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Children Deserve a Mom & Dad

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 26
12/28/2012


By Taylor Ramsey

I firmly believe children need a father and a mother for the best chance in life. In 1970 about 11% of children in the United States lived in a single-parent household. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s website, in 2000 31% of children were living in a single parent home and in 2011 the number increased to 35%. Is it not amazing that the statistics for poverty, education, incarceration and the like have followed the same negative trend?

I was reading an article by The Associated Press published on April 27, 2011 titled, “1 in 4 kids in U.S. raised by a single parent.” Of course, there are legitimate reasons for someone to be a single parent. Unexpected events such as death/illness of a parent or divorcing a spouse because it is not safe physically or mentally for the other spouse and children to remain in a bad situation can’t be avoided. Another situation may be a single person adopting presumably unadoptable children.

In general choosing to be a single parent is selfish. A mother and father have qualities that only they can employ, due to their gender, in raising a child. There are differences between men and women no matter what some of us wish to believe. Of course, there are wonderful single parents doing a great job. However, if that parent chose to be a single parent, they have knowingly denied the child the traits that only the missing spouse could provide.

Choosing to conceive a child as a single person or becoming pregnant by accident is self-centered. Why is it that the number of single parent households is increasing when you consider the increase in availability of sex education and agencies providing contraception & counseling services? There is only one answer: the parent put the needs of a baby behind their own wants or desires. It is wrong.

Secondly, children of single parents have more potential to go through life in poverty. In an AP story Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said, “It isn’t being a single parent in itself that raises difficulties. Single moms do a brilliant and amazing job raising their children. It is also true that single moms in this country are systemically underpaid, and systematically under-resourced and systemically un-respected. It’s not the fact they are single moms that makes things difficult.”

Terry O’Neill wants to take the blame away from the parent and blame society for systemically making life difficult on the parent and the child. Has she considered that being a single parent requires the parent to take more time away from work to take care of the child and household? They have less time for education too. While the single parent is away from work or school there are others working and gaining more experience that pays off in promotions and higher rates of pay. The person gaining promotions over the single parent may be a married person who has assistance at home or may be single with no children thus they have more time to improve their career outlook. As a result, the lower pay is not the result of society; it is the result of poor personal decisions.

The single parent can only do so much and as a result many parental duties are left up to the child or extended family. History shows that the cycle of single parenthood will have a higher incidence of repeating with the single-parent child leading to more people learning to make poor decisions based on examples of the parent they love.

For the child’s sake, making a mistake or choosing to have children out of wedlock must be avoided. Put the child first, they deserve it.

taylor@longbeachcomber.com
www.lettertotheeditorblog.com
Twitter: @TaylorPRamsey