In todays society, the terms “broken home” or “broken family” is not uncommon. We see split families quite often. Even though we may not know the story of every one, often times you will hear of unfaithfulness, the other was not trustworthy, they would fight more often than not, or that they just fell out of love.
As a whole, society looks at children from “broken homes” as if they are something almost extraordinary. They get unneeded sympathy, they get numerous mulligans in situations, and even sometimes they get special treatments when it isn’t necessary – especially in the school setting.
Shane and I struggle with M in her schooling. It isn’t that she is smart, because she is. She’s bored. She knows what they are learning or she picks up on it quickly, so her mind wanders and she can’t focus. But that is just in general classes like English, History, Math and Grammar.
Then we have band. We have been battling with her band teacher most of the year. M switched from flute to trumpet, but instead of her teacher putting in ample effort to help her to catch up to her other 6th grade peers, M was pushed backwards into “Beginners Band” which consists of 3-5th graders.
M has put in endless hours of practice trying to get up to speed so that she can have class with students her age, so that she can be in a concert where she isn’t among those who are struggling to learn their instruments. We’ve had many conversations with the band instructor and have had no results. M is still expected to play songs such as Mickey Mouse Club and Penny Waltz when she should be working on pieces that challenge her; she needs the challenge to stay engaged.
Throughout these conversations, her attitude has been cold towards Shane and I and what we expressed to her in what we would like to see for M and her progression in band. Her responses have been more or less degrading towards us. Even though she hasn’t outright said it, it has been implied that because M comes from a “broken family”, she needs a little more time to adjust to changes.
No. No she doesn’t. That is not how real life works. She’s done fine with every other change in her life. What is so different with school? In the work force, her manager is not going to give her endless re-do’s because her childhood was spent between two homes, her husband or children will not give any breaks when it comes to raising a family because she saw two different forms of love; it just doesn’t work that way.
M&M do not come from a “broken home”, they come from privileged homes. They have two stable homes. Four parents. Five siblings. They are happy, they are healthy, and they are loved. That doesn’t sound like a “broken family” to me.
In fact, probably one of the best things to happen to M&M is the divorce of Shane and Terri. Take me and Marc out of the picture and look at it for what it was. There was broken trust. There were fights. There was no support when it came to faith. They needed to do what was best not only for them as individuals but for the kids.
The kids didn’t deserve to grow up in a home where mom and dad fought all the time or where there was only happiness displayed in public but misery behind closed doors. That’s not fair to the kids.
Bring Marc and I back into the picture. They now have two loving “step-parents”. They have two whole families instead of just one. But, that does not make them superior over those children who have one family – not one bit. Our kids get double the love, double the hugs, double the opportunities, and if you ask them, double the punishment and double the chores. Their families are by no means broken and they should not receive hindering (special) treatment because of such a stereo-type.
We, as parents, have the power to make our child’s/children’s home life what ever we want it to be. It’s up to us to make our homes viewed as privileged instead of broken.