Single Parenting: The New Nuclear Family?

In the midst of scrolling through my Twitter timeline recently, I came across a tweet that sparked an hour-long debate . A guy tweeted about how he would “put his daughter on game” about what guys think so his daughter would never be “played”. A woman I followed retweeted it and added that every “black father” says that. She proceeded to say in another tweet black fathers rarely stay around to raise their children regardless. Keep in mind this is a young black woman in her early twenties who is single and does not have children.

Now let me stop you right there. Many people believe the notion of not taking anything on Twitter seriously because it’s on a social networking site, which holds some truth. However, I also believe we live in this parallel online universe where people are more likely to say things they wouldn’t ordinarily say because they’re hiding behind creative screen names. While places like Twitter are for venting and promotion, people do speak their minds, and at that point we need to pay close attention to what people aren’t saying vocally and what they’re typing instead.

Why is it that black men don’t stay around to raise their children? Why do we think it’s normal for children to be raised by a single parent? Why are we shocked when children are raised by both parents? Why aren’t we shocked when the children are left to be raised by their grandparents, who’ve presumably have already raised kids, while the parents roam around the city for the next fun thing to do? Why are our children getting pregnant at what seems to be a pandemic rate? I get that families go through the motions and many get divorced but at what point does that relieve the parent(s) of their parental duties? Why are we accepting this?

Many place the blame these issues that affect the black community on black people on rap music – which might hold some truth – but we also have a black president whom our children should be looking up to. I understand this change is not going to happen overnight but we need to take baby steps. Our children are growing up way too fast but that’s in large part because of the parents. Our children are listening to music and watching television programs and movies that are not age appropriate. A 10-year old should not know all the lyrics to Lil’ Wayne songs.  Perhaps these parents are leaving their children because someone left them and they weren’t taught better. It’s time for a change.