Two Parents Or One Essay Research Paper 2

Two Parents Or One? Essay, Research Paper Two Parents Or One? Family life is much different today than what it used to be. Several years ago mothers would stay at home with their children while the father went to work

Two Parents Or One? Essay, Research Paper

Two Parents Or One?

Family life is much different today than what it used to be. Several years

ago mothers would stay at home with their children while the father went to work

to support his family, but it is nothing like that today in American households.

Today it is common for children to be raised by just one of their parents,

and those children are often disadvantaged in several ways. The most consistent

finding from studies of family structure shows that single parents exert weaker

controls and make fewer demands on their children than married families do

(Curtin et al. 368). There is a real easy explanation for this problem, it is

the simple fact that two parents together make more rules and are more likely to

stick by those rules than single parents are (Curtin et al. 368).

Single parents are not able to show the same emotions as married couples

can, because the love between a mother and a father plays an important part in a

family. Children learn how to love from their parents, but if both parents are

not there to teach them how to love, their love might be somewhat one-sided

(Curtin et al. 371). Yes, single parents can show their love toward their

children, but they have no spouse to express love to. Children from single

parent families are therefore denied that learning experience of how a husband

and a wife should love one another (Curtin et al. 369).

Relationships are another thing that everyone needs, especially children.

Children need a real strong relationship between themselves and their parents,

but children from single parent families are usually denied this privilege

because they are separated from one of their parents and often do not get to

spend adequate time with the other. Children who have a strong relationship

with their parents are more likely to respect the authority of their parents (

Curtin et al. 370). The problem with single parent is the fact that usually the

single parent does not have the time to help the child develop a close

relationship with them. Another problem is how can a child build a strong

relationship with a parent they do not live with and often do not see on a

regular basis. The simple fact is that children need both of their parents in

the household to build a close relationship with and to teach them to respect

the parents authority. True, not all children from two parent households have

close relationships with their parents, but it is much more likely.

Gender also plays an important role in families. Men and women have very

different characteristics, both emotionally and physically. These different

characteristics contribute to their roles as mothers and fathers (Curtin et al.

369). For instance, men are normally much stronger physically than women, and

are therefore able to do many things around the house that a woman can not.

Women are much more likely to do the everyday household chores while the man

does the heavy duty work. Women usually tend more to the children when they

need things than do the men, and also help them more with emotional type

problems (Curtin et al. 369). So it is easy to see why having both parents in

the household makes a much more well-rounded family atmosphere.

When both parents are not in the household children after experience a

great deal of stress from different aspects of their lives. This stress often

comes from children who are forced into independence and self-reliance before

they are mature enough to cope (”Children” 58). Many single parents leave their

children at home or send them to low quality day cares centers while they are at

work, causing stress on the children (”Children” 60). Yes, two parent families

often leave their children at home or send them to low quality day cares, but

studies show that it is ten times more likely to happen in single parent

families (”Children” 59).

Another time which brings a great deal of stress to single parent homes is

the holidays. The holidays are a time when families should be together. Single

parents may not be able to provide this for their children (”Holidays” 3).

Another problem that arises during the holidays is that of gift competition

between the parents (”Holidays” 3). The problem with the parents competing over

who gets the best gift is the fact that the children often feel as if the

parents want to but their love instead of earning it by showing them love.

Children of single parent homes also face stress by always worrying about

everything that is going on in their lives. According to Richard Kinsey single

parent children worried more about school, family, future, finding work, crime,

and their environment by a large margin (16). However, the biggest worry of

these children was about their own personal loves and what was going to happen

to them as they grew up (Kinsey 16).

Richard Kinsey also did a survey on crimes committed by children in both

two parent homes and single parent homes. He found that children in two parent

homes self-reported committing crimes at a rate of 59%, but children from single

parent homes self-reported committing crimes at a rate of 74% (16). This survey

gives a strong emphasis of how important the respect of authority if for

children. It also showed how children form single parent homes are more likely

to commit crimes than the children from two parent homes.

Single parent homes not only reflect or cause stress upon children, but

also upon the parent. Single mothers especially feel stress when a father

figure is not present (Allen et al. 390). According to the survey done by

Katherine Allen and Peggy Quinn, seventy percent of the single mothers reported

that they always worried about money (390). Not only was money a big issue, but

also time and energy (392). These single mothers are put under pressure from

about every aspect of their lives, and without a husband there to help raise a

family, pay the bills, and to show them love, the single mother must nearly feel


Another big stress for single mothers is the fact that now they have the

responsibility of two parents (Allen et al. 392). One woman describes how she

felt: “And on the weekends then, mow the yard, and clean the house, and wash the

clothes. When you get done doing that, its Monday all over again” (Allen et al.

392). Most parents form two parent homes realize the responsibility they have

and the stress that they face with a spouse there to support them, but just

imagine that spouse not being there to help support and help with the

responsibilities of the family and that is exactly what it is like to be a

single parent.

Now we have seen the pressures that single mothers face, but what about

single fathers because there are many of them in the world today. One example

can be found in the article ” A Singular Experience,” by Brad Andrews. Andrews

himself is a single father and he discusses the overwhelming responsibilities of

being a single father (8). He now has to do all of the household chores and

take care of the children all by himself. He can no longer play catch with his

son after dinner because now he has to do the dishes (8). These single parent

situations create unstability and do not provide a positive environment for

children to grow up in. Both a father and a mother are needed to create a

stable environment and a positive place fro children to live.

Another example is the article “Single Fathers With Custody” by Alfred

DeMaris and Geoffrey Grief. DeMaris and Grief explain the fact that single

fathers experience the same worries and overwhelming responsibilities that

single mothers do. Fathers face financial worries, pressures from work, and

pressure of time for himself and his children (DeMaris et al. 260).

The simple fact is that being a single parent is a very difficult task,

whether it is a single father or a single mother. A family consist of a father

and a mother with their children, not just one parent. Single parent homes

create a lot of stress and worries on the parent as well as the children, and

the stress and worries are not needed by either. Afterall, it takes two to make

a child, it should take two to raise a child.