Debate Topic: Is a child raised in a Non-Traditional Household (i.e. without both the biological mother and father there) more pre-disposed (likely) to encounter negative consequences (emotional problems) than a Traditional Household (both biological mother and father are there).
Though the initial topic was defined as being a single parent (Non-Traditional) this was changed during the course of the debate to the meaning that any other than both the biological mother and father was defined as Non-Traditional.
Date: Saturday March 28th 2015
Participants (from 7 countries):
USA: Rebecca, Rick | Indonesia: Alifia | China: Miranda, Alina | Tunisia: Marwa, Amine | Argentina: Johny | Japan: Masato | Hong Kong: Selly
Team A: (Yes) Rebecca and Rick, Alifia-listening
Team B: (No) Miranda, Marwa, Amine, Johny
Team C: (On the fence) Alina, Masato, Selly
Team A Summary:
- A Father figure and Mother figure both provide something to the child in terms of healthy development
- In some situations where a stepparent is involved, because there is no biological bond, there can be challenges to maturing the relationship with the child (Not in all cases, there are certainly very giving and caring stepparents but the biological bond between natural father and mother is very important)
- In a single parent environment, the child can feel a wrongly placed sense of self-blame or desertion, often having negative consequences to the child’s emotional health, which can have an impact to future relationships and their own emotional well being.
- In a single parent environment, where the parent that left the home is not actively involved with the child or does not provide resources for the raising of the child, there is often a heavy burden placed on the single parent to provide both the emotional and/or financial support in raising the child, which can create challenges to ensure the child is given the emotional and physical resources he/she needs. This in turn can have a negative effect on the child’s emotional well-being.
Team B Summary:
- Several people brought up the point that for a child’s emotional health, it would be better to be raised in a single parent environment where they are given the love and emotional support they require, then to be in a home where the relationship between the natural mother and father is unhealthy (no communication, verbal or physical abuse etc.)
- A very important point: it’s not the quantity of parents, but the quality of parenting and how you act as a parent. Meaning, if the child lives in a traditional home environment, but is not given the emotional support he/she needs, compared to being a non-traditional, where the parent does provide this, then he/she is better off being in the non-traditional household.
- A point was brought up that in some countries, where non-traditional households are becoming more common, due to societal changes, there is the potential of psychological/emotional issues impacting the child when parent’s divorce, but that this in large part depends on teaching/encouraging the child to communicate when they have problems, and to teach them to respect others, and most importantly, that they have a stable loving environment around them, including other relatives or care givers.
Team C Summary:
- For the two members that were “on the fence” for this debate, Alina chose Team A, and Masato chose Team B. In the end, everyone agrees that there is an ideal situation, then there is reality and that ultimately, it’s how a child that is raised, not by who, that is most important to their future emotional well-being.
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