It cannot be denied that single parenting is a tough job. No matter what circumstances have thrown you into the world of single parenting, the road that you are traveling is a rough one.
There are many struggles that a single parent may face. You must know how to balance your work, housework, visitation schedules, childcare and your children's activities. You also have to set aside some free time for yourself.
Usually, one of the biggest struggles that single parents face is financial ones. This is true especially for a custodial parent. To add to this, delinquent child support is on the rise. To top it all off, the children need attention, guidance, quality time and just every day care. All of this may seem to be overwhelming.
The single-parent family is faced with many problems and pressures that the nuclear family is shielded from. Some of these are:
- Visitation as well as custody arrangements
- The effect that continued conflict between the parents may have on the children
- There is a decrease in the amount of time that children and parents can see each other.
- Effects that divorce has on a child's school performance and interaction with peers
- Disruptions that reach into the extended family
- Negative reactions that a child may have when a parent begins dating again
Although the single parent is faced with many challenges, if a parent is willing to work hard they may reap some benefits from their situation. Here are some of the possible benefits of being a single parent:
1. There can be a reduction of hostility, tension and discord as well as an increase in the solidarity of the family. There is also a greater consistency in the enforcement of rules for the children.
2. Since a single parent does not have to worry about giving into the demands of another adult, he or she will be able to be more flexible in planning time with the children.
3. Single-parent families may come to depend upon each other more and work together to solve problems about daily living. When you get the children involved, they are much more willing to help carry out any decisions that have been made.
4. Single parenting can help make one strong and develop more character. Challenges turn into opportunities for growth.
5. Children of single-parent families may broaden their experiences because they are influenced by each parent individually.
6. There are extensions of the single-parent community that can provide support. Single parents do not have to feel cut off or isolated. There are different support groups that are available such as Parents without Partners.
7. If the children are able to contribute to the household, they may feel more valued and needed. When both parents are in a family, they usually distribute the major responsibilities between them. However, in a single-parent family, every child has to do his or her own share which is a vital part in daily living.
So, as you can see, there are both disadvantages as well as advantages in being a single parent. With hard work, guidance and support, you can become a model single parent.