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A 4 Pages Term Paper on Sociology of Family:  Effect of Single Parent Families on Offsprings

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Sociology of Family

Family is considered as the main and strong unit of the society and community.  Its strength will ensure the strength of the nation. The mechanics and the implementation of support systems for families today are important. That are concerned with families to locate and implement support systems that can reduce and prevent family stresses and that help parents to learn coping mechanisms to face a more optimal future.  America's Family Support Programs is timely, informative, and exciting. Reflecting the recent rediscovery of the importance of the family and the interdependence of its members, a sophisticated group of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers brings us up‑to‑date on recent changes in family constellations and the diversity of lifestyles. The philosophy of family is that families Worldwide believes that the greatest resource in solving family problems lies within the family members themselves. Teaching families correct principles and providing them with practical skills increases their capacity to strengthen family bonds and to lead happy, productive lives. Strong families build strong individuals, and those individuals build the kind of world we all dream of.

Effect of Single Parent (Mother) Families on Offsprings

God creates men and women to compliment each other. One is incomplete without the other. “On the other hand the ideal of stability is deeply cherished in a woman’s-man nature”.  It has been very honestly accepted the weaknesses of man as also the areas of woman’s strength. God creates man and woman differently in physical as well as emotional strength. 

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Parents who live with their children contribute to their offsprings' welfare by spending time with them and spending money on them. When parents live together, they must balance competing demands and limited resources to decide what mix of time and money to devote to their children. When they live in separate households, they must also balance competing demands; but agreements about these matters are more costly to reach and more difficult to sustain.

Recent changes in the child support system have altered the context in which parents who live apart make decisions about allocating time and money to their children. By making it more difficult for nonresident parents to avoid paying child support, by increasing the amount of child support paid, and by strengthening paternity establishment for children born outside marriage, the new system creates incentives for nonresident parents, usually fathers (Rawlings 1993), to spend more time with their children. Stronger child support enforcement may also increase parental conflict, either by increasing contact between parents who would otherwise avoid one another, by encouraging resident mothers to be more assertive in obtaining child support, or by increasing nonresident fathers' dissatisfaction with the system.

The Children's Rights Council is a nationwide, nonprofit child-advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., with chapters in 32 states, Washington, D.C., Europe, Asia and Africa. CRC has been successful in changing laws and attitudes to bring about more involvement by parents in their children's lives. They have brought about more joint custody (shared parenting), mediation, parenting education, parenting plans, and programs and services to unite children with their parents. CRC operates "Safe Haven" transfer sites for children in several states.

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Research has also shown that two parents are generally better for children than only one parent. This research has been used to encourage implementation of shared parenting (joint custody) laws in various states. Children with two parents, preferably in marriage, but also for children whose parents are never-married, separated or divorced, have less involvement in drugs and crime, and do better in their studies and higher education, than children raised by one parent.

Single parents do all they can for their children, and they deserve support. Most single parents would agree, though, that their job would be much easier if the other parent were involved in the child's upbringing.

Susan Farrell is the single mother of two teenagers.  She says:

As I attempt the makeup job in the car on the way to work, I resolve to become a better mother, more organized, more attentive to their needs and their emotional and physical well-being. And I should be better at budgeting too, not having to scramble for change in the bottom of my purse. I begin to analyze all those years of raising the kids to this point wondering where I had failed to teach them to use their alarm clocks. By the time I arrive at the office, the guilt has become overwhelming and I'm feeling like the world's worst mom. I look at their picture on my desk, sigh, and bury myself in the workload at the office: "Another day, another dollar."

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A typical day in the life of a single mom. It's a circus act, trying to juggle and balance all the roles, tasks, and emotions. Just like a trapeze artist, it has its ups and downs and swings back and forth. And as with any circus, sometimes you're in awe and holding your breath, sometimes you've just gotta laugh.

We come to the world of single motherhood in various ways, whether through unplanned or planned pregnancies, divorce, adoption, or some other fate, but nonetheless share our many frustrations, triumphs, problems and emotions.

When parents cannot cooperate on child rearing issues, increased visitation may be harmful to children because it exposes them to more parental conflict (Seltzer, 1997). Numerous studies show that parental conflict reduces children's well being (Emery 1982; Camara and Resnick 1988; Buchanan et al. 1991; Cummings and Cummings 1988). Enforcing child support responsibilities for families in which parents would otherwise avoid each other to limit disagreements is likely to increase children's exposure to conflict.

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Research helps us to understand children's developmental needs.  Good research is meant use for the use of a control group and a research group, with similar factors in each group, except for the one variable being assessed, such parents with and without shared parenting. The results of such research should be peer reviewed by the researchers' colleagues in the field for accuracy and thoroughness.
Parents working together to raise their children can help children develop into the happy, healthy adults they were meant to be. Involvement by both fathers and mothers in children's lives is a goal Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives can all agree on as conducive to healthy child development.

Good parenting is at the heart of the strong family.  Sometimes, young adults do not have role models for good parenting. This needs to be changed. By improving parenting skills and cooperating with the other parent, one can be a good role model.
Parenting skills can be taught. Because one third of all children born in the U.S. are born to never-married parents, there is increasing interest in teaching parenting to those parents.

It is estimated that there are 50,000 parent educators throughout the U.S. The quality of their parent education will vary, so you will want guidance before you sign up for a particular course. Parent education can help you and your children.

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Lisa a proud mother of three daughters:

It was exhausting, but I thought everything was ok, I told myself that my girls and I were happy. My sex life was almost non-existent but that was something I could live with, for the girls' sake. I did want someone in my life, but he would have to understand that my girls came first. Some men would try to understand for a while, but almost always we would part ways because either I felt crowded by his needs, or he would feel neglected because I had such a busy schedule. At least that is how I saw it at the time. Once in a while either a family member, my mom mostly, friend, or a boyfriend would tell me that I was doing too much. I even had my ex try to tell me that I was neglecting my girls! How could I possibly be neglecting them? They were my whole life! And thanks for your advice Mom, but we are doing just fine.

All was going well, I thought. But my 6-year-old started getting in trouble at school, her teacher called me twice in the span of two weeks, and she was becoming difficult with me and angry with her sisters more than usual. I tried to talk to her, but the only thing she would say is that I didn't care about her, and that I didn't want to spend any time with her. I tried to point out that every thing I did was for her and her sisters. I figured she must miss her father (who had been gone about two years, with only sporadic contact). We had been having this same talk three or four times in just a few days, when seemingly out of the blue my 11-year-old started crying as we were driving to our girl scout meeting (yes I was the troop leader). When I asked what was wrong she told me she didn't want to go to girl scouts anymore, and that she would just rather stay at home and watch TV or do some craft with me, and with no one else around. Lights started flashing in my head, and I finally started to doubt what I was doing with our lives. Could I have been wrong? (Or worse yet, could the ex be right?

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Even today, poor mothers exercise a considerable amount of discretion on how much information about the father they disclose to the child support office. Ethnographic studies have shown that some mothers on welfare use the threat of "official" child support to force nonresident fathers to comply with their demands, including making informal contributions to their children (Edin 1995a, 1995b).

Findings of Seltzer (1997) suggest that there may be significant differences in the experiences of those who are poor and those who are not poor parents. Particularly because increased enforcement is likely to increase fathers’ contact with children after separation, evidence that child support enforcement may also increase extreme conflict between parents urges policy makers to use caution in balancing the potential financial gains to children against their possible psychic costs.

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About Families World Wide.  Retrieved Nov. 20, 2001 from World Wide Web:

Buchanan, C. M., E. E. Maccoby, and S. M. Dornbusch. 1991. "Caught between parents: adolescents' experience in divorced homes." Child Development 62: 1008-29.

Camara, K., and A. Resnick. 1988. "Interparental conflict and cooperation: Factors moderating children's post-divorce adjustment." Pp. 169-95 in E. M. Hetherington and J. D. Aresteh (eds.) Impact of Divorce, Single Parenting and Stepparenting on Children. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cummings, E. M. and J. L. Cummings. 1988. "A process-oriented approach to children's coping with adults' angry behavior."

evelopmental Review 8: 296-321

Edin, K. 1995a. "Single Mothers and Child Support; Possibilities and Limits of Child Support Policy." Child and Youth Services Review 17(1/2): 203-230.

Edin, K. 1995b. "The Myths of Dependency and Self-Sufficiency: Women, Welfare, and Low-Wage Work." Focus 17 (2):1-9

Emery, R. E. 1982. "Interparental conflict and the children of discord and divorce." Psychological Bulletin 92: 310-30.

Farrell, Susan.  The Harsh Reality of Being a Single Mom.  Retrieved Dec.1, 2001 from World Wide Web: http://singleparents.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.momsrefuge.com%2Fsingle%2F9904%2Fwelcome.html

Henning, Lisa  (2001). Less is More.  Notes from a Single Mom. Guest Columnist Dallas, TX. February 16, 2000.  Retrieved  Dec.2, 2001 from World Wide Web: http://www.singleparentsonline.net/notesfromasinglemom.htm

Rawlings, S. W. 1993. Household and Family Characteristics: March 1992. U. S. Bureau of the Census. Current Population reports, Series P-20, no. 467. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Seltzer, A. Judith.  (1997).  Will Child Support Enforcement Increase Father-Child.  Contact and Parental Conflict after Separation? Retrieved Dec.2, 2001 from World Wide Web:


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