It is sad when we have to “redefine” the word “family;” however, that is the world we are living in right now. Grandparents are raising children because their adult children are either incarcerated, or they are on drugs. Mothers are now the head of the household; and there are gays who are now adopting children. Although in some situations; there is no choice – the kids would be homeless.
Years ago the “perfect” family situation was mother, father and two children. That absolutely does not exist anymore! The norm is mother with two to four children, and father with several children. Many of these situations are working, but, in my opinion; many of these children will have problems later unless they are getting therapy.
When you do not have a good father as head of the household and a great mother as nurturer: automatically, there is something missing. I can speak for my own family. My father and mother had four children: two girls and two boys; I was the eldest followed by another brother, sister, and our youngest sibling was our brother.
My father died when my youngest brother was only 14. Even today as an adult; he is totally different than the rest of us. He missed out on those years that he needed my father to go to his basketball games, to teach him to drive the car, etc.; things that we did with out father. Consequently, my oldest brother became his father.
I divorced when my three sons were children. Although we were very close; I am not a man! Although they are great male adults (who had a good stepfather later); they, too, lost something by having to leave their comfortable home at young ages. They did not miss material things, education, culture, etc.; they missed the male voice!
My adult sons will tell you that I did a wonderful job of raising them; they needed a good father image. I went to their little league baseball games, PTA meetings, school plays, etc. They had no father to watch sports or westerns on television with. There was no male to talk “sex” with – there was and is a loss!
Yes, it shows on my youngest brother, my three sons, and the adult son of my sister whose father left at age five. People might tell you that single parenting works; and it might (like it did for me); but if they are truthful – it is a struggle to get through for both the parent and the children.
It is sad because this problem is not getting any better. It is getting worse; there are more divorces and children raised by one parent. In many cases, they do not understand what went wrong, and some children will ask “What did I do?” They think they caused the break-up.
What is the answer? I do not have one, except to say that single parents must continue to do their best, as I did; because in many cases; one has no choice but to leave an abusive relationship. At least my children respect me, because I left the relationship which showed power on my part. To all single parents – Keep the faith!