According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Center, 24 million children in the U.S. live in single-parent homes. While many of these kids likely have great relationships with both parents, there are also probably many who do not.
When it comes to raising children, there’s a widespread understanding that having both parents actively involved in their lives is highly beneficial. Research and countless personal stories support this viewpoint, and there are some specific reasons why.
Perspective and role models
Children benefit from having both parents actively engaged in their upbringing because it provides them with diverse perspectives and role models. Each parent brings their unique set of experiences, values and skills to the table. Kids have exposure to a wider range of ideas and ways of approaching life’s challenges when they have two parents in their lives. This diversity enriches their development and helps them become more adaptable individuals.
Stability and security
Having both parents actively present in their lives fosters a sense of stability and security. Children thrive in environments where they feel safe and loved. The consistent presence of both parents offers emotional stability and reassurance, reinforcing the idea that their families value and cherish them.
Support and care
Active involvement from both parents also ensures that kids receive the support and care they need in all aspects of life. Parenting is a multifaceted role that encompasses physical, emotional and educational responsibilities. Parents share the workload when they are actively engaged. This prevents one parent from becoming overwhelmed and allows for a more harmonious family life, ensuring they can meet their children’s needs comprehensively.
Self-esteem and self-worth
Having both parents actively participating in their lives promotes a stronger sense of self-esteem and self-worth in children. When they receive love, attention and affirmation from both parents, they internalize the message that they are important and of value. This positive self-perception can have long-lasting effects, influencing their confidence and resilience as they grow into adulthood.
Beyond what having two parents active in their lives can do, it also helps avoid the downsides of what happens when they do not have this situation. Children have a natural longing for a connection with both of their parents. Not having that can cause emotional distress and confusion, potentially leading to issues such as resentment and identity crises.