The phenomenon of a parent raising his/her children without a partner is called single parenthood or Single parenting. Some five centuries back, the aspect of raising a child was entirely different. There is a common phrase that “it takes an entire village to raise a child,” which to some extent it true. Back in those days, children used to be taken care of by aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and close families. This system, however, has significantly changed with time as nowadays, it is the parent’s responsibility to raise his or her child. Causes of single parenthood may include,
- Death of a partner
- Unintended pregnancy
- Single parent adoption
As a single mom/dad or have a friend who is, you might understand how hard it can be playing both dad and mom roles. It may require you to handle multiple tasks at a time or make multiple decisions at a go. Especially when the parent has multiple kids, nurturing all the kids might prove to be quite draining or tiresome.
Problems that single parents face.
Whether you were in an intimate relationship that ended leaving you with a child to raise, or you decided to adopt a child, below are some of the common problems that come with single parenthood.
- It might bring you intense sorrows when or if your child starts spending time with other kids who have both parents.
- It might be challenging to discipline a child being the only parent. This can result in behavioral problems in children.
- Fatigue, stress, and pressure are just some of few outcomes caused due to juggling housework, earning, and child nurturing at a go, daily.
- Children can get jealous or suspicious whenever you try to socialize or form new relationships, and this could complicate your love life.
Advantages of Single Parenting
The road to single parenting is not an easy one; there are lots of challenges. However, despite these difficulties, there are advantages as well that single parenting has over the extended families; and they include:
Strong bond between mother and child
Compared with a nuclear parenting model, single parenting results to spending more time with your child and this will help you form a more intimate relationship with the child. In case you realize that the bond between you and your child is not strong, you can quickly work to improve it.
Gives the child a Strong Sense of Community:
In most cases, children who have single parents will often have the community around them supporting them and hence playing a huge role in the child’s upbringing. If you are a single mother living in an extended family, the family will play a vital role in your child’s life. However, for single parents, who live alone, you can participate in community groups such as support groups, churches, and synagogues and they will play a role in the upbringing of your child.
Responsibility and work ethic
Most children in a single parent household understand the value of work and even take pleasure in it. Not only that but the child will also realize and appreciate his or her part in running the household/family system more in the single-parent family setting.
Maturity: Ready to face the real world
Children who grew in single parents learn to tackle disappointment in life earlier on in life hence they have a higher level of maturity hence are prepared more to face life challenges. They also tend to appreciate the parent’s hard work, and this will prompt them to work along with their parents.
Parental Role Modeling:
In a single parent family setting, the child is more likely to value more the importance of the parent in his/ her life. The child will also learn how to tackle different problems/challenges that he/ she face in life.
No Parental Conflicts:
As long as a single parent raises the child, no parental conflicts will exist. Especially if the previous relationship was quite abusive, the absence of conflicts would help ease tension between the child and parent.
Disadvantages of single parenting
It is obvious that you cannot be the best mother out there and it is for sure that you will experience several challenges as a single parent. Moreover, although you might not be able to be a perfect parent, love, perseverance, hope, and support will help you best handle challenges like;
Many single parents work tirelessly and for long hours just to ensure that ends meet and money can be a challenge when you are raising a child alone. With prices increasing almost daily, you might be forced to deny your child some requirements as you try to weigh between your financial commitments. You may need to say no to that this or that and thus your child might miss on some vital opportunities that he/she has always dreamt of.
Lack of time to spend with your child
Your parenting might run short of “gas” especially when you have responsibilities and commitments in your everyday life. Working more than one job at a time to make ends meet may cause you to miss your child’s recital or that basketball game and other important school functions. You might also find yourself disclosing your personal/career/financial problems with your child. Remember that your child might not have the emotional and maturity strength to deal with such situations.
With divorce rates rising, being a single parent as a result of a divorce can leave your kids with bad memories and even shame. It is important that you make efforts to console them or have them see a professional counselor.
The chances are that your child will most likely suffer from low self-esteem. They may yearn for affection, which they will not get enough of it because of your committed daily schedule and this might make them lose their expectations in their future relationships. They will always blame themselves, and it may not be an easy task for you to stop them from making a comparison. However, you can help your child build self-esteem by acknowledging him/her when he/she has done something good.
Single parents have no one to share their difficulties or joys as well. Yes, you might have someone close and trusted to share your worries and happiness with but they might not find comfort in you, as some things can only be shared between couples.
Trouble adjusting to the new life
At a young age or teenage years, children who had both parents previously might have a hard time adjusting to the new life with just one parent. This can also cause them to crave attention which can result in them joining the wrong crowds.