The family refers to a group of individuals residing under the same roof and head. The people can share a common ancestral background or lineage. The family has many forms but, it is critical to look at the nuclear and single parent families. Nuclear family refers to a family group constituting one or many children with two parents that are married. The parents in the nuclear family can be biological parents or adoptive ones. A single parent family refers to a family in which daily responsibilities of upbringing of a child or children are met by one parent. Children in a single family spend much time with that parent.
Single parent families are under a primary care giver (mother) or a secondary caregiver the (father). Single parent families are caused by divorce, separation, unplanned pregnancies, adoption or deaths. In the event of a divorce, custody battles by the court or other terms determine whom the children are to stay with the coming days (Jack 12).
Family structures transform with time and circumstances just like biological organisms. Families were closely related to social duties and other responsibilities to relatives and were large. As people moved to developing towns to seek employment in industries, they lived with their relatives who were already in town. One effect of the revolution was to extend nuclear families. Families in olden days were highly networked in lines of social obligations. There lacked a state welfare to rely upon in those days. The current model family was the secluded nuclear family. Families in the olden days were networked along lines of social obligations. A comparison between the networking of today’s families and those in the past raises a number of questions.
One of the social changes in the past couple of years of the twentieth century was a move away from traditional family structure. The traditional family structure consisted of a married couple with their children staying in a home. Households are divided into two according to the United States census bureau. The two divisions of households include family households and nonfamily households. Family households, are defined as groups comprising two or more individuals living together related by birth, adoption or marriage. Nonfamily households constitute of a person living singly or with other people whom they share no lineage. Family households have lessened significantly in percentage from the 1950 to 2000.
In 1950, family households represented 89.4 in percentage of all households. The number declined to stand at 68.1 percent in 2000. As family households, diminished non-family households are gaining prevalence due to several factors. The rise in nonfamily households could be attributed to the postponing of marriage until later years in life and living with non-relatives. An alarming divorce rate has resulted into many people living alone or with other people of different backgrounds. Lastly is the living longer of old members who live in nonfamily households as widows or widowers.
Fifty percent of children in the United States lived in a family with one parent at some point before turning eighteen years. The number of single parent families has been increasing considerably since 1950. In the 1950s, women’s roles included bringing up kids and making the home while the husband provided for the family and was the head of a relationship. According to Coontz 45, women were not entitled to take loans or credit cards in their own names.
The number of single parent families has been increasing swiftly (Helen 45). These types of families have a number of difficulties and other farfetched disadvantages. The complexities include issues with deer day care, shortage of ample time with children, balancing of home and working place duties. Single parent households headed by mothers are faced with economic constraints than those headed by fathers. Majority of single fathers have bigger incomes than single mothers. Because single mothers earn little they face a number economic hiccups on the families headed by mothers. Because of law incomes, single mothers are compelled to dedicate their time into overtime shifts to make up for the meager salaries.
Mothers working during overtime shifts deny their children parental closeness and guidance. This leaves children prone to juvenile delinquency and other unlawful practices. Since parents are not found in homes, they take children to day cares. The high costs in day cares are other challenges facing single parent families. The relief that could come with the subsidizing of day care expenses by the government has not been achieved. In the year 2002 men, single parent families earned less than $30, 000 in a year. While two parent families earned a salary higher than $75,000. Children under secondary caregivers were not registered with insurance health covers.
According to social scientists, children growing in single parent families are highly disadvantaged than those of two parent families. The problem of poor economic situation of single parents puts children at risk of; low educational achievement, chances of becoming teen parents, drug and alcohol abuse among other malpractices. Heads of single parent families are disadvantaged since there is nobody to share with on matters regarding financial decisions and discipline of children.
The regarding of other families defiant deters the proper understanding of the family. There are advantages associated with single parenthood. When in a two parent household, one is necessitated to cooperate, compromise with own priorities and arrive at decisions consensually.
Mothers or fathers of single parent households make decisions without influence or pressure from other parties. Single parent households provide exclusive opportunities of comprehending all aspects of parenting because they play all roles. Parents of single households are compelled to become excellent time managers for them to perform duties at work and home.
Children from single parent families learn self-dependence and the ability to undertake doing household chores. In single parent families, all children can love a parent since none is posing competition for attention in the family. According to child rearing manuals of the past, parents divided responsibilities among themselves. Mothers could breast-feed their children to a reasonable age while fathers fended for their needs. In the case where an unmarried woman bore a child, the woman was left with the biggest role in taking care of the baby regardless of her age. Presently, when a young girl gives birth, her parents take up the responsibility of providing for the baby. The help offered in helping bringing up children sired out of wedlock has contributed to the prevalence of teenage parents.
On the other hand, nuclear families have privileges and disadvantages. The family is entitled to financial stability since every member of the couple must contribute, there can be consolation from another party during distress or lowliness. Its disadvantages include lack of support in the event of a disagreement between the two parties something that cannot happen in a single parent family among other disadvantages.
In the colonial times marriage was seen to be a business dealing, and there was no consideration of love. Marriage required heirs to be produced, obtaining of titles and other properties. In the colonial America was a complete partnership with both parties in a couple having specific roles to play. Ages of marriage in colonial America varied from one group to another. Immigrants did not do an example, early marriage until such a time they reached 21 years. Men who wanted to marry sought permission from their fathers during this period.
Marriage has profoundly changed in present day America. Today majority of couples in America are made up of one man and one woman. In present marriages, consultations with parents come at a later time or even do not. Presently in America couples meet, love each other, participate in sex and eventually get married. Today’s marriages do not prepare a couple socially well. In the colonial times, the marriage prepared men and women because their duties were well outlined.
Concisely it is wrong to consider some families natural and others defiant. This is because both families have advantages and disadvantages. It could also be traumatizing to be in single parent household, due to death of a partner and get acute criticism. This perception should not be allowed and should be banished by relevant authorities.