Teachers tell me that Fridays and Mondays are often tough days for kids. Why? Many children have to transition from one parent to the other on Friday. The weekends may be stressful because of differences between the parenting styles of each parent regarding such things as scheduling, discipline, meals, bedtimes. Children may come back to school on Monday tired, cranky, stressed. The reasons could be one or more of the above--or something else altogether. Research shows that only 64% of children live in households where there are two parents.Trends are changing and the makeup of a family unit is not always the Ozzie & Harriet style family. Download PEW-social-trends-2010-families
Divorce usually has a negative financial effect on families. A huge percentage of single mothers and their children live below the poverty level. There are so many social factors in addition to poverty, however, that affect whether children succeed in life or fail. A parent must be truly committed to raising healthy kids to do the job right.
Paul Tough’s important new book, “How Children Succeed,” recently reviewed on this Blog, is discussed by Nicholas D. Kristof in "Cuddle Your Kid!," as seen in last Saturday's New York Times. Kristof writes:
"This may illuminate one way that poverty replicates itself from generation to generation. Children in poor households grow up under constant stress, disproportionately raised by young, single mothers also under tremendous stress, and the result may be brain architecture that makes it harder for the children to thrive at school or succeed in the work force.
"Yet the cycle can be broken, and the implication is that the most cost-effective way to address poverty isn’t necessarily housing vouchers or welfare initiatives or prison-building. Rather, it may be early childhood education and parenting programs."