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why married parents are important for children

Posted by on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM
  • 142 Replies
2 moms liked this

Why Married Parents Are Important For Children

Why Married Parents Are Important for Children

Children of divorce experience lasting tension as a result of the increasing differences in their parents' values and ideas.


In the not too distant past this question would never have been asked. Of course children should be born into a loving marriage relationship. Or, if children were born out of wedlock, they would be adopted and raised by generous, caring couples. Society assumed that children needed this stability in order to thrive.

U.S. society has changed, however, and so have attitudes towards marriage and children. Society no longer assumes that married parents are the norm. At the same time, social science research has confirmed the wisdom and value of traditional practice. Children do better when raised by their married mother and father.

Some facts:

Some questions:

  • Given that more than 32% of children are not living with both their parents, what impact does this have on the children?
  • Are children suffering or are they resilient? Can they rebound from divorce and emerge even stronger? Or are they at-risk for long-term negative effects?
  • Are children better off with one parent who loves them than two parents who are bickering and fighting?

Some answers from the Social Sciences:

  1. Children raised in intact married families:
    are more likely to attend college
    are physically and emotionally healthier
    are less likely to be physically or sexually abused
    are less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors
    have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married
    are less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as a teenager
  2. Children receive gender specific support from having a mother and a father. Research shows that particular roles of mothers (e.g., to nurture) and fathers (e.g., to discipline), as well as complex biologically rooted interactions, are important for the development of boys and girls (Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, 2006).
  3. A child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with married biological parents. A child whose mother cohabits with a man other than the childís father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse (The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts, Patrick Fagan).
  4. In married families, about one- third of adolescents are sexually active. For teenagers in stepfamilies, cohabiting households, divorced families, and those with single unwed parents, the percentage rises above one-half (The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts, Patrick Fagan).
  5. Children of divorce experience lasting tension as a result of the increasing differences in their parents values and ideas. At a young age they must make mature decisions regarding their beliefs and values. Children of so- called “good divorces” fare worse emotionally than children who grew up in an unhappy but “low-conflict” marriage (Ten Findings from a National Study on the Moral and Spiritual Lives of Children of Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt).

Does this mean that it’s better to stay in a bad marriage than to get a divorce?

It depends. Statistics are generalizations. Many loving parents are able to compensate for the traumatic effect of divorce on a child. On the other hand, the research cited above should warn parents to slow down and proceed with caution before deciding that divorce is the best solution for the child.

Parents’ marital unhappiness and discord negatively affect their children’s well- being, but so does the experience of going through a divorce. Children in very high conflict homes may benefit by being removed from the conflict. In lower-conflict marriages, and perhaps as many as two-thirds of divorces are of this type, the situation of the children can be made much worse following a divorce. These children benefit if parents can stay together and work out their problems rather than get a divorce (Paul R. Amato and Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997).

All marriages have their ups and downs. Recent research using a large national sample found that 86% of people who were unhappily married in the late 1980s, and stayed with the marriage, were happier when interviewed five years later. Indeed, 60% of the formerly unhappily married couples rated their marriages as either “very happy” or “quite happy” (Unpublished research by Linda J. Waite, cited in Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage, New York: Doubleday, 2000, p.148).

by on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM
7 moms liked this

Yes, but that is only when the parents involved are better together versus otherwise.

Being married does not always equal best for a child.


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM
6 moms liked this

Added:  Nor does that piece of paper automatically make the parents better parents.

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM
My parents divorced when I was 11

I am now 35, married, successful, a mother and didn't have any problems growing up. Never arrested, never did drugs or crazy things.

I see kids of married people who wish their parents would divorce so they could have happier childhoods..

It all depends on the individual.
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:53 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting -Celestial-: My parents divorced when I was 11 I am now 35, married, successful, a mother and didn't have any problems growing up. Never arrested, never did drugs or crazy things. I see kids of married people who wish their parents would divorce so they could have happier childhoods.. It all depends on the individual.

Exactly.

People want these fairy tale lives for others when reality is never mentioned.

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM
5 moms liked this

 That's where careful decision-making, with parental involvement comes in handy up front.  You choose the right person for the right reasons in the first place.  Parents are a protective layer- and they should approve of a good match. 

People today just shack up left and right, and have sex- and often children, confusing sex with love, and make decisions on the wrong basis.

Character, character, character.  You can't hide it for long, and if you are paying attention, it can end many poor matches before you get involved. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Yes, but that is only when the parents involved are better together versus otherwise.

Being married does not always equal best for a child.

 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM
3 moms liked this


Quoting TranquilMind:

 That's where careful decision-making, with parental involvement comes in handy up front.  You choose the right person for the right reasons in the first place.  Parents are a protective layer- and they should approve of a good match. 

People today just shack up left and right, and have sex- and often children, confusing sex with love, and make decisions on the wrong basis.

Character, character, character.  You can't hide it for long, and if you are paying attention, it can end many poor matches before you get involved. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Yes, but that is only when the parents involved are better together versus otherwise.

Being married does not always equal best for a child.

 


In essence, what you are saying is that those who divorce made the wrong choice from the beginning and lack the ability to pick the right person.

Divorce should never be taken lightly and in a perfect world those who marry would do so for what others consider the right reasons and remain that way throughout.

Circumstances are so varied that reality is often not what is posed in such stats and the minds of others.

I know many people who have been married for years and their marriages are absolute.  Their children have indeed benefited.

I also know many who are divorced and their children have flourished and benefited as well.

Just as I know many who are single, who have shacked up with another for many years, all their children are well adjusted and will not be a blight on society.

Certainly there are those whose lives are far worse due to any given circumstance.

It is not, however, wise to blanket all people on the same fold.



pixie92
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2014 at 3:04 PM
1 mom liked this
Wish my parents would have divorced and my kids were damn happy when i divorced my ex.
jobseeker
by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM
1 mom liked this

every rule has an exception.  

by the same token, seeing one who beat the odds does not negate the many who have not.  

I posted this becasue someone asked me for statistics to back up my assertions that single parents (while well meaning) have some REAL obstacles to overcome.  I am not saying that anyone is wrong, just that we ALL have to look at the ugly truth and deal with it. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting TranquilMind:

 That's where careful decision-making, with parental involvement comes in handy up front.  You choose the right person for the right reasons in the first place.  Parents are a protective layer- and they should approve of a good match. 

People today just shack up left and right, and have sex- and often children, confusing sex with love, and make decisions on the wrong basis.

Character, character, character.  You can't hide it for long, and if you are paying attention, it can end many poor matches before you get involved. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Yes, but that is only when the parents involved are better together versus otherwise.

Being married does not always equal best for a child.

 


In essence, what you are saying is that those who divorce made the wrong choice from the beginning and lack the ability to pick the right person.

Divorce should never be taken lightly and in a perfect world those who marry would do so for what others consider the right reasons and remain that way throughout.

Circumstances are so varied that reality is often not what is posed in such stats and the minds of others.

I know many people who have been married for years and their marriages are absolute.  Their children have indeed benefited.

I also know many who are divorced and their children have flourished and benefited as well.

Just as I know many who are single, who have shacked up with another for many years, all their children are well adjusted and will not be a blight on society.

Certainly there are those whose lives are far worse due to any given circumstance.

It is not, however, wise to blanket all people on the same fold.


SunshneDaydream
by Silver Member on Mar. 3, 2014 at 3:11 PM
6 moms liked this
Those may be good arguments for why children are better off with two parents in a loving, committed relationship, with each parent assuming either a Mother or Father role, but having a marriage license has no bearing on any of that. Nor does the gender of the parents, for that matter.
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Mar. 3, 2014 at 3:13 PM


Quoting jobseeker:

every rule has an exception.  

by the same token, seeing one who beat the odds does not negate the many who have not.  

I posted this becasue someone asked me for statistics to back up my assertions that single parents (while well meaning) have some REAL obstacles to overcome.  I am not saying that anyone is wrong, just that we ALL have to look at the ugly truth and deal with it. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting TranquilMind:

 That's where careful decision-making, with parental involvement comes in handy up front.  You choose the right person for the right reasons in the first place.  Parents are a protective layer- and they should approve of a good match. 

People today just shack up left and right, and have sex- and often children, confusing sex with love, and make decisions on the wrong basis.

Character, character, character.  You can't hide it for long, and if you are paying attention, it can end many poor matches before you get involved. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Yes, but that is only when the parents involved are better together versus otherwise.

Being married does not always equal best for a child.

 


In essence, what you are saying is that those who divorce made the wrong choice from the beginning and lack the ability to pick the right person.

Divorce should never be taken lightly and in a perfect world those who marry would do so for what others consider the right reasons and remain that way throughout.

Circumstances are so varied that reality is often not what is posed in such stats and the minds of others.

I know many people who have been married for years and their marriages are absolute.  Their children have indeed benefited.

I also know many who are divorced and their children have flourished and benefited as well.

Just as I know many who are single, who have shacked up with another for many years, all their children are well adjusted and will not be a blight on society.

Certainly there are those whose lives are far worse due to any given circumstance.

It is not, however, wise to blanket all people on the same fold.

The ugly truth.........which is what, exactly, in your opinion?

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