Well, here’s an interesting tidbit about marriage and children…
Turns out in a recent study, The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that marriage didn’t really affect a child’s cognitive or social development. In fact, data show it’s not marriage per se that is of significant benefit to the child, rather how educated the parents are.
Phew – I hope they didn’t spend a ton of money on that one!
Personally I can see how children would grow up for the most part, happy and healthy with parents who are unmarried if the parents are smart; I have countless examples to point to in my own life and we all know of famous examples like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. Those of us who are parents know that children are remarkably resilient and adapt well to the reality they are presented with. But does that mean it’s optimal? Do kids need marriage – or is that just what we’ve been telling ourselves for years as a way to justify a familiar social convention.
How many couples raising children find themselves asked the question – ‘so when are you going to get married’ by well meaning friends. I don’t think there’s the stigma to unmarried parents that there used to be – but I think there’s still a certain amount of suspicion, a sense that the parents in question don’t take their relationship as ‘seriously’ as married couples do and aren’t putting their children first.
But maybe some couples just operate better without the rigidity of marriage in place. And really, as we always say here at Good Enough Mother, whatever works for you…
But what do you think? Do you agree that marriage doesn’t seem to provide any critical benefit to children? Are you unmarried parents and if so do you still get asked that key question from friends? Fire away!