Single parents and their children often have to face stigma, violence and social problems based on myths, stereotypes, half-truths and prejudices. Sometimes, the taunts can be subtle and leave subconscious effects. The best approach is to confront them and understand what is true and what is not. Some of the myths have been cross-examined here:
Myth: Since culturally, traditional nuclear families are the
norm and predominant, single parenting is an aberration and single
parents are often left lonely and isolated.
Fact: Recently, single parent families have shown a sharp rise.
In U.S. alone, about 59 percent of American children have lived in a
single-parent home at least once during their minor years and over 16
million children currently live in single-parent homes. They are often 'bi-nuclear'
families, where despite divorces and re-marriages, both the parents are
actively involved in parenting and offer their children two separate
Myth: Children from single-parent families have emotional and
behavior problems and do poorly in school.
Fact: These conclusions are completely false and untainted
researches by other scholars such as that of Richards and Smiege, 1993
are generally ignored. The outcomes of the oft-quoted 10-year study of
Judith S. Wallerstein cannot be trusted as it started with subjects with
problems such as from ones with psychological disorders or juvenile
delinquents on the first hand. Children of single parents can be as
healthy and emotionally secure as those from traditional families.
Myth: Single-parent families mean 'broken homes'.
Fact: Parents who chose divorce or not marrying as a way of
their life doe not necessarily mean that they are trying to make a
broken home work. Many times, it turns out to be the healthiest choice
to give children a peaceful and stable home environment. Positive
outcomes in single-parent families are not uncommon and single parents
are often more independent and multi-tasking and their children actually
learn to handle greater responsibility.
The outcome of single parent families actually depends on social network
and support to the family and good communication within the family.
Children of divorcees can be as healthy and well-settled as other kids
while they even enjoy greater stability and happiness in their
marriages, as they are more adjusting and concentrate more on keeping
their families intact and happy.
Myth: Being brought up in single-parent families is detrimental
to children's self-esteem.
Fact: Children's self-esteem is linked mostly to the income
level of the family. Since single-parent families also have single
income coming in, they are often low-income households too and thus,
children's self-esteem tend to be lower too, similar to children of
low-income two-parent homes. Parents can teach resilience and
self-esteem skills to their children by being a model to them, boosting
their self-respect and self-nurturance and make them realize that their
possessions do not determine what they are.
Myth: Families need to be self-sufficient, while single parent
Fact: The emphasis on self-sufficiency often produces
unnecessary shame and guilt in parents who are emotionally and
financially challenged, including the single parents. One has to learn
to be interdependent, give and receive; taking our own responsibilities
and asking for support and engaging even professional help, when needed.
Parents should not become too dependent on children for social and
psychological support but rather join support group for single parents
as their social outlet and fun and source for emotional and child care
support. Families should also engage in volunteering within the
community so that they learn the balance between nurturing and being
nurtured and each family member may become more mature and independent.
Choosing Birth Partner for Single Moms
Birth partners should be the one whom you can trust and offer you unconditional support before birth, at the time of delivery and after the delivery. While in traditional family units, usually spouses play the role of birth partners or at least are expected to do so, many single moms prefer their mothers to be their birth partners.
Single Moms by Choice
Choosing to be a single mom is a very personal and emotional choice. The trend of single motherhood is on the rise. Previously, women used to become single moms only by chance, due to a divorce, death of the spouse, or unplanned pregnancies before marriages. Being a single mother was not an option to choose
Fatherless Boys - Breaking the Myths
Raising boys without Daddy has always been considered very difficult. Traditionally, people think that women are not fully qualified to give their sons the all-round upbringing that they need and once they have to face the world, they prove to be failures. According to the myths, fatherless children, especially boys
Holiday Ideas for Single Moms
Creating holiday memories for your children can be the best part of the celebrations. Review your past and especially your childhood and decide how things should be for your children. It is high time that children of single moms should go through the ordeals of stressed-out holidays.
Home Buying Tips for Single Parents
Buying a house with one income, while being the sole financial support for the child and saving something for his college funds too, becomes quite difficult for single parents. For single moms, it is not easy to manage to wrest child support from the father of the child.
Living Trust for Single Mothers
Handling finances or money management for single mothers is crucial as they mostly have to manage their families on single incomes and have to protect their and their children’s interests and safeguard their future too. They also need to make sure that in case something happens to them, their children will not suffer in the hands of destiny.
Questions about Missing Parent
As children grow older, they begin to notice other families and there is a ‘missing’ parent in their family. This is the time when questions about ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’ who is not there, crop up and children start asking questions that may become difficult for the parents to answer.
Tips for Raising a Boy for Single Moms
It has long been argued that single moms cannot raise emotionally and physically healthy normal men and that their sons tend to have an effeminate side to their personalities. However, mom and son families are increasing day-by-day and the myths are breaking. More and more sons raised by women single-handedly have attained success in their lives and are counted as some of the most desirable men across the nations.
Raising Daughter as a Single Dad
Challenge of raising a daughter as a single dad is a big one but not insurmountable. A man may have to become a single father because of separation and divorce; he may be a custodial parent or a widower. Anyway, while a strong and capable adult woman can be a good role model for her daughter as a mom
Tips to Relax for Single Parents
Life as a single parent can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining. They have to handle work, household chores and children all the same time. They have to play the roles of both ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ single-handedly. Here are some tips to plan your schedule, take out some time to relax, manage everything
There is a saying, which goes - It takes a village to raise the child. So true. Bringing up a child is a challenge at almost every step. While the first six months are naturally the most difficult ones, it takes all the time, energy and patience you need to teach so many things to a toddler