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HomeOpinionThe epidemic of single parent families in USA undermines our future

The epidemic of single parent families in USA undermines our future

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In the past, traditional households had a clear division of roles between the husband and wife. Men went to work on the land, in businesses or manufacturing industries. The wife prepared meals and took care of the home and the children. The entire family usually ate together, discussing their events of the day. Often both parents arrived at the appropriate method of discipline, with the father taking the lead role in enforcing the agreed-upon consequences.

This united parental approach is too often not possible, with over 40 percent of US homes having a single parent raising the children. Divorce also creates single-parent homes when one spouse lives somewhere else. In the rest of the world, only seven percent of families have only one parent.
In America, many of these single-parent children have a higher probability of risky behavior than do children of two-parent families. Such behavior includes using drugs or alcohol, living in poverty, quitting school, acting violent, having lower self-esteem, distrusting others, committing crimes, and having long-term relationship problems. Obviously, single-parent families are difficult and not optimal for raising children.

Mothers and fathers are genetically, socially, and emotionally different. Mothers are maternal by nature. A mother’s instincts cannot be duplicated by a male. Mothers can differentiate the child’s cries. Almost immediately, she will tell if the child’s cry is genuine or a sign of defiance to get their way. Mothers are especially important in the early years of the child’s life.

Many married couples with youngsters are switching roles, especially if the wife has a higher-level profession that pays significantly more. The “househusband” is a fish out of water. Often these househusbands want to imitate the wife’s subtle, calm mannerisms without realizing the baby has been trained by the mother’s nonverbal cues to stop the child’s cantankerous behavior. Additionally, the mother will put the baby in the crib and let them cry until they stop. This takes an intuitive sense that the child is not in danger and just needs to stop crying.

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On the other hand, the father’s strong voice and short temper usually play a more powerful role as the child becomes more physically independent and mobile. A father’s role modeling makes it clear for the child to comprehend that strength and tenacity are necessary to reach their goals. The father’s powerful and strong method of attacking problems straight on gives them authority to prevent any shenanigans. When the child demands attention, it is usually easier for fathers to get them under control than the wife.

Due to this fundamental difference between fathers and mothers and the roles they play, leaving the family has terrible consequences. Divorce is the death of the family. Obviously, children are devastated emotionally and socially. Either parent abandoning the children will have a negative impact on the child, which too often is not resolved. In many countries where an increase in population is desirable, a monetary stipend is given when a child is born. The United States can incentivize marriages on the brink of divorce by providing marriage counseling sessions. There should be no penalizing a family by the loss of welfare money if the father decides to return to the home.

These are significant differences between single and two-parent families. The lack of a father or mother in the 40 percent of single-parent households in the US might be slightly compensated by enlarging our social welfare system. Inevitably child and daycare centers would have to be staffed and operational throughout the day and night. Schools would have to expand breakfast and lunch programs to include weekends, which many already do.

A parent’s work schedule might be flexible, but caregivers should be available every day for the child’s protection. Even adolescents would need to be fed, clothed, and taught many social skills to be successful functioning adults. This would put greater pressure on our government schools not only to teach academics but to handle more psychological issues.

It is true that single parents have raised wonderful children, but they are rare. For the sake of our nation’s future, we need to attempt to keep families together. We should allow money and tax breaks to families to assist them to provide for the material needs of the family. We should help these troubled families to understand the terrible consequences to their children’s future if they actually divorce.

The media, especially Hollywood and television, need to return to portraying families as wholesome and fully necessary to the soul of our nation. The strength of our nation’s vitality is derived from healthy families.

Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books, and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN, and a new just published book entitled IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.

Dr. Domenick Maglio
Dr. Domenick Magliohttp://www.drmaglioblogspot.com
Dr. Domenick Maglio holds a Ph.D. in Human Development with more than forty years of experience in the field of education and mental health. During his career, he has worked as a clinical psychologist in the Florida prison system. He served as the director of Hernando County Domestic Violence program for ten years. He also served as the director of Open Door for Mental Health, a program helping mentally ill patients transition from state mental hospitals to the community. He taught for a decade in higher education and served as a board member with the National Independent Private Schools Association.
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