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An Overview of Single Parent Families

Geeta Dhavale Feb 8, 2019
Major lifestyle changes have influenced the concept and structure of families, and one of its offshoot is, single parent families. But raising a child, being a single parent, is not a cake walk. To know more about it, read on...
Merely having a child does not make parents. Parenting is about performing various tasks and roles, fulfilling responsibilities and commitments, and showering children with love and affection, and most importantly, it is about forming lasting relationships which can be cherished forever.
And while it is not like single nurture families cannot produce this effect, but at times a single parent may feel lonely and burdened to raise children single-handed. After all, it is challenging to be a mother and a father as well.
Single parent families can be defined as families with children under 18 years old, having only one parent who is either unmarried, divorced or widowed. The causes of single parenting have changed over the years. Earlier, death of a spouse or divorce were common reasons.
Today, having a child from a small time live-in relationship is more evident in the US, where women prefer to stay single and dare to raise the child alone. A woman and her biological children form the most common type of single parent family.

Families with Single Parent

Though not unheard of, such families where the father is the only parent are rarer than where the mother is the only parent. Being a mother is a tough job and being a single mother is even more tougher.
Today, there are lot of women who are single moms, either by choice or by chance. A lot of things can lead to single motherhood, such as divorce or a death of a partner. Some women may go for adoption, artificial insemination or surrogacy, while others may choose to stay unmarried.
Initially, juggling between home and work might seem easy, but in tougher times, the value of the good-old-nuclear family is realized. There are various single parenting issues women need to be concerned with. From earning a livelihood to arranging for a safe baby sitter, everything has to be done alone, without having anybody to share responsibilities with.
Apart from this, in a male dominated and stereotyped world, women are generally paid less, irrespective of their knowledge, intelligence, and abilities. Despite this, there are many spirited single women who have successfully managed to raise their children by taking support from their families and friends.

Major Effects...

At times, single parenting effects can be negative, as the families have to face some long term disadvantages, the most prominent being economic. It is obvious that a single parent earns less than two parents, hence it becomes more difficult for single parents to meet the ends on a daily basis.
Lot of studies proved that children from single parent homes are at disadvantage, because of the low economic status and not because of the parenting style. Such children tend to drop out of school or cannot achieve higher education due to financial restrictions. Such children also tend to have an identity crisis and are withdrawn from social activities.
Though it's a fact that children from one parent families face more economical and emotional problems, nurturing, caring and loving attitude by a parent can bring positive experiences in life that help form healthy relationships. As they say, children require more of your presence than presents, so make it a point to spend quality time with your children.
Single nurture families are also more likely to have conflicts, as a preoccupied single parent may not be able to fulfill all the demands of a child, and a child may feel neglected and isolated. According to psychologists, such children face many emotional and behavioral problems and are more likely to commit suicide or indulge in violent activities.
They are also believed to become teen parents or get divorced in their adulthood due to the high risk sexual behavior they tend to acquire.
By using single parenting tips it is easy to raise children alone. Let them know what a single parent family means. Tell them honestly about why you are single or why he/she does not have a mother or father. Let the child participate in the decision-making process.
Do not hesitate to explain your financial limitations. Take interest in their world and try and befriend some of the important people in your child's life, such as his/her friends, teachers, etc. And most importantly, let them know how much you love them and what they mean to you.

Single Dating Parents

Apart from this, single dating parents have to face many challenges. They have to maintain a balance between their social life and family life. Some of the single dating parents also feel guilty about their dating activities, however, they have their personal space and have the right to find a match for themselves.
It is indeed difficult to take out some time for themselves without neglecting the needs of their children. It is strenuous to entertain the date and children at the same time. However, it is advisable to explain to children about the need of having a partner. Single dating parents should make sure that, children too like and accept the date.
Children generally feel insecure with the entry of a new person in their parent's life, so have a constant dialog with children and let them know that your love for them is eternal. Let your date and children spend some time together, it'll help them know each other and gel well. This would help them accommodate with new people and family environment easily.
It is ideal for children to live with both the parents, but one parent families are fast becoming the new reality that society is faced with. Being single parents, it is possible to make a complete and happy family with good communication coupled with lots of love and care.