Thursday, October 22, 2009
DO WE STILL NEED MARRIAGE? MY TAKE
Today I read an article titled Rethinking Marriage. The World Has Changed. It's Time! By Melissa Harris-Lacewell, The Nation. Posted October 19, 2009 http://www.alternet.org/sex/143374/rethinking_marriage._the_world_has_changed._it's_time!?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=alternet.
She asks if marriage is dead and then argues for marriage. Harris-Lacewell reminds those of us who are the descendents of slaves that our ancestors struggled under the most inhuman institution, but found ways to maintain their marriages – marriages that were not recognized by the state. In spite of our ancestors commitment to marriage she notes that today black women are less likely to marry than any other ethnic or racial group. This is troubling as there are more black children born to single mothers than married mothers – Dad is often missing. Research suggests children thrive better in two parent homes -- as long as they are safe and emotionally healthy homes.
I agree with the author when she suggests that marriage -- at least a bad marriage can be unbearable -- been there, done that. I also agree with her when she says that it is possible to have a fulfilling marriage. I guess divorcees like me just have to be willing to take that chance again. The first step in changing the trend is to raise sons who make good husbands.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/15/AR2009101503477.html?nav=hcmoduletmvin Sunday’s, October 18, 2009 Washington Post Op-Ed Making the Grade Isn't About Race. It's about Parents, argues that the absence of fathers is the main reason many black children do not do well in school and ultimately take out their anger and frustration on society. I agree with this author as well. In defense of single mothers – I am divorced and was a single parent. However, I don’t believe most mothers set out to be single parents – I certainly did not – my marriages failed (yes, there were two). What I've learned as a psychologist is that children need two parents and they blamed themselves when Dad is not there. Children who have loving, nurturing fathers feel safe and loved. They also have a strong desire to excel and are less likely to succumb to negative peer pressure.
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS? We must encourage our sons to change their value systems. We must help our sons to understand that they cannot simply be sperm donors but rather be husbands and fathers – before their children are conceived. We must also help our daughters to understand the need to postpone sex, focus on understanding what their values are hold out for men who share their values and will be suitable husbands and fathers – before they hop in bed. Fathers must demonstrate to their sons how to be fathers by modeling fathering. Finally, parents of sons must learn to hold those sons to the same expectation they hold their daughters to.
Copyright © Sharon D. Powell, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED