Wednesday, 20 April 2011

And now for something more serious

There was a conversation on the radio this morning about the effect of being raised by a single parent and they gave a statistic that something like 70% of children raised by a single parents are more likely to struggle in life, not achieve as well academically and every other negative connotation and stereotype that you can think of as a result of being raised by a single parent. Well I was the product of a single parent for a large part of my life my dad raised me and I have been both a parent in a relationship and a single parent and in my opinion it has more to do with the kind of parent you are and actually the area that you live and the people that your children mixes with that effects them not the fact that they had one or two parents, after all how good can it be for children to see their parents arguing every day? How can they possibly learn what a positive relationship is if all they see and hear is a negative. Far more damaging as far as I'm concerned.

The problem is when someone comes up with there statistics they're often not looking at the whole picture merely the thing that they wish to focus on so all too often it's not a true representation of what's going on and I can tell you from personal experience of living in nice area of the country and living in an estate it really is not just about the parents it is as much to do with environment, we learn as much from our peers as our parents and in an area where crime and drugs and antisocial behaviour are prominent it's all too easy for young people to be dragged in, come on be honest did you really listen to your parents all the time as a teen or did you sometimes aspire to be the rebel that you admired from afar (hopefully).

The other problem we face Is as a society we almost villainise our youth focusing on the negative you hear a lot about the minority of young people that are involved in crime but you hardly ever hear about the young people who are making productive use of their time, those
that belong to organisations such as cadet forces or take part in duke of Edinburg awards or those like my daughter who took part in something like a project called The Challenge, no we don't hear about them.

For me, I think that instead of focusing on who is raising our children, we should focus on how our children are being raised, putting the right things in place for parents to access, we all need a little help once in while and the stigma should be taken away from asking for it.
In schools the way our children are taught shouldn't just be about the academics we should from day one teach respect, empathy, understanding consequences not as a separate lesson just as a way of being and this in turn would affect behaviour in the classroom and children would be better equipped to learn.

Obviously the ideal scenario would be to be raised by 2 loving parents and I'm purposely not being gender specific here but sometimes life just doesn't work that way so instead of constantly telling single parents what they're doing wrong or what can go wrong let's focus on the most important thing how we help the children.

Rant over, let me know your thoughts.

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