Just for a change, single parents are in the news again. This time it’s to do with men deserts. What a charming phrase. Men deserts are areas in the UK where children are growing up with no fathers or male teachers. They say that higher rates of teenage crime, pregnancy and disadvantage are believed to be linked to the increase absence in fathers.
I had a few emails from news programmes asking my view so figured I should say what my view is after reading a few articles on the subject and getting myself rather angry about it all.
First off not all single parents are single parents from choice but yet all single parents are made to feel bad. Some made the wrong choices in life and divorce happened – were not all perfect not even those pointing the fingers. Some divorces happen out of a necessity to protect the children. Some mothers have been widowed – again hardly their own fault that they are single parents. But as ever we all get lumped into the one pot. You’re a single parent everything is your fault.
They are all concerned that children are being raised without fathers or there are fewer male teachers. Is anyone addressing the missing fathers in all this or pushing a drive for recruiting more male teachers? Or are we just gasping in horror at yet again the awful single mothers. Or is it a case of we are an easy target and we do get blamed for everything else so might as well chuck that one at us too.
My children do have a father and they see him most days. Oh and they do have male teachers. If for any reason they didn’t get to see their father I would make sure they had a male influence in their lives by other means, Uncles, Grandparents and friends. I do believe that children need both males and females in their lives to not only give a balanced view but also to support and inspire. That said there are plenty of same sex and lone parent families that bring children up successfully. Just because the family unit is not everyone’s idea of the perfect set up doesn’t mean those children are destined to the scrap heap of life.