Most people agree that broken families are more common now than ever, and separation/divorce is very much commonplace today. Dealing with the dynamics of a broken family is a skill that far too many young people are forced to develop. Parental separation is a double-edged sword, as I have seen it: yes, it is unquestionably tough for any young person to live with a new single-parent or step-parent reality. A changing of the faces in the household makes for a different level of attention given to the children, and a requirement to find new ways to get needs met, among other factors.
On the other hand, parents deciding to go their separate ways can also mean a reduction in the level of conflict and intensity within the home and family. That actually can bring relief, which many people do not count on. Kids and adolescents can grow well, both emotionally and physically, in an environment defined by love, safety, respect and structure. As long as these essentials are met at a minimum level, numerous studies have shown there is no single way a family must look in order to provide a nurturing environment for raising children.
In my work as a counsellor for children and youth, I have seen the heavy toll that high-conflict households have upon every member of a family. When that conflict can be reduced or eliminated, and a trusted guide is present to help one through the process, amazing transformations can happen despite all the obstacles a young person has faced. It is nothing short of an honour to be asked to be part of that process; and when I am entrusted to create conditions for positive change, I treat each person with the same degree of care that I would one of my own children. They no less important.