The connection between the parent’s status and the child’s well being is frequently argued. Some of the studies in the past have shown that children brought up by two married parents tend to grown better than the others (Sigle-Rushton, Wendy and McLanahan). In most of these studies, the results have been derived by comparing the family structure of single parent and both biological parents. Another aspect of the association of family structure with child’s welfare it the type of relation between the parents.
The children having parents with mutual dispute are more likely to have behavioral and psychological problems (Amato and Sobolewski). Therefore while considering the question, ‘are two parents better than one? ’ a fact becomes very clear that the family definitely has an influence on the child’s outcome, well-being and future development. A couple or two parents raising a child have varying advantages. With two parents a lot of responsibilities can be distributed, which prevents the development of massive pressure on one single parent.
This is especially useful in case of working parents, who can distribute their office hours in such a way that at any time one of the parents is present with the child. Along with this there is also an economic factor associated with it. With two working parents the child is expected to have a better childhood, with larger number of necessities and luxuries being made available to the child. Along with having larger parental time, attention and emotional support, the two parent children also have advantage of economic security.
Apart from the above factors, two parents provide a stable environment to the children. The children parented by two parents have the love and emotional support from both the parents. These children are free from parenting tensions due to distribution of the stress among the parents. This way the children are not subjected to the parent’s tension at an early stage of their life. Therefore they can enjoy their childhood to a better extent than other children. The parents under marital dispute are the only disadvantage of the two parents raising a child.
It has been studied that the children growing up with parents under marital dispute grow up with behavioral problems, less education and lower occupational status (Mitchell). But an important point to consider here is that most of the marriages that end in divorces are low-conflicts. Most of the divorces are mutual and seen as a positive step from both the parents and are taken healthily by the children. In case of single parenting or disrupted families the disadvantages are much higher.
According to Paul Amato, Professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University, “Specifically, compared with children who grew up in stable, two-parent families children born outside marriage reach adulthood with less education, earn less income, have lower occupational status, are more likely to be idle (that is , not employed and not in school), are more likely to have a non-marital birth (among daughters) have more troubled marriages, experience higher rates of divorce and report more symptoms of depression” (Mitchell).
Single parenting creates a lot of pressure both in emotional as well as financial sense, which might lead to a depression or insecurity in the child. The parent is sometimes not able to fulfill the requirements of the child due to such financial crisis. These may include some necessities like good quality education, a home with a social neighborhood and other essential items. Of which the quality of education has a huge impact on the personality of a child. Children going to better schools have more social company and this exhibit lesser behavioral problems.
The quality of parenting also has a vast impact on the social well-being of the children. Due to their own problems, which they are not freely able to express out, the parent are not always emotionally strong enough to support their children. These single parents can sometimes let-out their stress on the children, thus creating a negative impact on them. Such parents can also be a little harsh in terms of disciple. Another disadvantage is lack of availability of time.
Single parents have to work harder for financial reason, which in turn increases the number of office hours. Such parents tend to have a hectic schedule and lesser time to spend with the children. They leave early in the morning and come back late at night, therefore practically spending no time with their children. The children in turn don’t feel enough attachment and start to develop a barrier with their parents. They start showing behavioral changes and start to get away from relationships. Single parenting is a tough and sensitive job.
Delicate care has to be taken to ensure the well being of the child. Single parenting can only be successful if proper attention, love and affection are provided to the child. On the other hand it has been studied and statistically concluded by Paul Amato that “Compared with other children, those who grow up in stable, two-parent families have a higher standard of living, receive more effective co-parenting, are emotionally closer to both parents (especially fathers) and are subjected to fewer stressful events and circumstances (P. R. Amato). “
Under normal circumstances, two parents are always better than one. Two parents parenting a child provide an emotional as well as financial support to both their spouse as well as their children. Such children are tension free in their childhood and have role models to live up to for the future. Therefore as far as possible the children must be brought up under the guidance of two parents for their happy and prosperous future.
Works Cited Amato, P. R. and Sobolewski. “The effects of divorce and marital discord on adult children’s psychological well-being.
” American Sociological Review (2001): 900-921. Amato, Paul R. “The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. ” The Future of Children Volume 15 No 2. CYC-Online, July 2007. Mitchell, Lindsay. Research Confirms Two Parents Better Than One. Media release. New Zealand: www. cyc-net. org/cyc-online/cycol-0707-amato. html , 2007. Sigle-Rushton, Wendy and Sara McLanahan. “Father absence and child wellbeing: a critical review. ” The future of the family (2004): 116-155.