Friday, March 30, 2007

Single Parenting - The Pros and Cons

The number of children living in single parent homes is now at an all time high and single parenting presents you with some unique challenges regardless of whether you're a single mom or a single dad.

As most single parents these days have to work, the first set of problems that you face are practical and will include such things as finding suitable child care, making arrangements when you need to work late or perhaps work at weekends and coping with day to day activities such as shopping.

How you manage these problems will depend to a large extent on your personal circumstances and income, but you will often find that you are able to rely on older children to take care of younger ones and can turn to family and friends for assistance. In most cases these difficulties do not present an insurmountable problem and a reasonable solution can be found.

The greatest challenge often comes from issues beyond the purely practical and stem from the loss of a partner to discuss problems with, to bounce ideas off and to use as a sounding board.

In some cases parents can find it difficult to deal with problems that are particular to children of the opposite sex and miss the input from the same sex parent who can draw on his or her own childhood experiences. In most instances these problems can be solved by turning to other family members or friends for advice.

Many of the problems presented by single parenting are however balanced by what many parents see as considerable advantages. The loss of a partner can also bring with it the loss of arguments, disagreements, and tension and can make it much simpler to set guidelines and rules for the children without having to debate them.

Also, many single parents make far more effort to spend time with their children and find they talk to their children much more. This invariably results in single parents growing closer to their children and developing a much stronger bond with their children.

Studies show children in single parent households often mature at a younger age and develop a greater sense of responsibility. Studies also show that children of single parents suffer no detrimental effects from the experience in terms of either their educational or personal development.

It may appear that the loss of a partner to share in the care of the children should be detrimental, but single parenting provides a unique opportunity to influence the development of the children without suffering the hindrance that the presence of a partner can sometimes bring. In addition, provided you don't allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the practicalities of raising your children alone, the benefits can often far outweigh the disadvantages.

2 comments:

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