Single Parent Struggle For many years, children growing up in a single parent family have been viewedas different. Being raised by only one parent seems impossible to many yet over thedecades it has become more prevalent. In today’s society many children have grown upto become emotionally stable and successful whether they had one or two parents to showthem the rocky path that life bestows upon all human beings.
The problem lies in thedifference of children raised by single parents versus children raised by both a motherand a father. Does a child need both parents? Does a young boy need a father figurearound? Does the government provide help for single parents? What role do step-parentsand step-siblings play? With much speculation, this topic has become a very intriguingargument. What people must understand is that properly raising a child does not rely onthe structure of a family but should be more focused on the process or values that aretaught to these children as they learn to mature.
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Children of single parents can be just asprogressive with emotional, social and behavioral skills as those with two parents. People claim that the only way for children to gain full emotional and behavioralskills is to be raised by both a mother and a father. When a topic such as this one has abroad amount of variables it is impossible to simply link these problems to only havingone parent. In the article, “Single-parent families cause juvenile crime”, author Robert L.Maginnis states, “Children from single-parent families are more likely to have behavior Polito 2problems because they tend to lack economic security and adequate time with parents”.The simple statement that raw criminals are products of single-parent adolescence isabsurd. What this writer must understand is that it can be extremely difficult for oneparent to raise a child by themselves for many reasons. A single-parent must work fulltime to be able to afford to provide for themselves and their child.
They must also be ableto still have time to offer an exuberant amount of emotional time for the well being oftheir child. However, even though this may seem impossible, it can be done.As this subject continues to be looked down on people must realize that singleparents are becoming more common in today’s world. Since 1995 the American familystructure for children ages fourteen to eighteen consists of forty-two percent living in afirst marriage family with both parents, twenty-two percent living in a second marriagestep-family, twenty-one percent living in a single parent, divorced or separated family,six percent living in a single parent never married family and three percent living in asingle parent widowed family.
This is an extremely scary statistic considering that fiftyeightpercent of children in America are living in a single parent family. This is a chillingpercentage because it shows how little faith is put into a relationship before actuallydeciding to have children. Unfortunately not all single-parents take the time to performthe vital tasks needed to raise their children. Parents who think they would never be ableto provide emotional stability for their children by themselves should have taken the timeto think this through before deciding to become parents. Accidents may happen once inawhile but in most cases adults know what is at stake when planning to have a child.Plain and simple, if you’re not ready, than don’t do it.
If you do decide to have this child Polito 3and you love this child, then you can be a good parent. There are many ways to enhancethe well being of your child if you simply apply yourselves as parents. Magginnis later states that, “Boys who do not have fathers as male role modelssuffer especially”. While it is extremely important for a male child to have his fatheraround, there are other ways of teaching a young boy the lessons he needs to become aman. I know from personal experience that what the author of this article is trying toconvey is wrong. I never had my father around while growing up and I did in fact havemany positive male role models. My Grandfather was always there to help guide me as Islowly blossomed into a young man. Anytime my mother had to work to support us, mygrandparents, aunt’s, uncles and cousins would step up and provide the time and attentionI needed.
Therefore, I had the best support group I could have had as a young man. Beinga child with a single mother had its benefits. Although I came to find how hard it reallywas for her to always meet the needs of her child, she did the best job that she possiblycould and gave me the knowledge that I needed to become a successful man without theguidance of my father. I did however have the experience of dealing with a step-parent. Today, twentyfivepercent of all American children will spend at least some time of their growing-upyears in a stepfamily. This seems fine for single parents because they feel like they canstart over in a new relationship and receive help from their spouse both emotionally andfinancially.
A step-parent can cause confusion and emotional stress on the child sincethey have just had to adjust to only one parent and now have to adjust to a new parentalfigure stepping into the family role. Another factor of bringing a step-parent into a singlefamily’s life is new step-siblings to get along with. It might not be justified for a step- Polito 4parent to punish their step-child like they would their own flesh and blood. As long asboth parents have an understanding that their family comes first and that it is important tocommunicate between themselves and with the children, a step-family could survive.
Children who are raised with both a mother and a father have more attention fromboth parents therefore they get the emotional time they need to progress in life. Thiscould be true but not in all circumstances. It would not be beneficial at all to grow up in atwo parent family who did nothing but argue and put each-other down. Naturally, a childwho sees this from a very young age until they are ready to be out on their own wouldonly follow in the footsteps of all that they have ever known. Children who are raised byone parent who devotes their time and emotion into their child would benefit much morethan a child who has both parents showing them that fighting and arguing is acceptable.Not all families are lucky enough to have a healthy structure. It is important forsociety and government aids to notice these structural differences and take action.
Thereshould be government funded programs to help assist single-parent families withchildcare and finances for parents who must work and still have time for their children.Whether it’s a mother and a father, a single mother, or a single father, childrenneed guidance. They will only become a product of what they are taught from a youngage and these children are deeply affected emotionally by the amount of love andcompassion that is put into raising them. Whichever family structure is implied it must beone of respect and strong moral values that they can someday pass on to their family.