The father of the former US president “Bill Clinton” died in a motorcycle accident three months before he was born and was raised by his mother alone. Despite the situation, Bill was raised in a single-parent household and still became the president of the US. In the recent discussion about single parents, a controversial issue has been on whether children raised in a single-parent household are different. Many people believe that a child who is raised by single parent lack emotional and social support (Walsh, 2015). However, I will argue that there are many leaders globally who were raised by single parents and have proved to be strong socially and emotionally. Therefore, while some people believe that children need both parents to be raised effectively, I argue that children need love, guidance, and emotional support. To make my argument, First, I will present my position on single parenting. Then, I will present opposing views on single parenting. Finally, I will give my response to the objections.
Being a parent is not about raising the child alone or with a partner but supporting the needs of the child emotionally and socially. Today, some of the children raised in a single-parent household have displayed both social and emotional strength allowing them to be leaders and successful people in different fields (Walsh, 2015). For instance, former US president Bill Clinton was raised by a single parent. Bill was not less of a person by being raised by one parent instead became one of the greatest leaders in the US. Bill once said of his mother, “I got that stamina from my mother.” (The Courier Mall, 2013).Therefore, it means that even children in a single-parent household can be strong socially and emotionally.
Most people believe that a child who is being raised by both parents have more focus from all parents which enables him or her to get ample emotional time and social support needed to progress in life. They believe that both parents will share the responsibility of bringing up a child, allowing him or her to be strong emotionally and socially. A single parent will not manage to provide both financial and emotional support to the child. In most situation, a single parent will work hard to make sure that the child gets financial support leaving the emotional and social part unattended. In regards to this, many people believe that a child raised by single parents does not get important skills in life.
Most single parents spend a lot of time working to make ends meet to support the family. In many situations, they will not have adequate time to have everything done. The situation can make a child to feel neglected and lonely as they grow up. In addition to this, lack of supervision, especially from a parent, can lead to poor performance in school or when handling important tasks assigned. (Yogman, Garfield & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, 2016). A child growing up in such an environment can develop poor work ethics and a challenge of holding up a job in the future. A child may fail to get much guidance with their studies to understand their academic strength.
The fact that a child who is being raised by both parents have more attention from parents hence get the emotional time could be true but not in all situations. There are situations where the two parents constantly argue or even fight influencing a child negatively. I believe that it would not be beneficial to a child being raised in such a situation. To be sincere, a child who observes the parents argue and fight would follow the footsteps when they eventually get on their own. Therefore, children who are raised by a single parent who devotes their time to support the children would benefit more compared to children who has both parents argue and fight.
Moreover, it is important to understand that it can be challenging for single parents to raise a child on their own for different reasons. As stated by many people, a single parent must be able to work full time to be able to support the child financially. The parent must provide for themselves and the child as well as find some emotional time for the well-being of the child. Though it may look impossible for the parent to provide and create some time for the emotional growth of the child, it can still be done. Single parents normally focus more on the child compared to other things.
Raising a child effectively does not rely on the family structure, but the morals and values instilled in a child. For a child to grow effectively, he or she must receive good morals and values to guide their behavior. Whether a single parent or two-parent, the common attributes to each is a commitment, care, and strong emotional ties. According to Lee & McLanahan (2015), every parent must understand their role to make sure that a child attains acceptable values and morals. In single parenting household, a parent must adjust to take up the roles carried out by another so that a child does not miss out important values in life. The level of a parent’s commitment and care creates a difference in a child in terms of behavior and responsibility.
On the contrary, some people believe that when one parent is not in the household, a child will experience a great deal of stress from different aspects of their lives, affecting their overall performance. According to Garcia & Molina (2017), children from the single-parent household are normally worried about being subjected to independence and self-reliance before they mature enough to cope, thereby affecting their emotional and social growth. Moreover, some believe that a boy who does not a father as their role model suffers a lot in life. In regards to this, there are some roles of a father that a mother cannot do, whereas there as also some roles of a mother that a father cannot do. Thus, for effective upbringing, both parents must be there.
Many adults who grew up in a single-parent household have been exposed to a life of solitude. Because of being brought up by one parent, they usually do not value the contribution of another party in life. In most cases, especially when the parents divorced, they tend to go against the foundation of marriage. In light of this, they also become victims of beliefs and misconceptions that there is no loyalty and that they cannot get true love. Most of the adults raised by a single parent would consider staying alone. Thus, the rising number of single-parent households could be a threat to socialization, especially in marriages.
In regards to this, I want to confirm that even children raised by both parents are subject to stress. There is nothing whatsoever that can stop a child from worrying about situations around them as they grow. In most occasion, when a child is worried about a situation, he or she will develop the right attitude when the situation reappears in the future. Also, while a male child needs to have the father around, various techniques can be used to teach a boy an important lesson he needs to become a man. In the absence of a father, there are other male figures around that a child can effectively learn from as role models. For instance, there are male teachers around as well as uncles or family friends.
Regardless of having either both parents or a single parent, a child needs care and guidance using the existing moral values. A child will only be a product of what they get from their parents and is greatly influenced emotionally by the degree of love and energy that is put during upbringing. In as much as having both parents is important, there has to be a conducive environment attributed to constant love and care. It is beneficial to a child’s wellbeing to have having a single parent who can show guidance and care than having both parents who are always in constantly argue. Every parent must make sure that respect and strong moral values are applied to bring up a child effectively.
García, L., & Molina, J. A. (2017). The household structure: recent international evolution.
Lee, D., & McLanahan, S. (2015). Family structure transitions and child development: Instability, selection, and population heterogeneity. American sociological review, 80(4), 738-763.
The Courier-Mail (2013). The number of political leaders raised in single-parent families is quite a long list. Retrieved from: https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/the-number-of-political-leaders-raised-in-singleparent-families-is-quite-a-long-list/news-story/cad063e3b7821e81e905779605b96afd
Walsh, F. (2015). Strengthening family resilience. Guilford Publications.
Yogman, M., Garfield, C. F., & Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. (2016). Fathers’ roles in the care and development of their children: the role of pediatricians. Pediatrics, 138(1), e20161128.