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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Nuclear family no longer the norm

When most people think of the perfect family, it generally consists of two parents, two kids, and perhaps a family dog. Indeed, many families do consist of these specific things. However, in today’s society, single parent families are becoming more accepted. The “perfect” four to five family member stereotypes are beginning to be forgotten.

In 1998 single parent households with children under the age of 18 were numbered 11.9 million. Forty-five percent of these headed by a woman and 19 percent headed by a man live in poverty. Marital separation accounts for 21 percent of single parent households, 46 percent are due to divorce (www.singleparentcentral.com).

The U.S. has the highest percentage of single parent homes worldwide with children under 18 years of age. It is a fact that sixty-one percent of all children will spend all or part of their childhood years in a single parent household.

“I live with my mom and brother,” said a freshman who wished to remain anonymous. “My parents divorced, but it doesn’t bother me anymore because I know that my mom will always be around she is also remarried, and I like my step-dad.”

There are many obstacles that one in a single parent household goes through, whether they are the parent or the child, one being financial difficulty. When a single male parent is head of the household their weekly earnings are close to $520. That’s about twice as much as the weekly $385 single female parent makes (www.parentswithoutpartners).

It is also a fact that more adolescent suicides occur when a parent is absent. Teenagers who have a father absent from the family have a higher risk to attempt and succeed in committing suicide then those who are missing a mother.

When a father is absent, teens have a greater risk of getting involved with drugs and crime. Kids can still get involved with these things when not having a mother, but they are more likely to happen without a dad around.

“For me, it wasn’t a big deal because my dad was never around,” Tim Gomez, 04, said. “It didn’t have a big effect on me because the divorce was expected, me and my mom are really close,” Gomez said.

Some studies have shown that when another parent isn’t there to help when the kid gets out of control, they will probably get wilder and have a future in crime. There are also more teen pregnancies, which also lead to more single parent homes because she will end up raising her kid alone. In this way, single-family homes multiply exponentially in successive generations.

According to campus pastor Scott Falk, when a parent is dies or leaves the home due to divorce, children often blame themselves. This is one way that leads to thoughts of depression or suicide.

“My parents are separated. Sometimes I feel like I drew my dad away from my mom,” Andrea Munoz, 06, said. “The good thing is that me and my mom are like best friends. The only bad thing is that I don’t get to see my dad very often because he lives in North Carolina.”

Despite research that shows propensities to some dangerous activities, most experts agree that the most important thing to a child is the attention that they receive from their parents/guardians. Several additional studies have found that aggressive education programs can help prevent suicide, criminal activity and teen pregnancy (singleparents.about.com).

As society moves further away from traditional views of family, the temptation is to immediately attribute social ills to the changes themselves. However, many experts agree that painting all single-family children with the same brush is not only dangerous but incorrect.

Despite how many parents are present in the home, that most important factor in determining a child’s success is still the amount of love provided by whatever caregiver is present.

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