Kids Having Kids | Young Adults, Marriage, and Children
Written by Curtis Reed,
in Section Spiritual Living
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, right? At least that's how it used to be. These days, sometimes the baby carriage comes first, and everything else comes after that. But why is this the case? And why is this the new trend? And what effects does this have on the future generations? And what causes young adults to come to these decisions?
According to a new study published recently, about 57 percent of mothers between 18-30 are unmarried when their first child is born. The other 43 percent, of course, are married, but the interesting factor is the key factor that's deciding when and how these children are being born. Among women without a high school diploma, 63 percent of births occur outside of marriage. Comparatively, college educated young women, about 71 percent of births occur within marriage.
This is quickly becoming the deciding line between women in America- a two-party system (more or less) where the dividing line about marriage and raising children is being decided by whether or not women are going to college. Of the original 57% of young adults having children in unmarried relationships, nearly 2/3 are occurring before these young, young adults are getting their high school degrees.
Generally speaking, the dividing line is literally the difference between poverty and high-income families. In the top-third of the young population, are children raised by married young adults with a college education. Comparatively, the bottom-third is littered with those raised by single parents with a high school degree, and sometimes even less.
These two deciding patterns are creating very varied and different patterns creating formation of families that lead to diverging destinies for children raised by these young adults.
One destiny is far less promising and leaves a huge portion of the the nation's children living in a generation with even less opportunity than the one before it. Statistically, children in single-parent homes are 5 times more likely to experience the harsh realities of poverty, simply because of their parent's general lower salary based on their education. Realistically, even parents with lower educational opportunities are at far less of a risk of destitute poverty when they're married and in a relationship.
We need to push that many young adults raise their children with their married, biological children. This is because statistics show that those who are in these types of relationships are 3 times more likely to graduate from high school and even college, and are less likely to contribute or engage in delinquency and become single parents themselves.
The problem is that young adults these days don't see the importance of marriage before having children. Instead of the old belief that marriage was a way to achieve stability and mobility, its seen more as a capstone to these types of achievements. Additionally, more and more young adults are living at home with their parents- accentuating a period of modern post-adolescence that's creating a generation of people who cannot take care of themselves, and are relying on their parents to support them.
How do we remedy this problem?
There is no easy solution out there. Leaders at every level should be engaging these young adults and strengthening the importance of maintaining healthy families, instead of remaining cynical- especially in high school. To engage in a happier and and healthier America, so that generations that are raised have a better future, regardless of their background economically, through a stable relationship between their mother and father that work to raise their child in a stable, married, happy relationship.