Single parent homes have adverse effects on a child’s behavior and can be of far-reaching consequences. We will try to look at effects of single parenting on both parents and children, and find best ways in which they can be solved.
Problems Associated With Single Parenting
Some of the problems associated with single parenting includes:
- Difficulty in enforcing positive parenting which can sometimes lead to rise of unwanted behaviors and indiscipline in children.
- Tight time schedule as you will work towards earning income to take care of the family and have time for children as well.
- Emotional and stress related problems.
- Problems of finance, as available resources may not be enough to take proper care of your children.
- Sometimes, single parents may face rejection from the society and family members.
For example,a study conducted by Pew Research Center suggests that gay parents are more accepted than single moms.
- Young parents who become single at early stages in marriage may face problems of making new relationships as children may not easily welcome their new engagements.
6 Best Ways to Reduce Problems Associated With Single Parenting
Single parenthood can be daunting and stressful. Whether you are divorced parents, one spouse dies or just decide to be single with kids, the experience is hectic and demanding.
If you are a single father or single mother the following tips can help you deal with the reality:
- Stay positive – Demands of single parenthood can be overwhelming. You may also find it hard to deal with the painful experience of death of a partner or divorce. Despite all these, try to remain positive and own your feeling as over reaction has a way of affecting children too.
- Be honest with your children – In the course of single parenting, hard questions are bound to come by. Though these questions might be hard to answer, try to make peace with yourself and them by being open and explaining these issues to them in a candid but honest manner. If you can’t face your children, find someone you trust to handle these issues.
- Handle your finances well – Single parenthood normally comes with problems of finance. Since you are the sole breadwinner, you need to have to control your spending patterns and come up with sustainable budget that you can easily handle.
- Take time for yourself – Creating time for yourself can be helpful. Spend time alone doing simple things like chatting with friends, reading books, cycling, attending communal services and gardening. This will give you time to re-energize and keep your mind in check.
- Set up a support system – According to single parenting guide by Child Development Institute, you should ask for help when you need it. It may be in form of assistance with your daily routine, finances or emotional support. Be open to ask for help, join support groups, talk to family members, seek professional counseling services, join active parenting programs and attend church services.
- Have time for your children – Even though you might have a lot of things to do, try and create time for your children. Focus on your relationship with them; go for a walk, listen to music, tell stories and have quality time together.
Parenting Tips on How to Connect With Your Child
- Create time for them – However busy you might be, plan yourself and create time for your children. Spending time makes your child feel loved and cared for and this helps you form a very special bond with your children.
- Let them make decisions – When you feel your children are old enough, you should allow them to be part of your decision making process. Seek their opinion on matters related to their lives and family life.
- Enforce discipline and be consistent with it – Good parenting does not only mean always agreeing with your child. When they do mistakes, try to show them direction by being firm and realistic.
- Build a family routine – By doing this your children will be aware their roles. This will reduce conflict in the family and as a parent you will be saved from solving collusion problems arising among the children.
- Acknowledge and appreciate your children’s efforts – This will make them also appreciate your efforts on them and show that you care. Praise them verbally and if possible, give tokens. The children will tend to work harder and focus on things that will make you happy.
- Set house rules and stick to them. This will make them remember the agreed upon rules and accepted behavior and will try not to go against them.
Positive Effects of Single Parenting on Children
- Develops stronger bonds – When a parent spends quality time with his or her kids, a stronger and unique bond develops. This is because when single, you become the sole person the child interacts with more often, and depends on for both their emotional and psychological needs.
- Share responsibilities – In a single parent family, there is separation of chores and responsibilities. Children engage themselves in household activities as part of their contribution in supporting their parent. It is important as a parent that you recognize and appreciate these efforts because in this way, you boost their morale and in turn become more responsible in their actions.
- Maturity – When children realizes how their parent goes extra miles to provide them with comfortable life, they tend to collaborate and work along with them. They will learn to face realities in life and manage failures and disappointments in a more mature manner.
- Strong sense of association – Children brought up by single parents tend to enjoy much support both from the community and extended family members. Through their support, they interact with these children at early years of their life and in turn influence their behavior.
- Lack of parental conflicts – Couples who stay together sometimes find themselves in domestic feuds. These often creates tension and sense of insecurity in children. In single parenting, these situations are never witnessed and children are guaranteed peaceful and happy life, less of drama.
- Sense of discipline – Children raised by single parents are more disciplined because of the difficult situations they might have faced in life. The discipline aspect also comes as a result of responsibilities and tasks shared between them and their parent.
Negative Effects of Single Parenting on Children
- Lack of leisure services – Being a singleparent and the only earning family member, you can sometimes face financial constraints. As a result, children end up missing core services like engaging in sporting activities , better clothing and education, something they would have enjoyed when both parents were together.
- Loneliness – Loss of one parent or divorce may lead to loneliness in children since they may not be capable of dealing with these realities. When not handled effectively the situation can even result into depression.
- Emotional problems – Children raised by single parents may suffer the problems of self-esteem. A child may draw comparisons with other kids and this might make him lose expectations from relationships later in life. Due to lack of someone to share his emotions with, a parent may start discussing sensitive issues with the children, making them vulnerable to emotional issues they are not psychologically prepared for.
- Low academic achievement – Because of emotional problems associated with single parenting, children may lack concentration in their studies leading to poor performance. Lack of finances may also make parents not take their children to best schools or offer extra coaching and home tutorials.
- Lack of discipline – Children from single parent households may develop bad behavior to counteract the challenges they face at home. Since they lack close supervision by the parent, they are easily susceptible to peer influence and may find themselves engaging in vices which in turn can make them rebellious.