Article: Solo fathers with young children and their social needs
The article is a research work on single parents mainly solo fathers who are upbringing their young children in society. It discusses about the implications of solo fatherhood on young children and throws light on the social needs of solo fathers to raise their children. Though it is a major issue the author clearly shows the negligence of such a social issue other than a census review in 1999 there is little information about such families in New Zealand. The article further discussed about the low esteem, inconsistency and depression of the single fathers contributing to a low presence of just 5 % of such family types in New Zealand (Pryor, et al. 2014). This has made the Father and Child Trust in New Zealand conducted research on 13 solo fathers with children 0-8 years of age and where there was no or less involvement of mothers in the upbringing of the children. The sample of the solo fathers was prepared with different questions to gather a deep knowledge on this issue and find the implications of raising younger children by the single male parent. The article is a serious discussion about the concern of the single father, the cause of the single parenting, the beliefs and attitude of the solo fathers and the social and support needs that the male parents require for the upbringing of the younger children (Rehel, 2014). The author of the article also shows serious gaps and limitations in research regarding this serious issue and scope of research and social and state support for such families.
To get a better picture of the social needs of the single fathers and their young children and whether they are getting proper service and support from the society research was conducted by the authors. A questionnaire with various questions on these subjects was made and given to 13 solo fathers. The average age who were 24 years when their first child was born and belonged to the low-income group among which 4 were teenagers when the research was conducted. None of them provided a proper educational background and the majority of them belonged to tradesmen or unskilled labourers (Breiding-Buss, et al. 2012).
The research conducted found that most of the single fathers believed that they were able to parent their children as well as a woman though most of them agreed had there been a choice they would not want to be a solo dad. The reason being single fathers were not acceptable to the society, the single fathers are more likely to have low community involvement in the society (Lamb, 2013). The research points out the cause of isolation and struggles with depression among solo fathers due to this social behaviour (Janzen & Kelly, 2012).
Another important concept that was dug out in this research conducted by the authors was that the solo fathers strongly believed that their children were missing out on a lot of things as they were not able to provide them with all the necessities and care they needed. The belief takes to the root of the societal role that a father is the financial provider in a family and children get the best of opportunities about their father’s financial condition (Giallo, et al.2013). This had an impact on the belief of the solo fathers that they are unable to provide good opportunities to their children due to a lack of good income and this has been a more serious concern among fathers with children more than 4 years old and above (Ramey, 2012). As most solo fathers are engaged in regular work they are unable to provide full care to their children and this had also been a serious concern for their fathers to have young children in the full-time care of their children. The cause of being a good finance provider and getting full care for younger children among solo fathers has been a major reason for their stress and doubt in raising younger ones. This had been found to increase with the age of the younger child increasing among the fathers (Olsen, et al. 2015).
The research conducted by the authors also resulted that there was a lack of proper parenting by fathers as they had little knowledge of the techniques of parenting. Many of the solo fathers were found with reacting kind of parenting rather than proactive and there lacked any kind of consisting technique of parenting in them (Moos, 2013). Many of them were also found to engage in playing video games with their children as they were of 24 years of age themselves and pointed out the need for research in the field if single fathers were sufficient enough to raise children with proper care and process ofoper parenting.
The most significant concept that was dug out of the research was the support needed by the solo dad (Lutz, & Palenga-Möllenbeck, 2012). All of the single fathers rated highly on high income and helpful employers. This clearly showed that money was one of the major reasons for their doubt and depression in parenting and that they needed money to raise their children properly (Raley, et al. 2012). Their support need also included the need for emotional support to raise the younger children properly. While half of the solo fathers reached out to agencies which provided services such as Early/Family start or Parents as first teachers: many of them also suggested the need for midwives for the same.
The article is completely aligned with the developmental theory by Lev Vygotsky. His sociocultural theory stated that the development of a person is completely dependent on the sociocultural condition within which the person develops (Culatta, 2014). So for the development of the younger children, it is first important that the development of the father is important. Since solo fathers believe that they are not acceptable to the society their behaviour in the society is different, and they completely get isolated from the society. This causes serious depression and isolation among the solo fathers that impact the growth of the child. For the growth of a child, not only education but family support and societal support are necessary (Raley, et al. 2012). To raise a child properly, solo fathers need special care and high support from society people so that they can improve their parenting and they can raise their children with proper care. For the growth of children properly there is a need for social interaction among them too. With solo fathers gaining support from the society they can come close to the people of the community and this will help the younger children to involve in the community and learn from the society (Vygotsky, et al. 2013). This will also help in eradicating the mental tension, struggle and hardships that the solo fathers are unable to share with people, causing a positive result in the growth of both the father and the children.
Another important theory that comes into the author’s work is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. In the research, it has been found that other food and money there has been the concern of security and love that the solo fathers require. Their indication of “someone to talk to”, the need for “midwives “, need for social support clearly shows that there is a need for self-development and self-actualization among the solo fathers (Cao, 2013). This had been the reason for major suffering among them and for which they need family support, social support and security for themselves and their younger ones.
This clearly shows the developmental theories that believe in the systematic change that occurs among an individual from his span of conception to death and which can be positive, negative or neutral.
Thus it can be said that the article, which is a research work on the solo fathers and their young children and their needs, is a serious concern in the society and which has been a neglected one. The article clearly shows the need for the social and high end of support for the solo fathers to raise their younger children in the society (Giddens, 2013). While this issue has been completely neglected by society, there is a need for agency, state and the people of society to help solo fathers raise their children properly (Reilly & Morrissey, 2016). There is a need for special care and support for the single fathers in terms of monetary end, emotional end to make them free from depression, isolation from the community and tension in raising their children. There were research gaps in many areas but it clearly shows the application of development theories mainly the socio developmental theories and humanist theories by Vygotsky and Maslow regarding the development and behaviour of the single fathers.
The process that I underwent for the assignment commenced at the first tutorial when the assessments were in identified in the Unit Plan. I was going through the choice of the three articles and it is when this topic came into my knowledge. I chose this article as I knew very less about single parenting and least about solo dads. As I read the article I came to know the first important thing is that single fathers don’t become single fathers by their choice but it is the situation that results in becoming so. I came to know about the mental tension, depression and struggles that they face raising their younger ones in society as they fear the society. While doing the assignment I learned to understand and relate to the socio-cultural theory that had a real impact on the development of every single person, in a community in society. I had personally learnt to sympathize with and help the solo fathers by motivating them, helping them to express their needs and fearlessly raising their children in the society. I would surely like to help them by guiding them on how to raise their children, providing them services that will help them to learn and earn better and most importantly ask the people of the society and the State to provide special support to the solo fathers so that they do not feel isolated and can raise their children. I will ask everyone to sympathize and help this solo father to raise their children properly and get proper family-like treatment from society.
While engaging in the assignment I realized that I need to be very sincere and systematic in completing the assignment. I had read the article several times and I had read it by heart so that while I write the assignment I can justify it. I had done a lot of research too and checked the links on youtube that were provided in-class notes. I had read the theories several times and done a lot of brainstorming so that I can justify the assignment with the right developmental theory that will align with the article. I had learned to work systematically, sympathetically and with full knowledge of the article and theory to complete my assignment. Since I knew less about Turnitin I had reached out to a friend for help and that had given me the confidence to work it properly and submit it before the assigned time. Also, I have learned referencing the assignment properly as without proper referencing the assignment will never be acceptable. I have checked and rechecked the assignment so that that is no grammatical error or missing information in the assignment. I have read the lecture notes so that I can completely use the right theories and support my assignment. I have also followed the assessment format, and rubric to complete the assignment and justify my work.
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