Effects of Single Parenting on Children
For as long as human families have existed, the core family group of a father, mother, and the children has been the ideal composition in what could be considered a balanced and fulfilling functional family. There had been many studies of the effects of having certain members of these groups on the family household present and absent. While there are many hypothesis of the effects of the children in the family in household with a missing parent, most of them are indeed negative and there had been studies that these can vary in many different aspects of a child’s upbringing. These effects will be discussed and functionality of the household family itself will be discussed to look at the issues mostly in the mother and child side. This is because typically in a single parent family it is usually the mother that the children will be left with after a divorce or separation takes place. It is true that in many circumstances that a single parent father may be left responsible for the children but this does not seem to occur nearly as likely as many times unwed pregnancies leave the mother responsible for raising the child. The fact is however that these occurrences of single parent families especially for single parent mothers are prevalent enough to be an issue. This is even more so as studies have indicated that unwed births, which increase the amount of single parent families, have been increasing as well. Trends have been found that in from the year 1960 and 1995 an increase of 26.9% of unwed births has been seen while an increase of 4.4% between the years 1995 to 2005. Studies in 2004 suggest that the percentage of women of ages 20-24 who have given birth to children are unmarried 55% of the time while women of ages 25-29 are unmarried 29% of the time when bearing children (5). The importance of this issue is well known and has been addressed for a long time since single mother circumstances has always been occurring for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason is most likely because the mother herself is the one who gives birth to the child, which naturally begins the relationship with the mother and child promptly at the start of the child’s life. In history men had been always been the sex responsible for representing their nation or group for military conflict and casualties in any engagement is mostly costly to the lives of the men who participate in the actual fighting. The loss of a women’s husband in general if either from war or otherwise will result in the woman being left alone to care for the child. Also since divorce, unwed pregnancies, or even rape will result in the mother’s absence in a father figure for the environmental upbringing for the child, the heart of the research in the single parent family usually involves the effects of the missing father. The importance of the father figure is substantial for the child even in the early days of infancy. Although it is the mother that is more responsible for the nurturing nature that the child requires, it has been shown that a father figure’s presence is significant even during infancy. There are differences in the way that a mother and father interact with a baby although these are limited mostly to one-sided communication and touch between the baby and the parent. The mother as mentioned before has the most interaction with the infant and is usually more comforting often speaking to the infant with more soothing and rhythmical fashion. This is different typically in father’s who usually express themselves in a more upfront manner with more physical touching as well as with firmer and abrupt vocal tones. This is important for the child even at the early stages of its development since these types of interactions from the father stimulate the child in a more fun, exciting, and adventurous level. A child that has these stimulations tend to score higher in brain development and critical thinking tests...
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Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women. childtrendsdatabank.org Child Trends DataBank. 2007. http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/75_PDF.pdf
How Do Fathers Fit In? CiviTas. The Institute for the Study of Civil Society. http://www.civitas.org.uk/hwu/fathers.php
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