A Single Parent’s Journey

Parenting is undoubtedly a significant responsibility, and even more when the mantle falls on a single parent. A single parent has to bear with added responsibilities, tensions, pressures, and the never-ending list. Due to multiple reasons such as separation, divorce or death of a spouse, a single parent is left alone to deal with various tasks. But that should not make a single parent’s life very miserable. There are always meaningful ways to overcome the initial difficulties about single parenting.

Given below are the few pointers on what exactly a single parent faces :

1. Responsibility

Whether you are a single parent or not, it becomes your duty to take care of all the emotional needs of your children. But if you are a single parent, it becomes an obligation. The alternative to the following is to share your responsibilities with the child’s grandparents or even a trusted friend or a loyal maidservant. But you are ultimately responsible at the end of the day.

2. Decision Making

Consult a trusted relative of yours or a good friend who can be believed relating to the matters of your child. If you are on the talking terms with your ex-spouse consults him before taking any significant step. With extended family members or family friends, as these people often help raise them. Being the best mom, you can sometimes give you a hard time, but when you are growing children in a single parent household, it can feel nearly impossible to avoid some stressful situations at home. Try avoiding having a negative influence on your children.

3. Substitute parenting

A single parent has to take the place of the missing parent as well. You should offer a wholesome family to your child. Always try to keep your bitterness, bad experiences, annoyance and anger, infect your child’s psyche. Be frank with the child, make him or her your companion. Never poison the child’s mind against the separated spouse. And make the child realise the importance of friendships and lasting human relationships.

4. PEER PRESSURE

It is essential to have a having a healthy social life. If you are working, you must come home feeling healthy and happy. Try to spend quantity time rather than quality time with your child. For instance never feel guilty while employing a housemaid or a cooking help.

5. Emotional Effects

Being the only bread earner or one income earner in the home puts single-parent households at risk for poverty, finds research compiled by the University of Washington’s West Coast Poverty Center. Living in poverty is stressful and can have many emotional effects on children, including low self-esteem, increased anger and frustration and an increased risk for violent behaviour. It can have various side effects such as financial constraints, other emotional effects of growing up in a single parent household may include feelings of abandonment, sadness, loneliness, and difficulty socialising and connecting with others.

6. Self-Esteem

No matter how hard you try to build them up, your children might struggle with some self-esteem issues growing up in a single parent home. They might have reduced expectations for their relationships later in life and crave affection for your love. In some cases, children might blame themselves for your living situation. Even though you might not be able to stop them from making comparisons, you can help build their self-esteem.
In general, try to keep grown-up issues out of discussions with your child. Some adult problems – like financial concerns, infidelity or conflict with a former partner – can make children feel very anxious. Use your adult support networks, and talk things over with other adults. Calling a helpline can also help.