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Q: How do single-parent homes affect children? ( No Answer,   12 Comments )
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Subject: How do single-parent homes affect children?
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: topguntommy-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 16 Dec 2005 13:04 PST
Expires: 15 Jan 2006 13:04 PST
Question ID: 606607
I am very curious about how children and adolescents with divorced
parents or born out of wed lock are affected by their lack of
traditional parentage.   From my experience witnessing these kids I
know that there is something different about them, but I cannot seem
to put into words what I have actually seen.  Help me understand some
of the trends and characteristics about these groups, so I can
understand those that I am around.  I?ll add a tip of $10, too.
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There is no answer at this time.

Comments  
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: irlandes-ga on 16 Dec 2005 21:29 PST
 
Back in the Eighties there were a number of studies done on this very
topic. Since then, apparently such studies have been declared to be
non-PC, because the official viewpoint is that single mothers can do
just as good a job as two parents.  You have seen and heard that many
times, right?

There is a  hair raising book, written by a rather militant retired
professor, called THE GARBAGE GENERATION, by Prof. Daniel Amneus. If
you can get by the militancy in the first half of the book, the last
half of the book is filled with his references, 80's studies of all
types, from county records, to college research, including studies
which showed that wealthy children from single parent families did no
better, which also contradicts PC beliefs that it is merely a case of
poverty.

At that time, children from single parent homes were seven (7) times
more likely to go to jail; use drugs; be unwed mothers or fathers; and
in general fail. Around 85% of prisoners were from single parent
homes, though not 85% of all children were from such homes.

Also, he said virtually horror murderers came from single parent headed homes.

One might find that book on an Internet sales URL, there were not a
large number of them sold.

I asked my late brother-in-law, who was in corrections, if that were
true. He said he did  not remember the last time he saw a father show
up to visit an inmate.  He was somewhat surprised anyone did not know
the link.

I cannot remember the name of the female researcher, but there were
several studies by a reputed female researcher which addressed the
changes in the lives of children of single parent homes, and it was
not good, though her studies did not show the same range of behavior
changes reported in the book I referenced.

When my daughter became a teacher, she said she could visit a
classroom a few hours, and tell which children were from single-parent
households. So, you are not the only one who has noticed a difference.

However, there are some who claim that non-involved parents today 
aren't doing much better with two parents in the household, than one
parent in the household. So, things may have changed in the last
generation. For example, I think some of the school house shooting
culprits were from two parent families.

If you want ammo for a custody battle, be warned you are probably
going to lose any court fight based on this sort of social evidence.

By the way, the only explanation I have seen which has made some sense
TO ME is that mothers give their small children unconditional love
they need at that age, and  fathers give their older children
conditional love which they need to become responsible adults who live
within the mores of society.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: steph53-ga on 17 Dec 2005 18:17 PST
 
I raised both my children ( a boy and a girl ) without their fathers.

Today, they are both successfull, intelligent and professional adults.
No one would ever have a clue that they grew up in poverty and without
the "traditional" two parent home.

Steph53
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: myoarin-ga on 17 Dec 2005 20:53 PST
 
COngratulations, Steph!
I don't know if there is a study to support this, but I have read that
one should consider how single-parent children compare with those who
grow up ("raised" might be too strong a word) in families in which the
parents maybe should have separated.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: henrycat-ga on 28 Dec 2005 11:56 PST
 
I have quoted my site www.parentalalienation.co.uk on another question
in this section. Just type in 'PAS' or 'Parental alienation syndrome'
to get many hits.

I am an unmarried father who lost custody of my child. My child has
grown up without my love, care, and support. She is intelligent (doing
post-graduate studies), talented (has her own rock recording rock
group) and outwardly doing well. Part of the reason (I think) is
because she left her mother as soon as she could. In spite of that, my
daughter has a traumatic emotional life, and that is common to such
children. This side is hidden, and the successful life flaunted.

Having run national surveys on these matters, and supplied many case
histories to the media, there is ample evidence that such children
lose the ability to have a full emotional life as they do not learn to
do this from their home environment. As a retired teacher, I could
also pick out single-parent children from their attitudes.

As Steph53 says "I raised both my children ( a boy and a girl )
without their fathers. No one would ever have a clue that they grew up
in poverty and without the "traditional" two parent home.

It depends on the circumstances, but if her children were alienated
from their fathers, the chances are that her children will not thank
her for it, and I may even turn against her in later life, when they
realise how they were deprived of the fathers love and support.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: czh-ga on 28 Dec 2005 17:06 PST
 
Hello topguntommy-ga,

Are you familiar with the work of Judith Wallerstein? I believe she's
the researcher irlandes-ga is referring to. She wrote about her
research monitoring the long-term effects of divorce on a small group
of children starting in the 1970's.

http://www.salon.com/july97/mothers/divorce970723.html
The woman who turned America against divorce

Good luck.

~ czh ~

http://www.4children.org/news/198coon.htm
Divorcing Reality
Other researchers question Wallerstein's conclusions
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: babygirl26-ga on 29 Dec 2005 13:16 PST
 
With out reading anyone else's response I can say from experience.
Single home are not the end of the world.
I believe that you and your children can have a great life if there
are these things envolved. God is the first. Learn about God and teach
your children about.  Teach them that if they can not come to you they
can go to him. He will never forsake you, deny you or abandon you and
he will always love you. Second,reasure them that you are like GOD,
you will never forsake them, deny them, abandon them and you will
always love them. Be their friend, mentor and always have time for
them even when you think you do not. As hard as it may be at least try
your best to be there for 2 of there school events each year.
And the most important thing is for you to always remain strong and
never fall infront of your children. When you are sad, you act happy,
when you want to cry laugh, especially infront of them and you can cry
and be sad when they are not around; or you can trust that one day God
will see your greatness and if it is his will and you want a good
person in your life he will provide that as long as you trust in him.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: henrycat-ga on 04 Jan 2006 01:34 PST
 
I have made one comment, but as someone who writes professionally on
these matters I would like to add to the comments of babygirl26, which
appear to me to be naive at best.
The term 'Single-mother' has no real meaning outside of a statistic
relating to the growth and cost of this group to the government. In
the UK they cost around 14 billion a year, and are the biggest single
drain on the Welfare State.
In reality the term refers to several groups,some of which are listed below:
1. Underage girls who become pregnant. In the UK around 2000 a year.
In most cases unable to care for their children at all.
2. Professional women who do not wish to get married, and may not even
want a partner. Perfectly capable of caring for their child with paid
help.
3. Women immigrants who have a husband abroad but come to the UK to
live on State welfare until their children are grown up.
4. Women who cannot cope with life generally, and have a child because
it enables them a better chance of getting cheap housing and welafare.
Quite often such women have several children by different fathers (I
am aware of one women who had seven children each by a different
father). These are known as 'Serial mothers' and make a profession of
it.
5. Women who become pregant by someone they don't wish to live with,
and then seduce someone else to pay for the child. A study in the UK
last year (CSA) indicated that around 6% of separated fathers are
paying for children who are not biologically theirs.
6. Women who get divorced and wish to get rid of the father of the
children while still getting maintenance. Usually because they have
another partner.
7. Women who never married and have children, also wanting to get rid
of the father while getting maintenance. These are now the norm. In
the UK unmarried fathers are considered equal to divorced fathers in
the eyes of Family Courts. Though in practice less than 50% of
separated fathers will see their children grow up.
8. Women who simply get divorced or separated and want to start again
as best they can, and find the past partner a hindrance.

Many of the children from lower class groups become 'doorkey' kids who
have to look after themselves. There is a high probability that they
will suffer emotionally, educationally, financially, and even be more
accdent prone. They will have greater difficulties in having stable
relationships themselves.

Although these conditions are well reported, there are other studies
suggesting that children from single-parent families fair as well as
those from two-parent families. Bearing in mind that the majority of
Studies on family are carried out by women, and that the Family courts
generally are operated by women, and that by far the most journalists
and broadcasters on family affairs are women, there is an element of
bias to be considered.

It would be nice to think that God will take care of the situation, as
suggested by babygirl26, but the general feeling by those concerned
with these matters is that the decline of the family unit has grave
implications for society.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: 32michelle-ga on 12 Jan 2006 03:57 PST
 
Sorry everyone else, but this comment is mainly directed at 'henrycat.'
In your list of 'groups'you have filed for the term 'single mother'you
somehow managed to forget about the women who become pregnant and the
fathers deciding not to be a part of the childs life right from the
start. The married women who get left by their husbands. What about
the single parent home where the father has custody? Or the mother has
simply left? Just because you didnt get custody of your own children
it does not mean that there are no men out there bringing up their
children. I am proud of all the single parents I know men and women.
Just because the studdies are mainly carried out by women this does
not mean the answers will be bias, Have you ever wondered why these
studdies and all the other things you mentioned to be 'bias' are
mainly done by women? Nobody is stopping men from doing these things.
The question is 'How do single parent homes affect children' I see you
only really have negative comments for women. Blaming the single
mothers themselves.
I do understand your personal situation but it is not right to assume
it is always the womans fault. It is clear from your 'grouping' for
the term that you pretty much have a strong disgust and dislike for
single mothers and think that they make all the choices.
Single mothers are putting a strain on the welfare state, but why are
you blaming them? Women only have to get help from the state becuase
the fathers are not contributing sensibly.
Who are you to tell steph53 that her children may 'turn against her'
that is appalling and the way you speak about single mothers is
appalling.
I havent had the pleasure of visiting your website but im sure ill
find more 'bias' studdies and research along side your own bias
comments.
I do agree that there is something different about children who grow
up single parent homes..the same way that there is something differnt
about each and every child.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: vrc-ga on 13 Jan 2006 21:11 PST
 
There is one category of "single parent" that I think has been
overlookwed -- that of a physically present, but functiuonally
non-participating biological father -- in our society [ and I guess I
mean mostly Western, mostly U.S. ] there are many households where one
or even both praents are not really present where primary upbringing
of the children are either peers or surrogates

My wife, as manager of the "baby room" for a child-care center in a
very affluent community [ Marin County, CA ] has no bioligical kids of
her own but is more "mommy" than most of the Moms that drop off their
6 week to 11 month old babies at 7:00 am and don't see them until 4:00
pm or later -- guess who becomes the role model ... and lucky for the
babies she is a good one

On a more general note:  while there are no absolute answers you might
find some good inflormation in the book: Freakanomics by Levitt and
Dubner -- despite its' title, it's a serious work on socio-economics
and a most entertaining read
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: stacyl-ga on 18 Feb 2006 07:37 PST
 
My parents divorced when I was three years old.  I remember watching
my father beat the heck out of my mother at that age.  Althought, I
feel successful today, in my life, and career, I have alot of deep
seeded issues with self loathing, self esteem, and a paralizing fear
of rejection.  I would never talk to my parents about this, because I
don't think they could handle my real feelings on the subject.  My
parents did the best they could, and I love them both more than words
could say. I also grew up in poverty, had a very serious drug problem,
and i was arrested twice. Don't get me wrong, I blame no one for my
psychological disorders, stuff happens, and what doesn't kill us makes
us stronger.

I just wanted to post and let all you folks know that,,,, yes, yes,
yes,,,,, a single parent household DOES effect the children, no matter
what the children try to convince you of.  I came on the internet to
research my term paper, which happens to be on this very topic.

KIDS NEED TWO PARENTS.  IT'S BALANCE.  
My childhood still haunts me today, and it wasn't a fortunate childhood.  
but like steph said,,,,, Her children are intellegent, healthy and
happy.  I am to, but I want to end the confusion right now.  If you
grew up in a 2 parent home, I feel you might know about this topic,,,,
it's one thing to read about something, it's quite another to live the life.
I hope everyone reading this will have a different perspective on
single parent families.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: stacyl-ga on 18 Feb 2006 08:15 PST
 
Sorry, i have to say one more thing:  It's seems that everyone on this
site is talking about how single parents should this, or that.....
what is the real focus here?  The children?  I think it should be!

babygirl, you sound like a strong woman, and my prayers go out to you,
but if you think you kids aren't effected by their missing father your
insane.  Not to metion, your statment regarding crying or being sad
infront of your children,,,totally off.  your showing your children
how to be!  Your showing the to suppress their feelings, it's not okay
to cry?  THEY HAVE NO FATHER!!!!
If you think those children can't hear you crying in your room at
night, your diluted.  Children see and hear everything.

I definetley dont think that henerycat is particularly incorrect. 
Women carry the babies for 9 months, and they had to spread their legs
to get there, so saying he's bias due to his gender is also
ridiculous.  Women are "stuck" with the child, it's just easier (
don't take that the wrong way ) for men to get away.

Just reading these entries and hearing the hope in all the voices of
the single parents who wrote on this blog, it's overwhelming.  It's
amazing how deep our denial can go sometimes.  Refusal to take
responsibility for your desicions, and it's a shame.  Kids don't ask
to be born, that is the womans choice all the way, wether or not
she'll have the child.  Under ideal circumstances having a child with
2 parents avalible is the hardest, most important job a woman will
have in her life.  People just don't see that...... It's all the rage,
have a baby, you'll be cool, too!  It's makes me sick to think of 16,
17 year olds having children.  It's too bad our society has come to
this.
Subject: Re: How do single-parent homes affect children?
From: pamzsunny-ga on 18 Feb 2006 13:26 PST
 
I am a single mom.  I wanted to add a comment.  My child in now a
teenager.  Being in a single home and in poverty is terrible for a
child, psychologically.  She has become in fear of trusting others.  A
fear that another person will desert her.  In one end, yes, a child of
a single home become stronger....  because they have too... to
survive.  They don't want to go through the financial struggles that a
single mom goes through to support their child.  So they work harder,
and become more successful.  This is one benefit.  But they fear,
trusting others and at many times withdrawl.  So goes the teenage
years...  They sometimes hate one or the other parent in anger for the
situation or they get jealous when one parent has moved forward and
has had kids and gives their other kids full attention and more
gifts... with the idea that since they pay child support.... they do
not have to give as much to the other child.  This does make sense
with $ set up logically, but a child does not see that.... They see...
 he/she must love the other child more... because they get more
gifts...  Wierd huh?  A single parent, if not attached, is highly
stressed with no sense of adult comfort and support, mentally and
financially.  I would never have any more children again, unless I
thought that he would stay and not cheat and leave.  How can this
remain a good thing????  and lead to how a child thinks as they watch
the parent that raises them struggle with life.  The child receives
1/2 the attention, unless you have the absent parent heavily active in
their lives.  Maybe... this would be the saving factor...  My child
hates her father now.... though I have tried hard to keep them
together...  Sadly, this is many times the case, he/she will hate
either parent for not having all the attention that they need and
deserve.  So I say, think twice before divorce...  AND if you do,
never leave your child's side and emotional needs unless you want the
child to suffer later...  By the way, I have a Social Work degree and
have studied heavily in counseling and etc...  So, I've lived the
issue and studied it... and this is the balance that I have developed
from the last 11 years...

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