In Singled Out, I devoted a chapter to debunking the myth that the children of single parents are doomed. I described various studies and showed how the results are exaggerated or misrepresented. I also reviewed studies inconsistent with the doom-and-gloom narrative; they, unfortunately, get little media attention.
New studies have been published since then, so I have continued to address the topic. There is also lots of panic around single parenting and some overwrought media stories and political proclamations. I’ve critiqued those, too.
In 2015, I put together a collection of my writings in Single Parents and Their Children: The Good News No One Ever Tells You.
Below are some articles I have written about single parents and their kids. There are also relevant sections in Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It. (Paperback is here; ebook is here.) The Bedford Reader has included an adapted version of my Singled Out chapter on the children of single parents in each of the past two editions.
Enough with the Myth of the Doomed Kids and the Bashing of Single Parents; Let’s Have Some Facts
- 10 things no one ever tells you about the children of single parents
- 7 stereotype-defying ways of understanding the children of single parents
- Children of single mothers: How do they really fare?
- 10 myths about single people: Here are numbers 5, 6, and 7
- Single fathers: Defying caricatures, connecting with kids
- The case for marriage is a sham
- When raising kids, how much does a spouse matter? (Washington Post)
- Dani McClain tells a different story about single black mothers
- Divorcing and becoming a contented single parent: 6 stages
- Single parents: If you think science is damning you and your kids, read this
- The happy single mom, and why people want her to keep her happiness to herself
The Children Are Listening — and They Are Getting Stigmatized, Too
- A child of a single parent asks, why the hurtful digs?
- A child of a single mother asks how to stop the stigmatizing and do some good instead
- Why aren’t the other kids playing with my son? Part 1: Guest post by Amy Andrada
- Why aren’t the other kids playing with my son? Part 2: Guest post by Amy Andrada
- How the prejudices of schoolteachers can harm the children of single parents
The Media Piles On – and Gets It Wrong
- Deplorable article on the pathetic single-parent family and the awesome married one
- TIME’s misleading cover story on marriage
- USA Today’s big new story on marriage peddles same old fallacies
- Time calls marriage a ‘luxury yacht;’ Remember what happened on the last cruise ship?
The Politics of Single Parenting
- Are you failing because your family is ‘badly broken’?
- The “premier family form”: Ideology, shaming, and the misleading use of science
- The wrong way to help children
- Should we care that more women are having children without having husbands?
- ‘Avoid marriage,’ advises Atlantic writer
- Scolding single mothers about marriage: Some cautionary facts
- Required to hear false information — and pay for it — in order to divorce?
- “Marriage Vow”: Born into slavery? At least you had two parents
- Shriver Report serves up compulsory marriage and mothering
- Shriver’s ‘Woman’s Nation’ is actually a wife and mother’s nation: The evidence
- Is the Lean-In conversation going to leave out single women?
- Who are you going to believe — the National Marriage Project or your plants?
The Big Picture
- A half-century of single parenting: What’s changed?
- On tax breaks, emotional commitments, and the myth of the transformative power of marriage
- Futurist Faith Popcorn predicts the rise of the solo citizen (She notes, for example, that “Children of single parents will be better prepared for the future.”)
- ‘Single motherhood’ and the bigger, broader meanings of family and love
- Marriage fundamentalism is a threat to the dignity and well-being of single people and their families
- Most children are living in the kinds of families that get described as inferior
- Fathers who were never married to the mothers of their kids do not have the same rights to see their kids
- Single moms: Less housework, more leisure, than married moms
- Caring about children and their future: Is it a parent thing?
- Is single motherhood bad for your health? Why you should be skeptical
- Single mothers and their health, around the world
- Getting judged and feeling judged: National survey of single and married mothers
- Single parents facing their fears and courting courage (Guest post by Amy Carpenter)
- One parent can do just as good a job as two, women say
- Are single parents a threat to small-town values?
- Self-regulation: Getting it all wrong (about the self-regulation abilities of children)
- 11 awful things you are doing to people when you shame them
- PT blogger answers my questions about sex, single parenting, Steve Pinker, and stupidity
- Less marriage, more equality?
- What anthropologists know about single people
For fun, see these mom memes from a partner.
The chapter, “Not-so-single parents,” in How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century