26 Jan

10 Essential things you must know if you are raising your kid in a single parent family!

single parenting

Who Is A Single Parent?

The single parents are the ones who look after their child or children single-handedly. The reason why they chose to live this way can be many such as the demise of the partner due to accident or ill-health. Sometimes one of the parents working in defence forces or multinational companies may be posted in far off places.

The most common reason is the separation between the partners due to differences and one of them becomes the sole caretaker of the kids, whereas the other partner has a guest appearance role in the life of the child. One of the trends these days is to remain single and adopt a child or children and bring them up.

These days there is no stigma attached to it as it was a decade ago. Movie stars like Angelina Jolie, Karan Johar and Sushmita Sen have chosen this path.

Challenges Faced By Single Parents:

single parenting

The single parents being whole and sole breadwinners for the family have little time for parenting their kids. They have to juggle between the responsibilities of the profession and their child.

With such a busy schedule it becomes tough to guide or discipline their child. Some of the most common and crucial problems of this parenting style are:

1. The single parent may not earn as much as to give all the comfort and luxuries to the child.

2. The parent may get emotionally attached to the child and not give enough space for the overall development of the child.

3. The parent may not be able to give the right reasons or justify the absence of his/her partner to the child, especially when there is a conflict like situation.

4. In contrast, the single parent may pamper the child with all the goodies and gadgets to make up for the absence of the other parent and may raise a spoiled child.

5. Single parents often face discrimination from society and, at times their character is questioned when they apply for jobs or rent a house.

Plus Points / Pros of Single Parenting:

plus points of single parenting

Single parents should stop blaming destiny or their long-gone partner for their present situation. They should remain as positive as possible so that the child is less affected. If the child is very young, the mother or the father can explain in a very simple way about the absence of their partner.

An elderly child can be told about the circumstances in which his/her parents had to separate. Assure the child that he is loved by both the parents. The parent should take a stance of positive parenting.

1. Share a special bond:

Single parents share a strong and special bond with their child. This they do by reading storybooks, playing games and watching movies. Going to the playground, visiting the museum and parks also brings lots of positivity. The child realizes the importance of relationship and manages to cope with problems.

2. Shares responsibilities:

He/she observes and understands the struggles and challenges the parent is undergoing and tends to share responsibilities at an early age.

3. Sense of maturity:

Children of single parents learn to take care of themselves in adverse situations and survive on their own in the absence of the parent.

4. Sense of discipline:

The children who are raised by single parents tend to have a very disciplined approach to life. Having experienced parental conflicts early in life, he/she has their priorities set right which in turn, helps them to make better decisions in life.

Cons/Negative Points Of Single Parenting:

challenges of single parents

A child raised in a single parents family may have issues different from that of a child from a normal family. Some of the issues are listed below:

1. Financial constraints:

In your effort to curtail the unwanted expenditures, you might have to occasionally give up on luxuries that otherwise may have been given when you had your spouse to encourage you.

2. Less Family Time:

Being a single parent you may be made to work more hours to earn that extra buck which would help you meet your child’s requirements. That would end up eating your family’s time.

3. Emotional Issues:

Children of single parents, who have been through the loss of one of the parents in past may often feel alone. This loneliness may lead to depression.

4. Rebellious Child:

dealing with rebellious children

Some children find it difficult to deal with the loss of one parent and blame themselves for everything that has occurred. He/she may turn rebellious as an act to deal with the situations back home if the parent is not careful to monitor the child’s behaviour.

Ways to Ease Single Parenting Stress:

A single parent may face a lot of emotional stress handling day to day problems. Sometimes, such parents can go into a state of depression because of not being able to cope up with its after-effects and neglect the child.

Sometimes they may also take out their frustration on the child, making him the victim. Getting angry or frustrated may not help, rather teaching the child to adjust should be the priority of a single parent.

The single parents need support from friends, family and like-minded groups where they can share their problems and come out of this stress.

how to ease the single parenting pressure

    1. First and foremost the child should be made to understand that the separation of their parents or the absence of one parent is not their fault.
    2. Reach out for help from friends, relatives or a counsellor if the parent is not able to convince the child by themselves; and that is okay.
    3. How bitter or estranged the relationship with the partner, the parent having the custody of the child should allow him/her to spend time with the other parent without any grudge.
    4. The parent should spend some time with the child. This time can be spent helping the child do his/her homework or just chat about the routine of the day.
    5. Making the child understand the financial constraints as a single parent will in a way help, as the demands of the child will be reasonable.
    6. Whenever the single parent has to travel or take some time off, a close friend, grandparent or relative can be the caretaker of the child.
    7. The single parent should stay in touch with the school and the class teacher of the child and make them aware of their situation so that the child doesn’t feel embarrassed in front of his/her peers.
    8. If the child is angry, frustrated or has emotional problems, the parent should deal in a passive way without any confrontation. Taking the advice of a child counsellor, a family friend or close relative will help.
    9. Getting connected with a community will help the single parent to bond with others and at the same time, the child won’t feel alienated. Participation of the parent along with the child in community events will help the parent and child to be social.
    10. When the parents separate with mutual understanding, they can share the parenting responsibilities equally. They should also agree upon a common parenting style. They must lay down common discipline rules for the child to follow. This way both the parents are aware of interests and problems their child is facing at home or school.

There are numerous techniques to make certain you’re a successful parent. Establishing a routine, giving honest answers and establishing ground rules that are strong can allow you to cope with the situation.

Always try to keep a positive mindset and tackle situations maturely. Make most of the time you have with your kid, this will ensure a strong bond between you and your child that will continue to stay strong even after he/she develops into an adult.

Want to know why did Sushmita Sen adopt Renee? Watch this video now!

Radhika is a freelance poet, writer and teacher settled at Secunderabad. She is also a life skills trainer for children. Her articles and poems have been published in Woman's Era, Teacher Plus, The Hindu and websites like wow parenting. Her husband Rayudu and son Prashanth support and inspire her in her endeavours.