I told him and I quickly saw his eyes glaze over. I asked him if he had experience of living as a step-family whether in his family of origin, or now. He said no. A little while later he moved on and his wife told me he had two children from his previous relationship and they caused her hell. She was having difficulty coping, was rude to her behind his back and he didn’t believe her. She was having a horrible time.

Link: When we became an integrated family, and I was a child, – and we were a middle class family, my two youngest brothers got into trouble with the police and one of them turned to drugs, his future partner and father of his child is still on drugs, been on benefits all her life, and frankly my family still struggle.

Children affected by family breakdown are:

  • 75 per cent more likely to fail at school
  • 70 per cent more likely to become addicted to drug
  • 50 per cent more likely to have alcohol abuse problems
  • 40 per cent more likely to have serious debt problems

(ref.July 2007)

 

Point 2. Catastrophising the results of being a re-integrated family.

The difficulties a separated and re-integrated family is likely to experience is:

By definition.

There are two adults in the family but only one is the biologically related:

–       What does this mean for the roleof the living-in parents/ the non-resident biological parent and the extended family? Do grand-parents have more say than the step-parent in the child’s life?

  • Discipline – boundaries
  • Loss and change for – the child resources change?
  • The cultural adjustments and by that I can mean different religions / racial / ethnical but also the lesser cultural issues, different house-rules/ acceptable behaviour/ various expectations. e.g. shoes. Mobile phones at the table. Quality of food? Sofa suppers? Staying up late?
  • Adult adjustments. The new step-parent coping with children when they may not have had them before. Emotional resentment at having to accommodate older children in the house when you are starting out with a new relationship. The jilted ex who is keen on retaliation. PA. Life cycle disturbances

–       Balancing the pivotal parent between new partner and children. Feeling 2ndbest. Favouritism.

Hand-out pie charts.

  • What is the problem caused by this difference? For the parents (resident and non resident)? The child? The step-parent the extended family, the community.
  • What are the identifiable behaviour manifestations?
  • What are some of the alternative outcomes? – knock-on consequences of these things.
  • What does this mean for professionals working with re-integrated families?

 

Speak from personal experience in the room.

And think of the 7-8 minutes

Take feedback.

Discuss.

Point 3. Under the five point plan as described by Peter we look systemically with these issues. – (or use a case study)

Case Study:

Attachment

Life cycle phases

Dominant and alternative stories,

Patterning

Boundaries and structural therapy

Roles

Secrets

Case study: Amy & Evan

 

Attachment: Still exist for Evan who is jealous of Amy’s new partner. Can’t let kids go. Accuses Amy’s new partner as a paedophile. Rings the children up all the time when with their Mother. Calls the police at many opportunities.

Role: Evan has a new partner who he says gets on so well with the children that they begin to call her Mummy, and their Mother Amy. Evan instructs his mother to take over childcare if he thinks Amy won’t turn up. Several times both women have been in the house together and Amy’s mother-in-law takes over.

Dominant stories: Daddy doesn’t want to hear good things about Mummy or Mummy’s boyfriend or how they enjoy themselves with her. Evan then complains Amy doesn’t make anough effort, the children are not encouraged to love her, and that she is an a=inadequate mother. He complains about her to Social Services.

Evan and Amy have very different parenting styles. Evan is like a Lion he roars and directs, controls and manages, gently cuffing the children into place and to do what he thinks has to happen. Amy is more like a jelly-fish, she is all wobbly, flexible and amenable, she has long loving floppy tentacles that have a sting every now and again.

Emotions: The children know they must please their father as they live with him, yet they love their Mother and can’t show it. In order to get their parents to communicate they split them so they argue. The children are distressed. School refusal, incontinence, and tearful.

 

 

References

ONS 2013 = Families and households statistical bulletin published by ONS in 2013.

ONS dec 2013 = Source: Cohort Fertility, England and Wales 2012.Published by ONS December 2013

 

Family Life in the UK  = http://www.eauk.org/culture/statistics/family-life-in-the-uk.cfm

 

ONS October 2013 = Source Families and Households 2013.

ONS December 2013 =Cohort Fertility, England and Wales 2012.

Research project Patricia Morgan = on the effect of cohabitation – Marriage Lite: The rise of Cohabitation and its consequences.

 

ONS Statistical Bulletin Oct 2012 = Births and Deaths in England and Wales 2011

ONS 2012 =http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/divorces-in-england-and-wales/2012/info-divorces.html

July 2007 = Source Breakthrough Report Social Justice Policy Group July 2007

Sociology of the family 2009 = http://sociologyofthefamily-jessica.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/family-diversity-changing-family.html

Radcliffe Health = https://www.radcliffehealth.com/sites/radcliffehealth.com/files/books/samplechapter/542X/RAD-SPENDER-009-7c949300rdz.pdf

One plus one = http://www.oneplusone.org.uk/content_topic/committed-relationships/stepfamilies/

Stepfamilies in 2011 = http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/stepfamilies/2011/stepfamilies-rpt.html

A poll by co-operative legal services 2014

Understanding Society survey 2013 from the Economic Research Council

(Millenium Cohort study 2000)

(Survey conducted by ‘step-dadding’ 2013)

Times on-line 8thSep 2007 – detailed Canadian Research over 20 years. Also quotes University of Iowa research, and NSPCC UK research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

ONS 2013 = Families and households statistical bulletin published by ONS in 2013.

ONS dec 2013 = Source: Cohort Fertility, England and Wales 2012.Published by ONS December 2013

 

Family Life in the UK  = http://www.eauk.org/culture/statistics/family-life-in-the-uk.cfm

 

ONS October 2013 = Source Families and Households 2013.

ONS December 2013 =Cohort Fertility, England and Wales 2012.

Research project Patricia Morgan = on the effect of cohabitation – Marriage Lite: The rise of Cohabitation and its consequences

 

ONS Statistical Bulletin Oct 2012 = Births and Deaths in England and Wales 2011

ONS 2012 =http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/divorces-in-england-and-wales/2012/info-divorces.html

July 2007 = Source Breakthrough Report Social Justice Policy Group July 2007

Sociology of the family 2009 = http://sociologyofthefamily-jessica.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/family-diversity-changing-family.html

Radcliffe Health = https://www.radcliffehealth.com/sites/radcliffehealth.com/files/books/samplechapter/542X/RAD-SPENDER-009-7c949300rdz.pdf

One plus one = http://www.oneplusone.org.uk/content_topic/committed-relationships/stepfamilies/

Stepfamilies in 2011 = http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/stepfamilies/2011/stepfamilies-rpt.html

A poll by co-operative legal services 2014

Understanding Society survey 2013 from the Economic Research Council

(Millenium Cohort study 2000)

(Survey conducted by ‘step-dadding’ 2013)

Times on-line 8thSep 2007 – detailed Canadian Research over 20 years. Also quotes University of Iowa research, and NSPCC UK research.

avatar
280
  Subscribe  
Notify of