TwoResponsible Parents versus One Responsible Parent
The question on whether it is ideal for the societal functioning tohave children raised by two responsible parents or one responsibleparent is rising to a societal quagmire. The necessity of furtherresearch on this question and other related questions cannot beunderestimated. It is yet to become clear to most of the parents andthe society at large which of the two is better than the other. Whileboth strategies have proponents and opponents, some people believethey are the same, and it does not make any difference. While similarin many ways, the two family structures have vastly differentimplications on children. Most notably, they differ economically,social, cognitive and psychological implications, child’s home lifeand the long-term effects on both the child and the parent(s).
First, the fact that families with two responsible parents are moreeconomically stable than their counterparts with one responsibleparent makes the former ideal for societal functioning. According tothe Pew Research Center (an American social and demographic researchfirm), on average, two responsible parent households earn an annualincome of $57100 while their single parent counterparts earn $17400annually (Ugreninoy et al., 63). These statistics portray anunarguably large annual income gap. As such, Children raised in tworesponsible parent families are less likely to experience financialand other economic hardships unlike those raised in singleresponsible parent households. The lesser a society experienceseconomic hardships, the better. It has also been confirmed, throughresearch by the Witherspoon Institute, that 66% of children raised insingle-parent households live below the poverty line. While this isso, only 10% of children from two-parent households are in thiscategory. This is irrespective of whether the parents are responsibleor not. As such, it is evident that children raised with oneresponsible parent are at a considerably higher risk of poverty thantheir counterparts with both parents.
Secondly, children raised with one responsible parent have moreadverse social, cognitive and psychological implications than thoseraised with two responsible parents. The latter have their parentssolve many problems for them in a united nuclear family while theformer have only one parent on their side. The problem is aggravatedif the children do not feel free to share their problems with theresponsible single parent due to gender difference (Turner et al.,29). According to a research study by the Pennsylvania StateUniversity, raising children in a single parent setting is notentirely wrong. However, its cognitive, emotional and socialimplications make it unsuitable for societal functioning. In spite ofthe fact that children raised in a single responsible parent settingare more likely to develop skills of independence and responsibilitythan their counterparts in a two responsible parent setting, theyhave adverse self-identity and other related problems.
Thirdly, sociologists such as Sara McLanahan propose that childrenraised with one responsible parent have long-term adverse impacts.These experiences are mainly evident in the child’s education andmarriage. It is less likely that children brought up in a singleresponsible parent setting will go beyond their parent’s level ofeducation. The highest they achieve in as far as education isconcerned is what their parents achieved. The case is not differentwhen it comes to their marriage life. They are prone to leading asingle life just like their parents. This is not the case forchildren raised with two responsible parents. Unlike theircounterparts, they set their standards of education in such a waythat they can achieve even more than both parents. Children raisedwith two responsible parents are less likely to remain single.
Lastly, a properly functioning society should be based on strongrelationships among members. The most important relationship thatforms the basis of all other relationships in the society is the oneformed by the society’s basic unit the family. Children require avery strong relationship with their parents. As much as bothcategories of children relate with their parents, those raised withone responsible parent are denied the privilege of an even strongerrelationship (Hembree-kigin & Cheryl, 21). They might notrealize, but their character as they grow to adults will insinuatethis. For a strong relationship to develop, time is paramount.Ideally, no strong relationship has ever developed without a sizableamount of time being invested in it. It is important for a child tohave both parents if a strong relationship is to be developed. It istrue that not all children from two responsible parent settings haveclose relationships, but they are more likely to have them than theirone responsible parent counterparts.
To wrap things up, as much as raising children with two responsibleparents is more suitable for a functioning society than raising themwith one responsible parent, it is clear that two family structuresare at par in as far as creating a good and stable home life for thechild is concerned. Both styles provide a platform on which positiveparenting techniques can be developed. As such, it is possible tomold a bright future for the child through either of two methods.However, for proper societal functioning is important that childrenare raised with two responsible parents as opposed to one. It ensureseconomic stability for the child, social, cognitive and psychologicalpeace, good long term implications and close and strong familyrelationships.
Hembree-Kigin, Toni L., and Cheryl McNeil. Parent—childinteraction therapy. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Turner, Rebecca A., Charles E. Irwin Jr, and Susan G. Millstein."Family structure, family processes, and experimenting withsubstances during adolescence." Risks and Problem Behaviorsin Adolescence 1.1l (2014): 229.
Ugreninov, E., B. Hvinden, and V. Nordvik. "Can Work-FamilyPolicies Reduce the Poverty Gap between One-parent and Two-parentHouseholds? A multi-level analysis of child poverty across 25European countries." COPE project (2013).