Two Parents Or One?

Family life is much different today than what it used to be. Several years ago mothers would stay at home with their children while the father went to work to support his family, but it is nothing like that today in American households.
Today it is common for children to be raised by just one of their parents, and those children are often disadvantaged in several ways. The most consistent finding from studies of family structure shows that single parents exert weaker controls and make fewer demands on their children than married families do (Curtin et al. 368). There is a real easy explanation for this problem, it is the simple fact that two parents together make more rules and are more likely to stick by those rules than single parents are (Curtin et al. 368).
Single parents are not able to show the same emotions as married couples can, because the love between a mother and a father plays an important part in a family. Children learn how to love from their parents, but if both parents are not there to teach them how to love, their love might be somewhat one-sided (Curtin et al. 371). Yes, single parents can show their love toward their children, but they have no spouse to express love to. Children from single parent families are therefore denied that learning experience of how a husband and a wife should love one another (Curtin et al. 369).
Relationships are another thing that everyone needs, especially children. Children need a real strong relationship between themselves and their parents, but children from single parent families are usually denied this privilege because they are separated from one of their parents and often do not get to spend adequate time with the other. Children who have a strong relationship with their parents are more likely to respect the authority of their parents ( Curtin et al. 370). The problem with single parent is the fact that usually the single parent does not have the time to help the child develop a close relationship with them. Another problem is how can a child build a strong relationship with a parent they do not live with and often do not see on a regular basis. The simple fact is that children need both of their parents in the household to build a close relationship with and to teach them to respect the parents authority. True, not all children from two parent households have close relationships with their parents, but it is much more likely.
Gender also plays an important role in families. Men and women have very different characteristics, both emotionally and physically. These different characteristics contribute to their roles as mothers and fathers (Curtin et al. 369). For instance, men are normally much stronger physically than women, and are therefore able to do many things around the house that a woman can not. Women are much more likely to do the everyday household chores while the man does the heavy duty work. Women usually tend more to the children when they need things than do the men, and also help them more with emotional type problems (Curtin et al. 369). So it is easy to see why having both parents in the household makes a much more well-rounded family atmosphere.
When both parents are not in the household children after experience a great deal of stress from different aspects of their lives. This stress often comes from children who are forced into independence and self-reliance before they are mature enough to cope ("Children" 58). Many single parents leave their children at home or send them to low quality day cares centers while they are at work, causing stress on the children ("Children" 60). Yes, two parent families often leave their children at home or send them to low quality day cares, but studies show that it is ten times more likely to happen in single parent families ("Children" 59).
Another time which brings a great deal of stress to single parent homes is the holidays. The holidays are a time when families should be together. Single parents may not be able to provide this for their children ("Holidays" 3). Another problem that arises during