In life, parents play an exceptional role in the health and well-being of the child. This relationship has a positive impact on the mental and emotional development from childhood to adulthood. Parents help the children to reinforce skills, attitudes, and behaviours that are essential for the physical growth of the child. As a child grows up, it is, therefore, important that both the father and the mother should be part of a childs life.
The first reason why both parents are important in a childs life is that a child raised under an intact family is healthy both physically and emotionally. Rubin (2014) agrees that such children are less likely to indulge in drug abuse, are more likely to graduate from college and minimal chances of engaging in crime. When both parents are present, a child is taught how to conduct oneself, and moral uprightness is emphasised. Such children are less likely to get pregnant or impregnate a teenager and at the same time may not divorce when they are married. McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) posit that children who do not reside with both parents are likely to live in poverty, show psychological and behavioural problems as well as not graduating from school. Others may suffer from chronic illness and are at a risk of being unemployed while others will not have the same chances as those with both parents (Allard, 2007).
Moreover, a child with both parents receives explicit support. The father has specific roles to play in the life of a child while the mother has her duties to offer. Some interactions that are biologically rooted are emphasised by the presence of both parents. For instance, the father can discipline a child while a mother nurtures her. These two different roles played by the parents offer a balance, and the child can grow and develop in the right way. Discipline will help the parents in gaining control of the child and helps in nurturing the connection between the parents and the child. Parents who are authoritative also contribute to nurture motivation in children (Levine 2005).
Child abuse is an issue in the world today. A child brought up by both parents is guarded against abuse in and outside the marriage. Fagan, Rector, Johnson and Peterson (2002) agree that a child raised by a single mother is highly likely to suffer abuse physically than a child whose parents are happily married. Also, a child whose mother cohabits with a man is a predisposing factor to physical violence. A boy child whose father is married will learn a virtue like how to treat a woman, and a girl will also learn how a healthy and peaceful relationship with a man looks like (Coltrane 1988).
Both parents prepare the child for the world differently. Father, for example, affirms the masculine nature in boys and teaches them how to project it in an accepted way. The father teaches values such as appropriate hygiene and suitable male sexuality. They also prepare boys for the job market because fathers have different connections in the community. The mothers, too, will teach the children how to love hence developing emotional development. The mother teaches other virtues such as basic trust, sense of belonging and safety. This clearly shows why a child needs both parents.
On the other hand, a child brought up by a single mother faces many challenges but some of them make it in life. A child supported by a single parent who plays specific roles without the other parent to complement them has had ways of coping with the gap created by the absent parent. The roles to be played by the absent parent are taken over by the remaining parent. For instance, mothers have nurtured their children in the best way possible and also stepped in disciplining the children. Some parents have taken their children for a trauma expert where counselling is done, and they have gone ahead to live normal lives. Other parents have exposed their children to other single parent children, so they get support and know that there are other single parent kids around.
Every child is entitled to an education. Despite the limited chances of single parent children graduating from college, not all those raised by single parents go through this. Parenting skills vary from one parent to another, and at times children from single parent families do well in education. Some have gone far and became famous people in the world. The way in which the single parent steps in and takes the role of the absentee parent matters a lot. A stable single parent family provides a favourable environment for the child to grow and will fair on well.
A single parent child living in a family free from tension, anxiety and fighting has an excellent opportunity to grow up and blossom as a young individual. Young children who are brought up by parents who are always fighting may not thrive despite taking part in after school activities and playing in a peaceful neighbourhood. A single parent family with an active unit, love and respect can educate the child on the beauty of life, and this goes an extra mile in making the child thrive despite challenges.
In conclusion, each parent has a role to play in the lives of the children. Both parents are important in the lives of children. This is because intact families have assisted their children in developing both emotionally and physically. Also, every parent each has a unique role to play as the child grows up. A father instils discipline while the mother plays a significant responsibility in nurturing the child. In a nutshell, both parents help in preventing physical abuse that a child can encounter in life. A father and mother are necessary for a child's life because they will guide the child when growing up.
Allard, J. (2016, November 7). The biggest lie we tell single moms? That life would be easier with a partner. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com
Coltrane, S. (1988). Father-child relationships and the status of women: A cross-cultural study. American Journal of Sociology, 93(5), 1060-1095.
Fagan, P. F., Rector, R. E., Johnson, K., & Peterson, A. (2002). The positive effects of marriage: A book of charts. under The Economic Effects of Marriage, see Chart, 3.
Levine, M. (2005, August 4). Raising successful children. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com
McLanahan, S., & Sandefur, G. (1994). Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rubin, E. L. (2014). Soul, Self, and Society: The New Morality and the Modern State. Oxford University Press, USA.
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