Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Truth about single parents

Having seen so many tweets showing indignation from those that come from single parent families or who are themselves a single parent, I feel the need to explain what Cameron meant about this sensitive subject.

I was a single parent for 11 years and took no offence at all because the cap didn't fit. The real lesson that our PM wants society to learn, is about the devastating effect on our society in the decline of family values under the last government.

There are many reasons why we can find ourselves in single parenthood and many scenarios on how we handle it as individuals. I will try and highlight the main ones.

First there is the breakdown of a previously loving marriage where perhaps it is even kinder to the children if the parents split. This leads to two further scenarios where the parents can either do this in a loving way, where the children come first, or in a destructive way. The effect on children can be negative and even scarring, If handled badly. Those of us fortunate to have partners that continue to show love and attention to their children can escape pretty much unscathed, but all too often this is not the case.

Then there is the scenario where a woman has a baby without that commitment, believing that her man will be around only to watch while he turns on his heels, never to be seen again. A child can be brought up feeling angry and unwanted by a very important figure - that of a father.

Then there are the groups of women who will have one baby after another either by different fathers or by the same one without caring if the father is around or not, believing that they alone are all the child will need. Some even do this just to get a council house and benefits, because they do not have the self esteem to think they can make it in the world.

There are also women who use every tool available to them, to keep their children away from the father in some misguided notion that it is best for them. And belkve me this is not an uncommon occurrence. I could write a blog just about this. So how do we think a child will feel being told that one parent didn't want them?

All of these scenarios can bring suffering and anger to the child depending on how that child views the world and how the parents behave after they have split up.

Instead of taking offence, children of single parents could help to shape future policy with their insights. Those who have experienced single parenthood have real knowledge to share.

But all this requires the truth about single parenting. Lets have this conversation, instead of all the wise cracks.

then perhaps one part of the complicated puzzle can be solved.

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