In the news today, The Centre for Social Justice Report has reported that around a million UK children are growing up without a father in their lives. It also states that the number of single parent families are increasing by more than 20,000 a year, and will top 2 million by the next general election. So today’s article is about single parent families and how it can effect a child’s development.
It seems that in today’s society, we’ve moved away from the idea that mum and dad are married and have children and spend the rest of their lives together. With all these pressures on income and the difficulties faced, more and more families are breaking down. But how does this effect the child?
Most often in the case of a custody situation, the child will be kept with their mother. This means that it is possible, depending on each individual circumstances that the father may have little or in fact no contact with the child at all. The report suggests that this lack of father presence is linked to higher rates of teenage crime and pregnancy.
For more younger children, this could mean a lack of a male role model, particularly among young boys. I believe strongly that every child should have some sort of male and female role model to get an understanding of society, whether that role model is a parent, carer or teacher. So for me, in order to combat these parental issues, I think there should be a male and female adult working in the classroom. Obviously with the teaching profession, particularly primary being so female dominated at the moment, this becomes very difficult.
I’m sure a lot of teachers will tell you they have worked with single parent families. I have worked in a Year 1 class and one boy at the top of his voice called me Dad, because I was the only male adult he knew. This does show that children do seek that role model.
Have any of you ever worked with children in single parent families, or are single parents? What needs to be done to ensure the maximum development for our children? Comment your thoughts