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It Takes TwoSteve Maynor, Jr., Salem-News.com
I am convinced now more than ever that it takes two parents to provide all of the things children need in their journey towards adulthood.
(TAMPA, FL) - During my recent ten plus hour flight to Okinawa, Japan with my three daughters and our tiny Chihuahua named Chip, I flipped through one of my favorite books, The Isis Papers from time to time. I figured this long flight would be a good time to reflect and evaluate how my wife and I are raising our daughters. The focal point of chapters 20, 21, and 22 discussed parenting skills and the challenges of raising African American children. Dr. Welsing discusses in detail the frantic need for more two-parent households in the African American community.
Little did I know, my first ten or so days in Okinawa alone with the kids would challenge me physically and mentally in ways that I could have never imagined. There are so many tasks to be accomplished every day in order to get the initial set-up process completed. The level of exhaustion I felt at the end of each day made me question how single parents do it day in and day out. I cannot imagine doing all the things my children need alone for a sustained period of time and still give them the amount of love and care they need.
When no one else is around to help take care of those daily responsibilities, one has to find the inner-strength to simply put a check in the box. This doesn’t allow much time for personal reflection, compassion, or sympathy. Accomplishing the mission at hand becomes more of a priority than does the emotional, psychological, and physiological needs of the children. The scale is tilted to one side and the children’s developmental needs are often left unfulfilled.
I realize that there are children reared in single-parent households who go on to be highly educated, productive members of society; however, they are in the minority. Like a strong majority of people I know and respect, I am adamantly opposed to child-parents, i.e. teenagers becoming parents to children when they are still children themselves.
According to Dr. Francis C. Welsing, author of The Isis Papers, children born to child-parents will experience the following. “They will experience being inadequately housed, clothed and fed. They will experience abandonment to welfare systems and foster homes. They subsequently will experience failure to achieve academically, and then fail to perform adequately on scholastic achievement tests. Because of their frustration from being stressed and inadequately cared for, they will fail to attend school. Eventually they will drop out of school. Many Black children and youth will become involved with drugs-either to medicate often unrecognized major depression, or to sell drugs to solve their own or their family’s financial difficulties.” Pg. 252.
Upon first glance, I took exception to some of what she said, but when I re-read and re-evaluated this paragraph, it was clear to me that she was absolutely correct. Certainly there are adults who grew up in two-parent homes that fall into the above stated conditions, but without question the slope is steeper for children of child-parents and single-parent homes. The numerous obstacles children born to child-parents must overcome make their plight to breaking the cycle of poverty and dependency nearly impossible.
I have the utmost respect for single parents who are working hard to ensure that their children have everything children of two-parent homes have, but it is obvious that it takes two parents to provide the loving, healthy, stable, and consistent environment children so desperately need. Immature, unstable, and overwhelmed child-parents cannot provide their children with the tools they need to become independent adults because they themselves have not figured out or found out whom they are at this stage in their lives.
I found myself as the parent to four young daughters by the youthful age of 23 and quickly realized that the fate of my family’s future was in the hands of a young man who was just beginning to find himself. I was immature, selfish, impatient, harsh, and way too overbearing. I was not a good listener and had a zero defect mentality when it came to disciplining my kids.
Six years into my young Marine Corps career, I had been married for four years, had four young daughters, and was stressed beyond belief. Simply said, I was not even ready for one child let alone four. The responsibilities that fell upon my shoulders were a load that would have been much too heavy to bear without the help of my wife.
We did our best to provide more than just the basic needs for our children, but that came with a lot of bumps and bruises that could have been avoided had we been more mature adults. As challenging as it has been raising a family, it has been as equally rewarding to see the growth and development, not only in our children, but also in the two of us as parents.
I am convinced now more than ever that it takes two parents to provide all of the things children need in their journey towards adulthood. There has to be a greater emphasis placed on the need for more two-parent homes and an outcry to greatly reduce the number of children being raised by single and child-parents.
Our society as a whole will receive better-equipped young adult to lead the country into the next generation if these points are advocated for. We desperately need more mature adults as parents versus the extreme number of single and child-parents who have proven over a long period of time that they simply do not possess the tools necessary to raising productive, successful, independent, and healthy children.
Originally published by Steve Maynor Jr. on August 27, 2012 via Blogger.com
"Steve 'Stu' Maynor Jr., USMC is an active duty Marine. You can learn more about Steve Maynor Jr. by visiting http://stuthinks.blogspot.com.
'Stu' Maynor says he does his best to approach each topic with an open mind and from a sarcastic/funny, yet common sense point of view. "My writing style is independent, thoughtful, energetic, motivating and sometimes rebellious to traditional writing standards. Throughout my articles you will find that I discuss issues with a simplistic, yet understandable opinion that I hope you will enjoy and appreciate."
One of his favorite sayings, is "Plan Ahead, It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built the Ark!" The writings of Steve 'Stu' Maynor Jr., USMC, are a valuable addition to Salem-News.com"
Steve "Stu" Maynor Jr.
"Plan Ahead, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark"
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