Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD Traditional Realist

Today many couples are having children without being married. Too often one or both do not want to give up their adolescence although they actually have passed the stage. They are afraid a marriage will force them to care for someone beside themselves. Commitment to another person or a new family lessens one’s freedom. The concept of contributing to the family has become a rare, even lost expectation.
These young adults have assumed almost no responsibility in their lives.

In 2012 the number of children born out of wedlock was 40.7% of all births and rapidly is approaching 50%. These uncommitted couples soon realize that their infant will usher them into a reality of which they have little knowledge. Once the birth takes place it dawns on them that the survival of the infant will totally depend on them. The realization of the tremendous impact their poor innocent being is having on them is stunning. It wakes them up to the fact that their lives are changed forever.

The notion that the parents are the center of the universe rapidly fades replaced by the image of their baby. Hopefully this reaction is felt by at least one parent or more beneficially by both. If neither parent takes on the responsibility, the grandparents may assume this responsibility or the child is bound for the state system, which is not a healthy environment for any child. Often this rough journey is wrought with abuse and neglect.

The self-centered biological parents, no matter the number and creativity of their excuses, can never make up for their selfish decision not to give their child a legally sanctioned name and financial support decreed by a divorce settlement. This selfish act leaves the child in an unenviable position. They know in their soul that they are not providing a warm secure environment, which is the foundation of all future development.

The unmarried couples are only part of a much larger issue. Even married parents are sacrificing their children on the altar of career advancement and social pursuits. Many of these couples also have difficulty suspending or sacrificing their adolescent dreams. These married couples are attempting to walk a tightrope between their careers, socializing and meeting the responsibilities of raising children. Most see these roles as equivalent since the pop culture experts have repeatedly sold this idea for years.

Other functions are extremely different from raising a child, which is time sensitive. The early childhood years lay the foundation for all later development. The time for raising a child is limited and finite. Most parents do not realize how short this period is until their child reaches a point in adolescence where the young adult begins to declare his independence without thinking through all the financial and social implications.

Not every couple can even produce an offspring. When parents are blessed with a child they should understand they have a sacred duty to be fully involved parents and give the child their love to produce the best human being they can. Parenting is not a part-time assignment but allows the offspring to pass the heritage from their devoted parent to the next generation.

The relationship is not a one-way blessing from parents to children. The parents are taught by their children’s reflections back to them, the good and bad of the parent’s behavior. The old adage, “my child taught me well” is as true today as it has always been. Parents are awakened by the child’s innocent, frank and accurate statements about the parent’s behavior. The child mimics the parent’s best and worst traits and allows the parents to correct their own mistakes and concedes that perhaps their own parents did better at raising children than they are presently doing. Having a family is an important step in the maturation process of humans.

There are many married people who are choosing not to or are unable to have children. Frozen in perpetual adolescence they appear to other married couples and themselves in a lifestyle that has avoided many social and financial hardships other families have to face. Their problems do not surface until the latter stages of life. As the childless couple enters the ending stage of life, they face the negative implications of their decision not to have children. There are no immediate family members to visit them, to thank them and appreciate the sacrifices they made.

Involved, loving parents did overcome many hurdles to make and meet their commitment as parents. There is no avoiding the hard realities that parenting requires immense effort, time and energy to do an excellent job. The reality of parenting requires time and energy to do it right.

It would be a lost opportunity not to do the most important job given to a person: raising children who will create the family legacy for generations.


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