Kids Raised By One Parent Can Stay Out of Prison & Insane Asylums (It's True!)

basketball shadowOh the things I'll do for The Stir. Readers, I just sat through a debate on parenting between Michael Lohan and "Octomom" Nadya Suleman. That's right, two of America's most baffling parents. They debated parenting. Because that's what kind of world we live in.

Anyhoo, the question they debated was: Do children need both parents? Michael Lohan, whom I will refer to as MiLo, says "absolutely." Nadya, famous for being a single mom to 14 children, took the position, "challenging." Which probably means "no." But even if you don't trust either of these people as authoritative parents, it's still a good question. Do children really need both a mom and a dad?

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MiLo claims that his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, went off the rails only after he'd been sent to prison and she'd lost the male influence in her life. Yeah, I'm sure it was losing a male role model and not the actual experience of having Michael Lohan as a father that really did Lindsay in. But anyway, MiLo's point is that every child needs a masculine and a feminine parental influence in their lives.

Nadya disagrees. She says we're all unique and that we can't compare one family to another -- and actually, I have to give her that. I think she's right. "What about parents who are in a conflictual relationship?" she asks, implying that it might actually be better to have just one parent than two constantly fighting parents.

Yeah, what does Michael Lohan know about conflictual relationships, anyway? SIGH.

Ultimately Nadya and Michael agree that the ideal is for children to be brought up by both a mother and a father. And by that I'm sure they mean a mentally and emotionally fit mother and father who get along well. Kids absolutely benefit from having both male and female role models in the home -- only if those role models are positive, though. Nadya just feels it's less a priority than Michael does. And again (I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M AGREEING WITH OCTOMOM), I agree with her. Food, water, shelter, feeling loved, structure, moral and ethical guidance -- all of these are more important, in my opinion, than having both a mother and a father in the home. But it's definitely better for the kids to be raised by two healthy, functioning, loving parents.

What do you think -- do children need both parents?

 

Image via Jeffrey Turner/Flickr

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