Many children in today’s society experience living with only one biological parent. With divorce rates and illegitimate children climbing, many kids are forced to live with their parents boyfriends or girlfriends, that later become a stepparent. In a study evidence shows, “For example, the percentage of children living in two-parent homes decreased from over 85 percent in 1968 to less than 70 percent in 2003”. (U. S. Bureou of the Cenus). Increasing in popularity was divorce and childrens living with other one biological parent.
Children raised by stepparents are proven to not do as well in school as kids raised by both biological parents. Many studies and cases show that stepparents do not treat their stepchildren as good as they treat their biological children. There are different reasons that researchers believe that stepparents treat their stepchildren different from their own. Generally it depends on the situation. There are some stepparents that are influencial and treat their stepchildren and biological children equally.
Unfortunately for most children many stepparents treat their children unequally which leads to unpleasant environments for growing children. This leads to the children having issues with school and their peers because their home environment is more dysfunctional than a child living with two biological parents. Children being raised in families where they have to accept a stepparent are at disadvantage to children being raised by both biological parents.
Children from birth to preschool experience trust issues when having to adapt to a stepparent being added into their lives. According to Erick Erickson, during early childhood development children have to form trust with their parents. If the parent is present and takes care of the child trust is formed and the child has a better relationship with the parent. Unfortunately for children who’s parents divorce at a young age, the child may not form a trust with one of their parents making them form mistrust for their parent who they don’t see as often.
Also the mistrust carries on and affects future relationship causing the child to mistrustful of a stepparent. The trust issues transpire into the school environment. According to research “As early as age three, children’s ability to adapt to classroom routines appears to be influenced to some degree by the marital situation of their parents. Three- and four-year-old children with two biological parents are three times less likely than those in any other type of families to have emotional or behavioral problems such as attention deficit disorder or autism. (Schnieder 14). Relationships formed with both parents during early childhood leads to trust abilities to adapt and trust other people in their life’s like teachers and peers.
Children with stepparents are at disadvantage because they lack the trust like children raised in healthy environment with two parents. Children entering elementary school and starting their education are more at disadvantage if they have stepparents. According to Ron Frenbrener, “it takes a whole environment to raise a child. Mesosystem of children with stepparents is different than children with biological parents. They are brought up in an environment where they are living with someone who isn’t their parent and don’t get to see one of their biological parents everyday like other children. This makes their family environment different and causes them to have different persepecitves of the marcosystem. Younger kids living with stepparents might think that having a divorced parent is normal, where as children with both biological parents would think their life is different.
So in school when children often talk about their family the child with a stepparent would feel different. Especially in younger grades many children have both parents that participate in their academic life. “On average, children raised in cohabiting parent families have parents with lower education levels and lower earnings than children in married couple families, and parents with greater education levels and earnings than children in single parent families.
These differences in education and income may contribute to the well-being of children in cohabiting parent families. ”( Manning 6) Cohabiting families is another word for living with one biological parent and a stepparent. Children with stepparents usually have a disadvantage because both parents might be working so the child is left at after school care programs and not picked up at normal times like the other children. Children like to be like their peers and conform to their friends because they want to be accepted.
Children with stepparents will always feel different than children with both parents because they have a different life. They have to see their other biological parent on a schedule, if the other parent is present in their life. They also have to deal with the stress of having another figure trying to take over the role of being your parent. This is a hard experience on kids on top of all the stresses of growing up and looking for acceptance. Children with stepparents may not feel as nutured as childrens with both parents because they are missing a parent from their daily life.
According to Vykotsky’s socioculture theory, children need praise and motivation to be happy and do good. Children with stepparents may they lack that love, praise and motivation because they don’t have the daily approval and communication with their parent that they don’t live with. Also the parent they live with has to deal with the stresses of their ex, money, child support, working and managing a successful relationship with their new partner. This sometimes leaves less time and involvement in the child’s life.