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New Report Claims That Marital Status Does Not Determine Parenting Style

By: Krystle Crossman

It may be a stereotype that single parents cannot give their children everything that they would get if they had two parents in the home. A new report from The Census Bureau claims that single parents are able to care for their children and give them the same basic needs as a child in a dual-parent home. They may not have as many resources or finances as other families but they still read to their children, teach them morals, and play with them just as much as anyone else.

Sandra Hofferth from The Council on Contemporary Families studied the report from the Census Bureau and did some further research. She found that there was a difference in the behaviors of the parents but what the child learned and the time that their parents spent with them was not affected by that in the end. The single parents had to take on the role of both mother and father and so they had to change up some of the things that they did such as how they worked and how they split up their time between their child and their job, but they were able to do just as much and sometimes more than the married families did. During the course of a week a study showed that married families read to their children 6.8 days per week and single parents came in at 6. There is not too much of a difference there.

Children that come from single parent homes may have a closer bond with their parent because there is only one person there for them to give love and attention to. There is no favoritism, no good cop/bad cop. It is just them and their parent whom they love unconditionally. This is one of the biggest differences between a married household and a single parent household. There were no findings that the grades of the children suffered from being with a single parent and their behaviors did not differ from other children either.

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4 thoughts on “New Report Claims That Marital Status Does Not Determine Parenting Style

  1. Richard

    The woman that wrote this article is doing too much reading and not enough walking through the realities of life. She found that single parent read, nurture, love and kiss their children just as much as married parents. That’s good. I equate that with a great effort parenting skills; however, it still leaves a void in the emotional needs of most children.

    Children feel good with their mother attend their school plays and sport games. However they feel a little better when both parents attend. Children like to introduce their father as well as their mother. When this simple contribution to emotional balance is not met, some children suffer.

    It is no coincidence that most of the jails, teen pregnancies, high dropouts, kids in gangs, and children who ran away from home are children of single parent home. More girls are molested by mother’s boyfriend or a stepfather than their real father. Therefore more girls are effect by single parent home. More boys want instruction and advice from a father or at least the same man throughout their childhood. Mom’s different boyfriend every couple years is not sufficient and good motherly advice pales in the light of good fatherly advice. Therefore, more boys from single parent homes suffer.

    I suggest the woman that wrote the article visit a few juvenile jails and adult prisons and discover the type of homes those inmates were reared.

    • nomalanga

      Great points, Richard. I too question the validity of her research but it is important to allow people to express opposing views. We also have to consider that this may be true in the general population and be drastically different in the Black community.

  2. Debra Wells

    The difference is that the children in these troubled situations may not have had good parenting, which just because there are two parents in the home, is not a guaranteed occurrence. I have to agree with the author and have said the same thing for years. What good is a father in the home if all he does is work all the time or sit around waiting for his wife to do all of the providing. It is the quality and quantity of the interaction with a child that will make a difference or not. Every two parent household is not a truly functioning one. Many a day, it has been a child from a two parent household, that is knocking on my door, after school, at meal time, or when there is a sporting practice or event, asking can they \hang out\ or \get a ride\ with my kids and now grandkids. I always try to offer them some food and most gladly accept it. I tell them to call their parents to make sure that they have permission to ride with us to whatever the event, and I always wonder and sometimes ask where their parents are. I do believe that there is some food insufficiency in some of these two parent households, and that they may be working or just inattentive in some cases. My daughters are grown, have their own families, no criminal histories nor drug usage, are educated and employed. We have never been homeless, or had utility shut-offs, have traveled in and out of the U.S., attend church, and they both know and had contact with their fathers (one dad is deceased for many years) and their families. I was not willing to sacrifice our basic happiness and live in a dysfunctional household just so I could say that I was married or that we had a \two parent\ household. We have done just fine with being a single parent household. It is the way that you parent and hold it together that really counts.

  3. CarolinaSistah

    Pr 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    This scripture indicates to me that one parent can indeed do the right things for his/her child. There is no direction here specific to a father or a mother, or a grandmother, or a foster parent.

    After divorce, I was a single parent myself and sought to follow the teachings of my Christian faith. But there were some areas where I was weak. My son needed his father 24/7, but all he had was his mother. I saw the effects of that loss in my son — a lot of anger that I often felt ill equipped to handle.

    The issue is really not about how well the single parent does, it is about how the missing parent effects the life of the child.

    This is not to say single parents can’t or don’t do a good job with their children


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