Single Parent and Visiting Union Families in the Caribbean

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I absolutely agree that single parent and visiting unions have adverse effects on the society we live in. With single parent families the child/children have very little adult supervision. Usually, the parent works long hours just to make ends meet. The elder sibling would be responsible for them; who is also a child her/himself. With the lack of proper adult supervision and parental attention and guidance that they need the children engage in delinquent activities. They join gangs to fill the void and commit crimes; they may succumb to peer pressure and smoke, use drugs and drink alcohol; as well as become sexually active too early. The girls get pregnant and the single parent and welfare is faced with further responsibility of providing for these children. In some cases the teenagers have to drop out of school and get menial jobs in order to support their child. Thus, the cycle of poverty continues.

Also, the little income that is generated from the single parent causes the parent to live from ‘paycheck to paycheck’ with little or no savings. This poses educational and nutritional disadvantages for the child/children. There are no finances to purchase text books and other materials needed for school and to purchase healthy food or even enough food. These children are often seen begging others for food or money. Some of them are taken advantage of and they engage in immoral acts; like delivering drugs and even prostitution just to get money, clothes, etc. As a result, they develop emotional and psychological issues and become depressed, angry and bitter individuals. When these persons get children they are often abused and neglected and turn out the same or worse than their parent.

The visiting unions give children a false representation of what family really is. In. St. Kitts, the children usually live with the mother and the father comes around merely to pay support fees; spends a few minutes with the child/children and then leaves. In such...
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