Parenting begins before even pregnancy!

When I read an article in the Sunday, September 17, 2023 NYTimes, “The Explosive Rise of Single-Parent Families Is Not a Good Thing,” by University of Maryland professor Melissa Kearney, I found myself nodding my head in agreement.

Children from two parent households have far better odds of being successful students than kids from single parent homes. Please note that there is no judgment in this observation. Dr. Kearney does a great job of citing relevant data about the advantages that kids with two parents at home have.

If we are defining success by academic achievement and entry into college, years of observation in schools have shown me the truth of what Dr. Kearney writes about. I would add to her argument that the advantages two parent household kids have begins even before conception.

My wife and I are both college educated. Prior to having children we discussed whether to have kids or not and we shared our philosophies on bringing up babies. Our children thus had parents who had agreed on the basics of raising kids, determined that they wanted to share the responsibilities that kids bring, and then started efforts to bring kids into the world. Our kids were decisions, not happenstance.

We further agreed that the most important relationship in our home is the one between my wife and I. Clearly we value our relationships with our children. However, we agree that if things are not right between the two adults in the household, then it is not likely that things will be right in our children’s lives. This doesn’t mean we ignored our kids. Our kids were plenty involved and there was plenty of planning on how to have which kid were and when, especially when they were little. It is important that children have activities outside the home and outside of school.

Dr. Kearney is correct when she observes that there has been little discussion about the importance of two parent households and the advantages such homes impart for kids. There needs to be more of these sorts of conversations.

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