Without a doubt there are pros and cons of being a single parent, but there are also a whole lot of myths about what it means to be one. Single parents are not the dregs of society; sometimes, but not always they are spin-offs of marriages and relationships gone wrong. They are people like you and me, with low incomes, with high incomes, from any and every walk of life.
Pros of being a single parent
1. Some have been forced to dealwith becoming a single parent and acknowledging your role as a parent, partner, and nurturer in a hurry. It has been observed that children raised with independence and confidence, can lead a very normal life. Of course the opposite is true for children who have suffered trauma and negligence and not had a healthy upbringing, whether or not they are the offspring of a parent. The way a parent raises, disciplines and nurtures a child will determine how the child is going to turn out. Make nurturing an important first step.
Today, some people are choosing to have children without a second parent in the family. Although we kind of roll our eyes thinking that child needs two parents, it is being done singularly in some cases successfully. That single parent who has success, gives their child a tremendous amount of their time and is not an absentee parent. Often times when there are two parents they make their relationship the primary relationship and children have to take a back seat to the workplace or the couple and their personal interests. Don't let that happen to you.
2. Children of parents who have moved on in their lives through divorce can be happy that their parents have achieved some kind of peace and resolution, and can be happy for them. A child can be so enmeshed in a parent's unhappiness that it affects their life too. When the split has been sorted out amicably, the parents and children can move on. These parents have a stronger bond with their children and their children seldom develop behavioral problems.
3. A very true fact is that children of single parents learn to take care of themselves and their siblings at a very early age. If their parents are not in competition with one another, a child can benefit from the advice of both parents' approach towards life. These children can grow up with confidence and as adults be very cognizant in their role as parents themselves.
Cons of being a single parent
1. The trauma and unhappiness the child has to go through. It is not easy for a child to hear the word divorce and separation. A child's first reaction is what will happen to them - who will they be with - who is going to care for them. The parents need to encourage those children that even though they are splitting as a couple, they both love the children and will continue to be in their lives in a major way.
2. There is also the fear on the part of the custodial parent as to how they will cope with this new family structure and how they will manage to provide for them all. Finding a Chruch and praying on a regular basis will help. God says he will provide our needs. He also says that he will allow us to suffer for a little while and then restore us. In Ephesians 3:20, God says that He will restore us greater than anything we can even imagine. The verse I love best is Romans 8:28 where God says he will allow all things to work for our good for those that love him and are called according to his plan. This means loving him and inviting him to live in your heart and watching the wonderous things he does for you and giving him the praise for those things.
3. The custodial parent will also have to work and will agonize that she is neglecting her children. Children who feel unloved or neglected may develop behavioral problems. Remember the verse of scripture that says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Concentrate on loving your children as Christ loves the church and you would want to be loved and the joy you will experience will blow you away.
4. Then there is the stigma of being a child of a single parent. To fit in, the child can give in to peer pressure and start to experiment with drugs. All is not lost. There are programs available for parents with children. Join a support group where you can meet someone in the same position as yourself, like parents without partners or a church group for single parents and navigate your way through the application process for some of these programs. You might meet a friend who has just gone through the process. Don't miss any opportunity that can benefit you or your children. Make friends. You do not have to be married to enjoy someone else's company or make a great friendship happen.
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