This paper is based on the topic parenting. It seeks to explore the controversy surrounding the contemporary family institution with a special bias on single parenting. The paper borrows largely from an article authored by the vision organization and titled “The single parent controversy: Does family research stigmatize single mothers and their children?”.
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It is argued that the current debate on single parenting is based on outdated family values and misplaced priorities. Instead of stigmatizing single parents who in most cases are mothers, governments and researchers should look for ways of restoring the “first love” among couples. Doing so would be beneficial to the parents, the children, and the community at large. It would also be sustainable than stigmatizing single mothers and legislating against divorce.
The author of the article supports the thesis underlined above through various explanations. In the article, it is argued that the stigmatization of single mothers is based on the misplaced question of whether people are for or against single parenting. This question was most applicable in the 1980s when the American society placed more emphasis on the need of both parents raising their children together.
The author is concerned about the issue of whether it is better for children to stay with both parents in an abusive marriage or stay with a single parent in peace. It is argued that the current attempts by governments and researchers to legislate on the family institution cannot help in solving the problem of single parenting but it can actually lead to further stigmatization of single mothers.
What instead should be done is to help single mothers raise their children but not to stigmatize and deny them aid for dependent children. Governments should also invest in initiatives which promote cohesion in families and by so doing, the rates of divorce would go down (Vision organization, 2014).
I agree with the author’s argument because as stated in the article, it takes two people to break a marriage relationship. As a result, single mothers should not be stigmatized because the stability of the family institution is ideally supposed to be the responsibility of both parents.
The attempts to legislate on single parenting cannot yield sustainable results because it is not possible to legislate on social relationships. Instead, fathers should be sensitized on the importance of playing their role in parenting and made to understand that they are equally responsible for the effects of single parenting on their children. They should also be sensitized on the importance of empathizing with mothers for them to understand the burden of raising children independently.
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The argument by the author is a strong one because there are enough reasons to support it. It is a fact that the family institution keeps on changing and for this reason, it is illogical to expect the family values of 1980s to be applicable in the contemporary family institution (Axelrod-Contrada, 2010). It is therefore important to focus on how to improve the welfare of children irrespective of whether they live with both parents or not.
The stigma associated with single parenting is therefore misplaced and should be replaced with empathy and assistance to single mothers for them to raise their children well. Doing so does not in any way encourage divorce because couples are free to stay or leave a marriage relationship when they wish. It is also illogical for mothers to stay in abusive relationships so that their children may have fathers. The author may improve the article by providing statistical data to support the arguments.
Axelrod-Contrada, J. (2010). Poverty in America: cause or effect?. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Vision organization. (2014). The single parent controversy: Does family research stigmatize single mothers and their children?