Can a mother…father?

| April 16, 2012

Staff writer - Maureen Gordon

Does the ideal family really exist, many years ago I heard that the ideal family in the U.K was having a mum and dad and 2.4 children. But what does the average household consist of in the 21st century.

The single parent household seem to be on the rise and mothers seem to be the main torchbearers. Several arguments that have caught my attention about this issue are: can a mother… father, or is mother enough!

When I researched this issue in Jamaica I discovered that on an island of 2 million people 45% of households were headed by females alone. The Statistics in the U.K are that there are 2 million single parents and 90% of these are single mothers, and that 1 in 4 children are growing up in single parent households.

These are pretty stark statistics, but being realistic I know that there are a myriad of reasons why father figures are missing from households. But should it not be the exception rather than the rule.

Many mothers have to take on the role to become a mother and a father and often do their best to do everything for their children despite not having the proper support.

I have personally spoken to many people who were brought up solely by their mother, and feel that they had a good upbringing. So maybe we have to say in some cases mum is enough, because many children have never had a father figure in their lives and therefore they have nothing to compare.

However the job of nurturing children should be a joint effort because mothers and fathers do have a distinctive role to play.

Painting courtesy

So what do fathers give to their children? Fathers are said to provide a sense of identity, and helps to provide a secure and safe place within the family. He is able to affirm his sons and daughter’s in their sexual gender identity. (A son’s masculinity and a daughter’s femininity)

If the picture is distorted we end up with children who can grow up with negative images about the male and female roles. Mothers provide a sense of wellbeing care and protection, affirmation love and support.

Together a mother and fathers role involves the process of mediating in the face of conflicts or confusion, as well as repeated, specific instances of affirmation, spoken blessings, reassurance and demonstrations of love.

This may seem too good to be true but if both parents are singing from the same “hymn sheet” this will be the result. Parents are supposed to be equipped with tools to give their children that moral compass.

In an article I read recently about research into this phenomenon, it is said that boys are particularly impacted by an absentee father. Researchers found that boys who grow up in homes without a father figure from the age of 7 or earlier are more likely to become fathers at an early age than those who do not.

Also as a result of an absentee father boys between the ages of 11 and 16 are more likely to be delayed in puberty. The bottom line of this argument is that children need their father’s but if they are not available people in the church or community, grandfathers, uncles even teachers can take on this role, a person who can stand out as a role model/mentor and will make time to give a child that balance that they need in their lives.

What do you think about this issue of single parenthood I value your comments.

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Category: Culture & Society

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