The modern society is marked with many challenges, which are transforming the traditional social way of life. For instance, the traditional two parent family seems to be losing the originality and substance which was associated with it in the past. This is evidenced by the increasingly high rate of divorce which has resulted to high number of single parented and remarried families. Clearly the challenge in this matter is encountered in appreciating that a two parent family is full of challenges which when left unattended can result into far reaching effects.
Many people therefore find solution to these challenges in single parent and remarried families. This fact is underscored by sociologist Paul Bohannan who defines divorcees as people who have failed in their marriage but would also do not like to settle in a bad marriage (Gladding, 2002). This paper is written with an interest of discussing how single and remarried families differ from traditional Two-parent families as well as discussing their challenges and strength. How Single parent and Remarried families are treated differently from traditional two parent families.
Single parent and remarried families are treated as failures of their original two parent family in the modern society. This is because the society still holds the sanctity and originality of a two parent family at esteem and as a command from their supreme being (Gladding, 2002). They therefore believe that any deviation from this command is a betrayal of their religion’s requirement and has a well defined punishment documented in their holy doctrines. Further to this, many religions hold that all men and women must marry and stay in their marriages irrespective of the challenges they meet.
Single parent and remarried families are therefore depicted as non official and against the requirements of the Supreme Being (Harris, Abernethy, & Smenta, 2000). Still to be noted here is the perception that single parents and remarried parents are sexually immoral. In the modern society, sexual immorality is still perceived to be more pronounced and associated with women than men. This compounded by the fact the number of unmarried single parents are women. To avoid being branded a feminist, I find it necessary to mention here that the considerable number of unmarried single parented men in the society cannot be ignored in this discussion.
This perception is overstressed by the fact that human beings reproduce through sexuality which is believed by many members of our society to be legitimate only when it occurs during marriage and with only one partner in life time (Harris, Abernethy, & Smenta, 2000). Based on this discussion, it is apparent that having children outside the wed lock or divorcing as well as remarrying another partner and having other children is treated as a form of sexual immorality which in the broad and normal sense of the word is not acceptable in the society.
Strengths and special challenges associated with culturally diverse families Single parent families face a number of challenges in the society. Top on the list of these challenges is financial problems. Available statistical research results shows that single parent families have financial problems, which are more severe than in the case of two parent families (Gladding, 2002). As a matter of fact, the financial contribution of one parent cannot be compared to the contribution of two parents.
This fact becomes worse if the family was rendered single parented by divorce. This is because the family might have been used to a given standard of living which changes all of a sudden due to lack of financial support from the other partner. As a result, a period of stress and depression follows before the divorced person adapts to the new ways of living. This challenge becomes more serious if the parent undergoing this traumatizing experience has the custody of the children. Remarried families have for long faced the challenge of neglect.
This is evidenced in cases where one of the parents had children. It therefore follows that each of the parents has to appreciate each other as well as loving the children. It is believed that the biggest gift an individual can give to his or her partner is by loving the kids (Harris, Abernethy, & Smenta, 2000). This undoubtedly shows that you where not only looking for a spouse but you were willing to join a family. However, available studies shows that in many a time, people find it hard to love kids whom they have not fathered or mothered.
The desire to have a spouse can overcome the importance of loving the kinds and hence it can amount into another form of conflict of interest (Gladding, 2002). This problem is compounded by the possibility of getting in the present marriage what was lacking in the previous marriage or life. The effect of neglect is also evidenced in cases where the grand parents or either of the parents fails to recognize the step children and therefore they deny them their right of inheritance.
One of the major strengths associated with the single parent and the remarried families is that they are put in a position to enjoy there life as well as to enhance the goodness of their children (Gladding, 2002). Some family relationships are marked with many challenges which can have negative far reaching effects and therefore detaching from a non satisfying marriage gives an individual an opportunity to restructure his or her life as well as the life of the children. Although it is argued that divorcees are marriage fails. It is also important to appreciate that they are people who are not willing to stick into a bad marriage.
In conclusion therefore, single parent and remarried people are perceived negatively in the society as compared to the two parent family but this kind of family can be a solution to other problems which otherwise could be more hurting to the parent and the kinds at large. References Gladding, S. (2002). Family Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice. Michigan: Merrill. Harris, A. , Abernethy, A. , & Smenta, J. (2000). Adolescent-Parent Interactions in Middle-Class African American Families: Longitudinal Change and Contextual Variations. Journal of Family Psychology, 14 (3), 458-474.
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