A discussion among students reached the conclusion that they were very fortunate to have been brought up in families in which the parents loved each other and their children; that the parents showed that love by setting them boundaries, facing them with consequences when they breached them and showed by example the importance of trust, honesty, work ethics and other values.
When my daughter, who was one among the group told me this, I regarded it as the best mothers’ present she could have given me.
But while I was moved I was also sad because when I was that age I’d have thought all those things were normal.
That the young adults were talking about it shows that they didn’t think it is.
Lindsay Mitchell’s post is that your daddy? is another reminder that loving, two-parent families aren’t necessarily normal anymore.
This is not a criticism of single parents. There are many good reasons that marriages – and other relationships – fail; and some single parents do a better job by themselves than some couples do together.
It’s difficult enough being a good parent when you have a loving and supportive partner, it’s harder still doing it alone and whether there are one or two parents, helping children become happy and successful adults is more difficult now when the moral and ethical foundation my generation regarded as normal isn’t normal anymore.