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Nowadays, there are more single parenting because of the high rate of divorcement and lack of contraception. Since the 1970’s, single parenting in the United State have increased to seventy percent. Children who grow up in a single parent family have been viewed differently than others because of social stereotypes. People often think that children with one parent are those who caused problems in the society. Being raised by only one parent seems to be difficult and tough. However, in today’s society, many children have grown up to become emotionally stable and prosperous whether they had one or two parents. Children of single parents can be just as progressive with emotional, social and behavioral skills as those with two parents. What people must understand is that raising a child does not rely on the structure of a family but should be more focused on the process and values that are taught to these children as they learn to be mature. Family could be an important influence on children, but it is not about the number of family members, it is about how they influence in their children’s life.
People claim that the only way for children to gain full emotional and behavioral skills is to be raised by both a mother and a father. In the article “Single-parent families cause juvenile crime,” Robert L. Maginnis states, “Children from single-parent families are more likely to have behavior problems because they tend to lack economic security and adequate time with parents” (Maginnis). It is absurd to claim that criminals are products of single-parent adolescence. People must understand that raising a child can be extremely difficult for one parent by themselves. A single-parent must work full time to be able to afford the living expenses for themselves and their child. They also have to be able to have time to offer an abundant amount of emotional time for the well-being of their child. Even though this may seem impossible, it can be done if the parent pays enough effort to their children. Raising a child does not rely on the structure of a family, what important is “love.” It is the most precious thing and emotion that we can share with our family.
People often thought that single parenting child could not be successful in their lives because they do not have both parents to be their role model. For instance, in “Single-parent Families Cause Juvenile Crime” by Robert L. Maginnis, he claims that boys who do not have fathers as male role models suffer in their teenage life while growing up (Maginnis). While it is essential for a male child to have his father around, there are other ways of teaching a young boy the lessons he needs to become a man. Role models can be a person other than your parents; for example, a brother, a friend, or a teacher. My parents were divorced when I was in elementary school, and I lived with my grandparents because my father was too busy with his work. I never had my mother around while growing up, but I did have many positive female role models in my life. My Grandmother was always there to help guide me as I slowly blossomed into a young woman. Also, my aunt, my uncle, and my cousins would always step up and provide the time and attention I needed. Therefore, I had the best support group I could have had when I was growing up. Being a child with a single father, I found myself not different from those with both parents. Although sometimes I find out how hard it was for my father to meet the needs of me, he did the best job that he possibly could and gave me the knowledge that I needed to become a successful woman without the guidance of my mother. Additionally, single parents have a unique opportunity to role model strong, ethical behavior for their children. By negotiating day-to-day challenges, handling emergencies, and being there for the child, a single parent shows their child that it is possible to live and thrive on one’s own. This is particularly helpful if the child’s other parent is a poor role model.
In the article “A Conversation about Single Parenting: Challenging the Stereotypes” by Patricia Leavy, she claimed, “No one can completely take the place of an absent parent. But one person can make a difference in filling a few voids” (Leavy). In other words, one “good” parent beats two “okay” parents. Take Jay Chou, a famous singer from Taiwan as an example. His parents were divorced when he was thirteen, and he lived with his mother because his father had some problem with child abuse. When he was in high school, he did not do well in school and he could not get into any college with his bad grade. He was frustrated at that time, and decided to work at a coffee shop for his whole life. However, Jay’s mother did not give up on him, she discovered his talent in music and encouraged him to pursue his dream to become a singer. Now being one of the most important singers in Asia, Jay said it is because of his mother who inspires him to keep holding on to his dream.
Children who are raised by both a mother and father have more attention from both parents. Therefore, they get the emotional time they need to progress in life. This could be true but not in all circumstances. It would not be beneficial at all to grow up in a two-parent family who did nothing but argue and put each other down. Larissa Pople, a senior researcher at The Children’s Society said, “It is the quality of the relationship that are much more important than the structure of the family” (Tomlinson). Naturally, a child who sees this from a very young age until they are ready to be out on their own would only follow in the footsteps of all that they have ever known. Children who are raised by one parent who devotes their time and emotion to their child would benefit much more than 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 for society and government aids to notice these structural differences and take action. Whichever family structure is implied it must be one of respect and strong moral values that they can someday pass on to their family. Parents and children undergo some difficult changes when they go from being a traditional family to a single-parent family. However, the disadvantages can be managed and countered with the advantages. Single-parent families can be just as successful as dual-parent families; it may just require a little more work.
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