For many years, children growing up in a single parent family have been viewed as strange. A child being raised by just one singular person is a very taboo way of parenting in our society. In this day and age, many children have become extremely successful and a contributing individual to our civilization. The main problem that most have is the lies in the difference of a child having a life with one or two parents. Does a child need both parents? Does a young boy need a father figure around? Does a little girl really need her mother? What role do step-parents and step-siblings play? Through abundant rumors, this way of parenting has developed a very intriguing argument. What people need to understand is that to raise a child “the right way” does not rely on how many persons are in the family but should be more focused on what is taught to these children and whether or not their morality and values are satisfactory. Children of a single parent are just as generally happy and successful in life as those with two parents.
The beginning of development of children, first five years, for them is a very vital time in their overall development because it is during this time that their characters are formed and many of their life-habits are established (Raising Children Network). Examinations of children in their early stages of development, whose home situation is unhappy and dysfunctional, have been proven that for a great majority of these children, it will have a harmful effect on the appropriate development of their personalities and life-habits. The type of household a child grows up, regardless of how many parental figures are present, is strongly correlated with the behaviors exhibited throughout their development (Hughes). The three major extents in which a dysfunctional upbringing and family can have a detrimental influence on the development of children are: development of self-worth, and their patterns of behavior.
The most imperative characteristics children develop is their sense of personal self-worth and research shows that a “proper sense of self-worth develops best in a family environment where members of that family show genuine respect and concern for each other” (KidsMatter). Children live off the sensation of belonging and affection that come from supportive and loving families. When a child’s life is similar to one with a dysfunctional and unsupportive family, it become very problematic for them accept themselves and gain a sense of self-worth which is very important for a child to have. (Kids Matter). Whether families with children have one parent or two, strong and positive bonds can be created and can benefit the child’s self-esteem and their mental health.
Secondly, malfunctional parentage can affect children’s behavior immensely. Behavior is largely learned,and children are very observant and retain all actions that are performed in the household- the good, bad and the ugly (Popenoe). Young children who are exposed to conduct that is unacceptable and immoral will imitate and ingrain that behavior into themselves. For example, if their living situation is filled with yelling, cursing and derogatory comments, the child in question will retain this lifestyle as normal and think that it’s ok which will lead the child to copy those actions into their lives. Or if they witness domestic violence, there is a huge percentage that they will be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence themselves in their adult lives. If the kids are only susceptible to negative behavior and not the opposite that is, mannerisms that are proper and suitable, then the corrupt behavior will become unbreakable.
A single-parent family might not be the ideal environment in which to bring up children, but if that single-parent household provides cheerful stability and appropriate modelling and is one in which love, and acceptance are positively exhibited, then it is a far better environment for young children than a two-parent family where bitterness and hostility are constantly present. Such an environment, warm, stable and appropriate, has a marked and positive effect on a child’s development of self-worth, on his or her patterns of conduct, and on the school experience.
The society we live in truly believes that in order for a child to be emotionally supported and cared for requires for there to be a mother and father figure in their lives. This topic has any variables that we can link to causing a child to “turn bad” that pointing fingers to the fact that a single parent raised them is idiotic. There is an article written by author Robert L. Maginnis called “Single-parent families cause juvenile crime”. He goes on to say, “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’ claim of single parenthoods is linked to juvenile crime and lifelong pattern of delinquency is extremely ridiculous and blatantly judgmental. What this Maginnis person must understand is that single parents have to carry on the role of two people and it can become a very arduous task. Most of the time a single-parent must work full time or take on jobs to be able to afford to make do for themselves and their child. To add onto that, they need to make time for their child’s emotional needs and provide support to their child’s life. It may seem to be mission impossible, but it can and has been done.
I was raised by a single mother and I do have the experience of dealing with a step-parent as well today. I can’t speak for others that have my experience but my childhood with my single mother was amazing and my household nowadays with my step-dad is pretty normal and loving regardless of us not being blood related. Twenty five percent of all-American children will spend at least some time of their growing-up years in a stepfamily in this day and age. Single parents see this lifestyle as beneficial to everyone because they can start over with a new love life and their children can gain more emotional support and a motherly or fatherly figure that they apparently “need” in life. Step-parents can cause confusion and emotional stress on a child due to them being used to a single parent and now they have to accommodate to the lifestyle of having two parents and someone new stepping into the shoes of a parental figure. Step-parents with kids can also affect a child because now they have to adapt to a new sibling and share attention and love that they didn’t have to before. Sometimes the topic of discipline can be a very touchy subject for step-parents and it can negatively affect the bonding with the child forever if they don’t believe that they should be punished by the new guy. When both parents conversate and agree on terms of their new family, it can become a beautiful experience and household of love and stability for the children.
It can be proven that maybe kids that are raised with two parents in their lives can have more of every little vital thing that is needed for their growth. This could be true but not in all circumstances. There are situations in which there are in fact two parents but it’s a toxic environment that includes screaming and arguing constantly. Naturally, a child who witnesses this from a very young age until they are matured, would only follow in their parents’ damaging footsteps due to that being all they know. Those who are raised by a single parent and are given the stability and are shown positive characteristics is so much better than a child living with two people who have no right to even have a child. As long as the child is fed, loved and has a home that is filled with joy and want to see them grow, whoever raises them doesn’t matter whatsoever.