To say that growing up with a single parent is hard is an understatement. You have a persistent feeling of being half empty; even worse, the fuller half doesn’t really feel like it’s full. It’s like you have a self-devouring hole inside your chest that eats your soul little by little.
Many children aren’t lucky enough to live and grow up with both their mother and father. The increasing global divorce rates result in children either ending up with their father or their mother. Children living with a single parent face immense difficulty that only other children like them may understand.
Be it in school, college, or any parent-children gathering; they feel terribly lonely. If you are in a similar situation, you are not alone. There are thousands of voices across the world that resonate with yours.
Myself being one of those children, can understand the hardship. Hence, I have listed down some disadvantages of such upbringing; But you can also take advantage of such a life and turn the situation in your favor.
Positive Effects Of Growing Up With A Single Parent
Growing up with a single parent has its disadvantages, but you shouldn’t always have to be disadvantaged. There are positive sides as well; if you look carefully, it is there.
Single parents nowadays earn handsomely, and they can take care of the expenses of their children. Some even take pride in being a single mother or father. When you live with a single parent, maturity comes early, and you learn to be responsible and independent quickly.
1. Strong Parent-Child Bonding
One of the few positive sides of single parenting is that the parent-child bond can become very strong and warm. The single parent-child bond is stronger because, in this case, both the parent and child recognize and realize the sole importance of each other in their lives.
If by any chance, either your single parent or you feel that there is a gap between you two, then you should try to strengthen the bond. Just talk to each other more. The effort has to come from your father/mother, too; try to spend as much time together as you can.
2. Strong Sense Of Community
There is a strong possibility for children raised by a single parent to build a strong sense of community. For cases where the children live with the extended family of the single parent, some extended family members end up becoming a unique figure to the children.
The parents attending different communities of single parents help the children build a better sense of community.
Growing up with a single parent lets the children witness the hardship of their single parent. From this experience, the child becomes supportive, empathetic, and collaborative towards his/her single parent.
As a result, the children learn to tackle their problems and disappointments in life, ultimately becoming mature. But, it is the collaborative effort of both the parent and the child for the children to become mature.
4. Taking Responsibilities
Children raised by single parents tend to take the responsibilities of their families more than children raised in a family with both mother and father. Children of this type learn their share of responsibility from the empathy towards the single parent. They take their responsibility to work and feel pleased to work.
5. Role Modeling Their Parent
Children from a single-parent family realize the needs of their parents and their importance. They also look up to their single father/mother to become like them as a parent. These children can balance between their needs and the needs of their parents.
Negative Effects Of Growing Up With A Single Parent
When you come home, there is no one to welcome you. Instead, you get notes left behind by your single parent. You have to eat alone because your mom/ dad comes late after work, and when you wake up, he/she has already left for work.
Forgotten birthday wishes are normal in their lives. There are many negative effects of growing up with just a single parent—some of those problems I have listed here.
6. Financial Problems
The single parent often can’t meet the financial needs of raising a child, and this mostly happens to single mothers. In addition, a single parent has to work hours sometimes, and they are often unable to respond to the needs of the children because of their busy schedules.
Getting their children a better education is tough for single parents. Most of such parents do not have a healthy income source. Such children are likely to face material disadvantage and would often get laughed at by other children with financially stable “parents.”
7. Low Parenting Quality
Raising a child as a single parent requires a single parent to be both mother and father. As hard as anyone may try, it’s never enough. A single parent has to work jobs and then do the household work and maintain their own life. In the humdrum of all these, they sometimes fail to meet the expectations of the child.
It is near impossible to take all the responsibilities alone and have a great parenting quality at the same time. If you look closer, your single parent may struggle with their own loneliness.
8. Effect Of Parents’ Divorce
It is not only the parents who suffer the effect of a divorce. A child who ends up with his/her single parent due to divorce also has feelings of remorse, shame, and incompleteness.
In some cases, children as such have bad memories of their parents’ divorce. In the worst-case scenario, you get bullied by other kids your age who laugh at your situation and say mean stuff about you.
A child needs both mother and father to grow up with a healthy mind. A single parent can never fill up the absence of the other parent. The child is bound to miss the other parent at any time, and this feeling of missing makes them feel lonely to their core. They cannot share all of their emotions with only one parent around, especially when they are always busy.
10. Difficulty Adjusting
Children with single parents feel difficulty adjusting to others. They always have a craving for affections. There is always a sense of loss, emptiness, poverty, and rebelliousness towards the single parent. They miss another side of parenting; they miss half of their protector or guide.
Children like these lose expectations from their single parents. Unfortunately, they also tend to suffer in their own relationship as a result.
Just as it is hard to live with a single parent, it is also hard to raise a child alone. You sure can lift the weight of the world on your shoulder, but you miss those extra two hands to balance yourself.
It is very delicate to put lotion on a newborn baby, and a single parent sometimes faces trouble with such petty yet crucial parenting tasks. What do you think? Is single parenting a viable option? Or is it just a desperate effort that only leads to failure?