Do married couples really make better parents?

Today, Iain Duncan Smith is going to make a speech where he declares that ‘stable families tend to be associated with better outcomes for children.’

What he means is that he believes that it is better for children to be raised in homes where the parents are married, rather than by single parents or couples who have chosen not to marry. Ultimately those who haven’t married will be penalised in terms of tax and benefits.

Personally I find the notion that married parents provide more stable family environments antiquated and laughable. I came from a perfectly nice, middle class ‘broken home’ – in that my parents separated when I was 15; and to be honest, my sister and I were happier when they split up, because the rows stopped. I know lots of married couples whose children would be better off if their parents separated.

In one family, I can see the kids flinch when their mum and dad, who have been married for over 10 years, start to bicker. That makes me incredibly sad, but it also confirms my belief that a piece of paper and wedding bands do not make you better at raising children.

Ultimately, it is the values you are instilled with that shape you as an individual. Children need support and guidance whether their parents are married, living together or single.

written by Liz Jarvis