How the American Family Has Shifted

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p>How Has The American Family Shifted?
By []Robyn Ball

At the beginning of the twentieth century twenty percent (20%) of America's children lived in single-parent families. Most of these families were broken up by the death of a parent. Medicine was not what it is today and many everyday tasks around the house could turn life-threatening in an instant. Further, viruses and infections that are cured quickly today were death sentences to many at the turn of the century. When Mom or Dad died, the one parent and the kids left behind went to live with relatives.

By the end of World War II, divorce had risen, but biological parents for the most part stayed together until the kids were at least eighteen. There were disproportionately more single-parent black families than white, but African-American children were still products of married parents. Twenty years later, in the mid1960s, divorce and out-of-wedlock pregnancies skyrocketed.

Divorce now leads the way as the cause of family breakup. Social acceptability and behaviors have starkly led the way for the breakdown of the two-parent biological family. Continuing with this trend, kids will be forced to live in two to three blended families and deal with breakups.

In the twenty-first century, the definition of the family has morphed to include parents of the same sex. Most children would agree that living with one parent is better than no parent at all or life in a tension-filled home of fighting, incompatible couples. Some would agree that children living with same-sex parents are better off than those with no loving parent at all.

By the mid-1990s, about seventy percent of America's children under eighteen were living in two-parent households. The other thirty percent (30%) were living with one parent. There are issues in every family, but single parents take on double duty and need the support of everyone around them. Today, there are more resources for support available to single parents than ever before like food stamp programs, aid for dependent children, food charities, and housing projects. Parents and families still need the help of relatives, teachers, shopkeepers, and anyone else that comes into contact daily with the single parent and his/her kids. Kids deserve every chance possible to become successful, contributing adults.

The American family has shifted from the two-parent heterosexual household. The definition of family by the twenty-first century America includes anyone who has the best interest of kids at heart and are blended spiritually and emotionally instead of basically biologically.

Robyn Ball has been writing, publishing, and earning her way online since 2008. Visit her at: and check out the February blog posts on single parenting.

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