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Single parenting is not all bad

You might have just become a divorcee, a widow or separated from your “better half” for some personal reason. Or you may have been a single parent for many years. The problems you face are not going to vanish magically.

Some of your issues may be that it is hard to maintain discipline in the home as a single parent which can lead to behavioural problems in children. You may feel intense sorrow when your child envies friends who live with both parents. Making new relationships are difficult especially when your child is jealous or suspicious.  The various responsibilities of child raising, housework, and earning, will not give you enough time for yourself. It leads to adding stress, fatigue and pressure.

It is, however, a fantasy to believe that all children with both parents in the home have two equally engaged parents who spend all their love and attention on their children.  Life happens and physical or emotionally absent fathers and mothers are a reality.  Single parenting can have both positive and negative effects on children. Let us rather focus on the positive effects single parenting has on children.

A positive effect is the strong mother-child bond that develops. Spending one-on-one time with your child creates a unique bond which will be stronger than the one if you were a nuclear parent. Children who have single parents will also have many supporters. Most cases, the extended family members will play a unique role in a child’s life. If your extended family is not available try to participate in community groups which may include single parent support groups and churches. Children raised by single parents learn what it is to share responsibilities. These children will understand the value of their contribution and can take pleasure in their work. Children brought up in single-parent families will realize their importance in their parents’ lives. It is a healthy approach which will help them to prepare for the real world. Children will feel secure about their ability to negotiate the challenges of future life.

Social workers at Free State Care in Action is trained to provide single parents with the necessary skills to cope with the challenges single parenting brings.  Parental Guidance is available to parents through individual sessions and in groups.  Social workers can assist when children are acting out due to unresolved emotions, by providing therapy and counselling. Support groups provide single parents with a platform where they can receive support and guidance.  For more information on services available to single parents, contact Free State Care in Action at 051-4446143.