Single Parenting Effects

A single parent, nurturing and bringing up kids, is a stark reality that is growing by leaps and bounds in the modern world. In fact, single parenting effects on children has been a major, sensitive issue across all cultures.
"Children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes an impression."
― Dr. Haim Ginott, renowned Psychologist, Mentor, and Teacher.
The effects of single parenting on children may, in fact, shape their perception of the world around them. There was a time, when breaking off or staying away from the spouse was a rarity. A major reason for this was either of the parents' concern about its severe consequences on their child. In many households, spread throughout the globe and cutting across boundaries and cultures, there is a belief that an ideal upbringing of children must feature both the parents. Perhaps, it is a strong and compelling reason why couples were forced to sidetrack their differences, and compromise for the sake of their offspring.

However, several lifestyle changes have accompanied the great flexibility in every aspect of living, from childhood to parenthood, in modern civilization. Single parenting is a common, and sadly, a growing trend in human populace. However, facts have shown both positive and negative effects on children. Therefore, there is an urgent need to introduce certain measures to highlight the positive effects, and ensure an all-round development of a child, instead of focusing on the negative aspects.

Positive Single Parenting Effects

Development of close bonds with parents: This can be one long-term positive effect. Single parenting involves looking after the children's requirements alone, which amounts to a large time to be spent with them. If the parent is successful in turning these moments into deep bonding sessions, it would create permanent goodwill and a strong relationship. Even non-custodial parents can use the rare occasions, when they are able to meet their child, to highlight the importance and need of having them in their life, and vice-versa.

Introduction to Community Life: Single parents usually seek assistance from their relatives, friends, colleagues, or neighbors, to raise children all by themselves, especially babies and toddlers. This gets the child acquainted to community life at a relatively early age, and empowers them with the ability to socialize with and understand people of various natures. This can make child development a smooth and an ideal process.

Training for Managing Self: In case of a teenage boy or girl, they learn to shoulder their responsibilities at a young age, making them more mature and understanding. Moreover, if the parents have decided to separate due to a conflict or dispute which keeps on cropping up every once in a while, the child gets early exposure to such volatile situations. It can be a good lesson in conflict management, as the child learns to face disappointments more daringly. He may also realize the importance of possessing good values such as empathy, help, care, and support in unfavorable situations.

Negative Effects of Single Parenting

Development of Hateful Thinking Process: Considering the sensitive nature of a parental separation or living apart, most of the children, unfortunately, go through a negative ordeal. This ultimately gives way to larger evils like depression, substance abuse, development of hateful thinking process, and similar problems.

Drop in Performance Level: The most immediate and largely observed effect is a significant drop in the child's quality of performance. This leads to the development of a negative attitude towards life, which further reduces academic, extracurricular, or co-curricular performance. Inadvertently, it all turns into a vicious circle of pessimism and bad performance.

Chances of Child Abuse: In some cases, where single parents indulge in child abuse, venting out their anger, agony, or problematic state of mind on the poor kids, the effects can be devastating. Usually, having both the parents, negates the effects of a single parent turning out to be an abusive one. There is always hope, moral support, and a scope for goodwill, as the child can look up to the good parent.

Therefore, no matter what the issues and relationship equations of parents are, kids should be kept away from the negative effects of single parenting. Relatives and friends can take an initiative in raising kids in matters of extreme disarray. Children are a reflection of what values the parents themselves imbibe, and stand for. Let us ensure that single parenting infuses maturity, and does not damage such kids, and that they lead a normal, happy, and fulfilling life.
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