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Rants / Debates (Serious) > Does having married parents matter much to kids?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Interesting article on NPR today about couples who decide to have kids but either put off marriage or never get married.


I don't think anyone should feel forced to get married. And if people trust each other, etc. then I don't see why a ceremony or title is necessary, but the legal ramifications (e.g. going to see someone in the hospital) might be a problem, right?

I'm sure kids with parents with healthy relationships who never got married are probably better off on this end than parents who had a huge wedding and then divorced.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Good for you Barb.

Also a good point, if you wait till you think you can afford to have kids, you probably never will.

message 3: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i am confused. you skipped to #4 which was - Get selves financially secure? you trying to screw with us barb?

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I don't think marriage matters as much as parent/parent(s) who love the kids and make sure to show it.

message 5: by Mary (last edited Jul 06, 2010 01:17PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) I remember when suddenly (it seemed) everyone got divorced back in the 70s. I was young and I got the impression that it was sort of scandalous. My father's sister literally fled from her husband, sadly leaving her children, from whom she was subsequently estranged for years, which was more due to her ex-husband denying her access to them than anything else. They are reconciled now.

My parents went through a rough patch back in the early 80s which was hard on us kids, mostly because neither of my parents talked to us, but they somehow got through it. They are completely mismatched in my opinion, though. I wonder, if they had been "allowed" (by "society") to cohabitate for a few years first, if they would've stayed together. On the whole, I think not.

I still feel like The Black Sheep amongst my siblings because I am a divorcee.

message 6: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
Yeah, I got the idea that this thread was about divorce at first too.
My family was for the longest time the only one with parents still together. now They're divorced too. Because of lies my mom caught my dad in. Now most of my aunts and uncles are divorced too. But at the time they split up, about ten years ago, they were the first out of all my family and their friends to do so, which was extra painful for all involved.

message 7: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
But I don't think we really can know quite yet the impact on families or kids of divorced families. I still remind myself that the sovereignty of the nuclear family is really a relatively recent phenomenon in the US, anyway.

message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori I think the nuclear family/family values shit resurfaced right before Bush. As part of the way to get a Rep elected. It used to be very strong. Until the 60s blew it all away.

I don't think it makes much difference if the parents are legal or not. I wonder if the percentage of divorce is the same as legal.

We only got married to get the tax break. This was 20 years ago when it was still financially better than being single.

Oh gawd, and we lived together for a long time, so how many years have I been with this guy who doesn't crack a book open and watches lots of TV? oy

message 9: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart My parents have been married for 20+ years, but when I look back at their relationship, I never want to get married.

message 10: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) Bun, I love that ad. If our kids aren't embarrassed by us, we are not doing our jobs as parents.

message 11: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments I remember that one Bun, and it used to make me tear up a little.

Completely agree on the climate of the relationship being more important than the actually "legality" of it, at least as far as the well-being of the kids go. Britt, my parents have been married for 40+ yrs, committed but not really compatible, and their marriage was a huge influence on why I didn't marry until I was 30. Until I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was never getting divorced there was no way I was getting married.

When I finally did and to the right guy for me, I know I did what was best for ME & US. I guess I don't totally understand the diefied version of marriage being so sacred & holy & within certain proscribed perameters, when the examples of this given us up until the 60-70's were a pretty depraved & dysfunctional reality for many of us.

My thoughts are that it is up to the individuals to create a balanced, happy & compassionate environment for the whole family to thrive in, whatever that means... marriage or not.

message 12: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
The commercial that used to make me tear up was the one with the dog behind a glass storm door barking and barking and barking, what looks menacing/threatning/scary; the subtitles "translate" as this: "HELP ME! I'VE BEEN HERE FOR A WEEK WITH NO FOOD OR WATER! HELP!"

message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments again, bun rules

message 14: by Mona (new)

Mona Garg (k1721m) | 350 comments I'm sure there are a lot of marriages where the couple stays together "for the sake of the children" or because of society/family compulsions.

I'm sure, in a lot of cases, the children would have been better off if the couple split. The atmosphere at home must have been tense/toxic and that doesn't benefit anyone.

message 15: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) Barb, you are right on the money. I was divorced in 2001 and last summer ended a serious relationship because I really deep down felt I was sending the wrong message to my teenage daughter with the whole situation. no details I promise. The thing is she is in high school and I am telling her to make good choices and I am not doing the same. Our actions say so much about who we are.

message 16: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24286 comments Mod
I'll be the skunk at the party....I am very pro-marriage and I think we ought to value it more as an institution. Take it seriously. Consider it more than "just a piece of paper." People shouldn't be getting married in Vegas at tacky chapels after knowing each other for 48 hours. That said, I don't know if having married parents matters much to kids. I know it mattered to me, and still matters to me.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

These things shouldn't matter but kids can be extraordinarily cruel if your parents don't fit the social norms. Speaking from small town experience, where everyone knows everyone and everybody knows everybody’s business.

message 18: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Interesting article in the NY Times today on "good parents with mean kids":


For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.

message 19: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 250 comments I do think that our society would be better off if kids would not rush into marriage.

Most 18 year olds do not know themselves--let alone another person.

It is most important when children are involved. If you are going to have a child, you must be willing to commit to a long term relationship. It's differnet than a summer romance--a child is going to need a stable environment.

Must note however--the commitment is between the two persons but the "piece of paper" mentioned by several m DOES have some legal uses.

For example, in a marriage, if one partner is killed in an accident, the child can draw on the Social Security of the deceased parent until age 18. Many single mothers live on a very restricted income; if you are not married, you have NO legal claim on your partner's property--at least in some states.

I feel that marriage is better than just living together. If you really do love and honor your partner, why not commit to that in marriage?

message 20: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments Mary JL wrote: "For example, in a marriage, if one partner is killed in an accident, the child can draw on the Social Security of the deceased parent until age 18."

There's a case right now of a woman trying to get survivor's benefits for her young son (7 or 8 years old). The father died and the mom thinks the boy is entitled.

At first it seems straightforward, until you learn that the dad died a few years before the son was born. He had banked sperm, and she used it some time after his death to get pregnant. Now she wants you & me to pay for the kid.

I say, "no freakin' way, lady."

message 21: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11669 comments Here is the story.

message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 14, 2010 08:04PM) (new)

And people take these things seriously? Why don't they just fine her for wasting public time and money, or better still fine the lawyers involved who agreed to pursue the case.

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