Effects of Single Parenting: Coping With Reality
The number of single parents has increased over the last twenty years. The number of children who have been a product of single parents have continually grown as well. This is because the overall change in society has changed drastically over the past years.
How a person reacts to certain situations, and how one copes with change have affected decisions involving families today. Studies have shown that there are effects, whether positive or negative on being a single parent to children.
Conflicting studies have shown that there are positive and negative effects of single parenting. Some studies show that children who have been exposed to single parenting have lower self-esteem that that of shared parenting.
On the other hand, some studies show that single or shared parenting does not have any effect on the growth or well-being of a parent. How a parent deals with a child, and oneself can mold the dynamics of the family, which can lead to the emotional well-being of both the parent and the child.
If the single parent relationship between the parent and child is carefully managed, the following positive outcomes may be felt within the family:
1) Gradual lessening of tension- Prior to being a single parent, feelings of tension are present and are felt by the parents and children.
Oftentimes, the feelings of the child are not felt by both parents. When the situation is explained to the child, this can lead to a feeling of understanding on why the separation happened.
This understanding can help the child cope with the current situation, and thus gradually release tension towards the child’s parents, and to other people as well.
2) More time with each other- Tension felt during the discussions on separation and divorce lead to neglecting children. Screaming matches, and not speaking to each other are common feelings felt by children and the parent.
The effect of being a single parent thus gives more time to address the needs of children, and open communication channels between the two. Planning vacations, and bonding sessions with each other can be a result of this. More time would lead to a more relaxed family atmosphere.
3) Re-establishing ties with the community- Children and parents can work together, and can even establish relationships with the community because of this effect of single parenting.
Single parents can ask help from their neighbors regarding the care of their children, such as baby-sitting or helping out with household chores. This often leads to a positive feeling of involvement on both the parent and the child, and the neighborhood as well.
4) Out of the box experience to the child- Since the child now shuttles between two separate parents, the child can broaden his/her experiences pertaining to life. The child is more sensitive and aware to what goes around his/her life, and can feel that the world does not revolve around him.
5) A sense of accomplishment – When a child is designated with small responsibilities, a sense of accomplishment usually is felt. Since additional responsibilities have been added, a feeling of openness is added to the sense of accomplishment felt. This is because a feat has been done to help out in the household. This makes the child feel that he/she is an important member of the household.
6) Prioritizing to lead to work and life balance – Single parents need to learn the value of prioritizing. Sometimes, new tasks are needed to be able to look for new types of jobs to support the family.
Schedules, school and financial obligations need to be prioritized to be able to maintain work and life balance. Attaining work life balance is a continuous challenge to the parent, due to additional responsibilities of managing a family.
7) Active role in decision making – Children can play an active role in the decision making of single parents. Single parents need additional minds to think most especially in making major decisions.
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