Two Parents Or One?Family life is much different today than what it used to be. Several yearsago mothers would stay at home with their children while the father went to workto support his family, but it is nothing like that today in American households.
Today it is common for children to be raised by just one of their parents,and those children are often disadvantaged in several ways. The most consistentfinding from studies of family structure shows that single parents exert weakercontrols and make fewer demands on their children than married families do(Curtin et al.
368). There is a real easy explanation for this problem, it isthe simple fact that two parents together make more rules and are more likely tostick by those rules than single parents are (Curtin et al. 368).
Single parents are not able to show the same emotions as married couplescan, because the love between a mother and a father plays an important part in afamily. Children learn how to love from their parents, but if both parents arenot there to teach them how to love, their love might be somewhat one-sided(Curtin et al.
371). Yes, single parents can show their love toward theirchildren, but they have no spouse to express love to. Children from singleparent families are therefore denied that learning experience of how a husbandand a wife should love one another (Curtin et al. 369).
Relationships are another thing that everyone needs, especially children.
Children need a real strong relationship between themselves and their parents,but children from single parent families are usually denied this privilegebecause they are separated from one of their parents and often do not get tospend adequate time with the other. Children who have a strong relationshipwith their parents are more likely to respect the authority of their parents (Curtin et al. 370). The problem with single parent is the fact that usually thesingle parent does not have the time to help the child develop a closerelationship with them. Another problem is how can a child build a strongrelationship with a parent they do not live with and often do not see on aregular basis. The simple fact is that children need both of their parents inthe household to build a close relationship with and to teach them to respectthe parents authority. True, not all children from two parent households haveclose relationships with their parents, but it is much more likely.
Gender also plays an important role in families. Men and women have verydifferent characteristics, both emotionally and physically. These differentcharacteristics contribute to their roles as mothers and fathers (Curtin et al.
369). For instance, men are normally much stronger physically than women, andare therefore able to do many things around the house that a woman can not.
Women are much more likely to do the everyday household chores while the mandoes the heavy duty work. Women usually tend more to the children when theyneed things than do the men, and also help them more with emotional typeproblems (Curtin et al. 369). So it is easy to see why having both parents inthe household makes a much more well-rounded family atmosphere.
When both parents are not in the household children after experience agreat deal of stress from different aspects of their lives. This stress oftencomes from children who are forced into independence and self-reliance beforethey are mature enough to cope (“Children” 58). Many single parents leave theirchildren at home or send them to low quality day cares centers while they are atwork, causing stress on the children (“Children” 60). Yes, two parent familiesoften leave their children at home or send them to low quality day cares, butstudies show that it is ten times more likely to happen in single parentfamilies (“Children” 59).
Another time which brings a great deal of stress to single parent homes isthe holidays. The holidays are a time when families should be together. Singleparents may not be able to provide this for their children (“Holidays” 3).
Another problem that arises during the holidays is that of gift competitionbetween the parents (“Holidays” 3). The problem with the parents competing overwho gets the best gift is the fact that the children often feel as if theparents want to but their love instead of earning it by showing them love.
Children of single parent homes also face stress by always worrying abouteverything that is going on in their lives. According to Richard Kinsey singleparent children worried more about school, family, future, finding work, crime,and their environment by a large margin (16). However, the biggest worry ofthese children was about their own personal loves and what was going to happento them as they grew up (Kinsey 16).
Richard Kinsey also did a survey on crimes committed by children in bothtwo parent homes and single parent homes. He found that children in two parenthomes self-reported committing crimes at a rate of 59%, but children from singleparent homes self-reported committing crimes at a rate of 74% (16). This surveygives a strong emphasis of how important the respect of authority if forchildren. It also showed how children form single parent homes are more likelyto commit crimes than the children from two parent homes.
Single parent homes not only reflect or cause stress upon children, butalso upon the parent. Single mothers especially feel stress when a fatherfigure is not present (Allen et al. 390). According to the survey done byKatherine Allen and Peggy Quinn, seventy percent of the single mothers reportedthat they always worried about money (390). Not only was money a big issue, butalso time and energy (392). These single mothers are put under pressure fromabout every aspect of their lives, and without a husband there to help raise afamily, pay the bills, and to show them love, the single mother must nearly feelhopeless.
Another big stress for single mothers is the fact that now they have theresponsibility of two parents (Allen et al. 392). One woman describes how shefelt: “And on the weekends then, mow the yard, and clean the house, and wash theclothes. When you get done doing that, its Monday all over again” (Allen et al.
392). Most parents form two parent homes realize the responsibility they haveand the stress that they face with a spouse there to support them, but justimagine that spouse not being there to help support and help with theresponsibilities of the family and that is exactly what it is like to be asingle parent.
Now we have seen the pressures that single mothers face, but what aboutsingle fathers because there are many of them in the world today. One examplecan be found in the article ” A Singular Experience,” by Brad Andrews. Andrewshimself is a single father and he discusses the overwhelming responsibilities ofbeing a single father (8). He now has to do all of the household chores andtake care of the children all by himself. He can no longer play catch with hisson after dinner because now he has to do the dishes (8). These single parentsituations create unstability and do not provide a positive environment forchildren to grow up in. Both a father and a mother are needed to create astable environment and a positive place fro children to live.
Another example is the article “Single Fathers With Custody” by AlfredDeMaris and Geoffrey Grief. DeMaris and Grief explain the fact that singlefathers experience the same worries and overwhelming responsibilities thatsingle mothers do. Fathers face financial worries, pressures from work, andpressure of time for himself and his children (DeMaris et al. 260).
The simple fact is that being a single parent is a very difficult task,whether it is a single father or a single mother. A family consist of a fatherand a mother with their children, not just one parent. Single parent homescreate a lot of stress and worries on the parent as well as the children, andthe stress and worries are not needed by either. Afterall, it takes two to makea child, it should take two to raise a child.
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Two Parents Or One? Essay. (2019, May 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/two-parents-or-one/