Positive and Negative effects of Single Parenting
What Is Single Parenting All About?
Single Parenting can be an onerous task, considering it is an act of responsibility taken up by individual that is usually performed as a shared responsibility between the partners. As a single parent you have to endure many challenges to nurture your child. Early in the days one had the support of their parents, siblings and immediate family members to fall back on in such situations making it easier for them to handle the daunting task of nurturing the child, but in modern days the concept of joint family seems to have taken a back seat.
The entire responsibility of ensuring a sound and robust childhood falls upon one parent. Though as a Parent you may do your best to give your child what he/she deserves, but it may end up being taxing for you.
Everyone around you may have opinions on what is best for your child, but do not let that govern your views or thoughts. You actions should reflect your thoughts on what you feel is the best for your child given the circumstances. You will have to encounter many undesirable situations and put up through it as a strong individual for your child. It will only make you stronger from within and help you stand up for your child when in need.
Positive Effects Of Single Parenting
Single parenting though a tough responsibility to put up with has its share of benefits too. To suggest a few:
You tend to develop a strong and unique bond with your child. Unlike the times when you had your partner with you, now you become the sole person with whom the child bonds for his/her emotional needs. Considering you play a really important role in shaping the future of your child, try to be matured and thoughtful of your actions. If you feel your child is not responding to you the way you want, try and work on it. May be a different approach will get the desired result
Strong sense of association
Children, who are brought up by single parents, have a strong sense of association with their extended family members and the community in which they live. They act as a strong support system for these kids during their initial growing years and to a great extent influence their behaviour. Hence one needs to be sure of the society the live in and their surrounding and the community they engage with
Strong sense of responsibilities
Children who are raised by single parents have a great sense of responsibility towards the house. They tend to engage themselves in daily household chores in an attempt to be a support to their parent. They take pleasure in the task they do and value their contribution towards the family. In such circumstances, you should try and appreciate his/her contribution and let them know that you value their help. Praising them for their acts will help boost their morale and encourage them to be responsible towards their actions
Sense of maturity
When the child finds his parent going extra lengths to ensure a safe and comfortable living for him, he tends to collaborate and work along with his parent to make things easier for themselves. The child learns to deal with disappointments and failures early in life. This makes him act more maturely towards unforeseen situations. They tend to be more caring and empathetic towards others. It may not be possible for you to safeguard them from all sorts of failures or disappointments but you can definitely act as a strong support system and behave empathetically towards them and teach them to deal with the situation in a better manner
Sense of discipline
Children of single parents tend to be more disciplined in their approach towards life. Having faced the difficult situations in life and seen their parent struggle to put up with various things to ensure a comfortable life for them, makes the children more disciplined in their approach. In an attempt to be of help to their parents, they start sharing the responsibilities and tasks with their parent and try to agree on a set schedule to make things easier at home. This discipline helps them in the long run
Avoid parental conflicts
Children of single parents do not have to witness or put up with parental conflicts at home. In case of divorce, if there is a mutual agreement between the parents then conflicts are avoided between them and this ensure a secure and safe childhood for the children. When there is less stress or tension at home, the child tends to feel more secure as an individual and grows up to be a caring and free spirited individual
Negative Effects of Single Parenting
Couples splitting up is never a pretty sight. Neither party leaves without emotional scars. However, the biggest victims and perhaps the most hurt by this split are the children. Stuck in a situation that they have no control over and suffering consequences for something that had no role in, kids are challenged at an emotional level that may even test the nerves and patience of a strong adult. Forced into a single parent family, kids become vulnerable to various psychological effects, each almost equally disastrous in nature.
Resentment and Sense of Inferiority
Kids want both their parents to be there with them to feel whole, but when the split happens, they are reduced to just one parent. Single parent can try their very best to not let their kids feel that the absence of the missing parent, but they just can’t fill the void. Kids hear their peers talking about how good their parents and get reminded of their own circumstances, which they resent. This resentment leads to feelings of inferiority, which in turn may affect their overall confidence. They stop believing in themselves and just want to be left alone. They have trouble making friends, talking to people, and setting goals for themselves. This feeling of inferiority increases overtime, and has negative psychosocial effects that can ruin them for life.
Kids who see their parents fight, get divorced, or die are at a higher risk of developing emotional issues than their nuclear family counterparts. These emotional problems can cause their lives to become a mess. To cope with these issues, they may turn to alcohol, drugs, or a life of crime. All three choices help them take their mind off the problems that are occurring in their domestic life, hence giving them a false perception of peace. It starts as a onetime thing, but soon it becomes a regular thing for them. They regularly use drugs, drink alcohol, and some of them even resort to small-time crimes. If not stopped at an early stage, all three of these problems can become bigger, and can cause numerous issues for them as well as the parent they are living with.
Single parents are rarely available for their kids because they have bills to pay, work to do, places to be at, etc. Already emotionally disturbed because of having to live with a single parent, kids begin to perceive their parent’s non-availability as a sign of their insignificance for the latter. They begin to think of themselves as unwanted and even more alone than before. This makes them even more depressed and fills up their head with all kinds of negative thoughts.
Tips for Minimizing the Negative Psychological Effects
It’s never easy to keep a child completely protected from the effects of having to live without a parent. However, there are certain measures that can help reduce the impact. This may put additional responsibility on the parent, but it something they need to do if they wish for their kids to stay mentally strong and healthy.
- A single parent should try to talk with their kids every day at least once about their day, their problems, their school, their daily life, etc.;
- If kids are suffering emotionally, then the single parent should go out of their way to give them the confidence that they so badly need;
- Kids look up to their parents, so the latter should try to be a role model that kids can look up to;
- Making ends meet is necessary, but that shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of giving time to kids and reminding them of their importance.
Things to Remember
- Help your children balance their own needs and wants with the needs of the entire family unit.
- Realize that it’s okay for you as the parent to pursue needs of your own, such as the need for alone time or adult conversation.
- Teach your kids to express their needs while also considering the needs of others.
There are several ways to ensure that you are a successful single parent. Giving honest replies, setting up routine and establishing strong ground rules will help you deal with the situation better. Always try to keep a positive attitude and tackle situations maturely. Make most of the time you have with your child, this will ensure that a strong bond is established that will stay strong even after he/she grows into an adult.
Also read: What’s your Parenting Style?