When Black Bears mate, the relationship lasts about as long as an average meal. The female bear begins to prepare for her babes to be born in several months while the male bear goes off to do what male bears do. The male bear does not participate in the rearing of the young ones. This is also true of the moose population. By design, the same is not true of human beings. We are a much more complex animal requiring a much longer rearing period lasting possibly up to 18 years. Animals do not require the amount of training that humans needs. They just need to learn the basics of how to survive, and then they are out the door. Could you imagine if we did that to our children? It has become very common in our society today that children are being raised by only one parent just like the wild animals mentioned above. I feel this is something we need to work diligently at stopping. I feel that single parenting is a lose-lose-lose situation. The dad loses out on getting to know his child. He doesn’t get to experience the wonders of raising his child and he suffers financially (unless he is a deadbeat dad) and adds a huge struggle to his life (often more than if he were part of the family). He also does not get to mature in the way that a participating dad does. He stays in single man mode instead. Mom loses out because she is burdened with all the work of raising the child instead of being able to share it with her partner. Mom gets relatively few breaks from a very full time demanding job and she likely suffers from financial stress because the income she receives from wherever is inadequate. Mom also does not get to mature in a healthy way either because her priorities are on survival. Most important in my books though is the fact that the biggest loser in a single parent family is the child. The child cannot get the proper training he or she needs with only one parent if they are to succeed in this world. Children learn from watching and interacting with their parents and other key people in their lives. When a parent (usually the dad) is missing the child does not get adequate exposure to the learning or modeling that needs to come from that parent. The same is true in a two parent family where one of the parents is either away a lot or chooses to not participate in the parenting (leaving an even larger job for the other parent). Just watch any of those “Nanny” shows on TV! Humans are, by design, both male and female in essence (not sexually). We all have the need to learn to express ourselves actively by doing (male energy) and expressing ourselves passively (female energy). A balanced person is capable of expressing themselves (as needed) in either manner. When a child is raised by one parent, they see both expressions but are unconsciously confused because women express both energies different than men do. The child automatically loses the chance to be a healthy balanced person just by this factIt is also true that children of a single parent also get less direct interaction time with their parents because one is not regularly (if ever) there while the other is too busy tending to the duties that two people should be completing. Children learn by watching their parents. When one parent is not present or there is an ongoing parade of substitutes for the other, what does that teach the child? When the one parent is working all the time or needs to find financial support through government assistance, what does that tell the child? I could keep listing the reasons why single parent families are not a winning situation for anyone for many pages but I am sure you know yourself from personal experience. It seems that they have become a way of life today. I think we need to really look at this problem as a major threat to the long-term health of our society. If children do not get the opportunity to experience a healthy family situation, it weakens the fibre of our society drastically. We just need to take a good look at the institution of marriage today. Divorce rates are the highest ever recorded. If large numbers of children are raised in single parent homes, what chance do they have of ever creating a healthy family for themselves as adults? After all, we learn to do relationships by watching how our parents do theirs. I do believe that we need to support people in these situations. I think they should be supported and encouraged to make arrangements that ease some of the burdens of single parenting and should be provided with educational opportunities to overcome the problems that caused the situation. They should also be educated and supported to change their lifestyle to attract and maintain a healthy family situation for themselves and their children (not necessarily with the missing parent). Children need constancy and consistency. They need a lot of love, attention and training. This requires at least two fulltime adults to be truly effective. I believe that children should be taught love education in school as much as sex education so they can learn they are not the same thing. Children need to understand that having babies is not a passport to freedom from undesirable circumstances and it is not a way to corner a mate. I believe that teaching every individual to strive for balance in all phases of their life is both desirable and attainable. Giving birth to children is not a method for achieving balance in one’s life. It is only a method for creating a whole lot of extra work especially if there are not two parents present and participating in the education of these children. I believe that is needs to be the role of the government and the education system to take responsibility for this problem and implement effective methods for curbing the causes of this problem.