A single-parent child is a child who is under the age of 18 years and is living with one parent. According to the census, almost 30% of families in America are single-parent. A further study shows that among the single parents women lead with 90%, while there is only about 9% of single fathers (“Single-parent households”, 2010). Women have the upper hand as a child’s primary caregiver because many believe that children are better placed with their mothers and are likely to bond well with their mothers than their fathers.
However, the court has jurisdiction to award the father custody of a child if it believes that the mother is not able to take care of the child. The reason of single-parent family formation can be the death of a partner, divorce, separation, early and unwanted pregnancy and adoption (“Single-parent households”, 2010). Children from single-parent families are known to be different from the ones that have been raised by both parents. This research will highlight the issues that make a significant impact on children from single-parent families.
Children that are raised in single-parent families have been perceived for a long time as deprived children. Unlike their counterparts, most of these children are seen to be disadvantaged in life. Statistics show that most single parents are not able to raise children alone because of some hurdles that they are facing. Life for children who come from single-parent families is not easy, especially due to a social stigma attached to single parenthood. Most of these children are prone to problems with drugs, mental illnesses, unwanted pregnancy and petty crime. All these issues are brought by psychological and developmental problems (“Single-parent families - The effects on children”, n.d.).
Health study done in America showed that among children and adults who were found with mental illnesses following suicidal thoughts and high rate of substance abuse the majority were children from single-parent families. These youngsters are also known to have low self-esteem. All these problems come from various factors that these children experience during their childhood. Children from single-parent families always have problems accepting the fact that they are living with one parent. When these children are forced to live with one parent, they feel that the other parent does not love them, and that is why they left them. Children feel that they are unwanted since they do not have joy of living with their family members. Consequently, psychological stress leads to instability for both parents and children since it might be difficult for them to adjust to the situation prevalent in the family (“Single-parent families - The effects on children”, n.d.).
Being a single parent might take a toll on most parents who tend to put pressure on their children due to their situation. Some single parents see their children as a burden and will create issues and problems to them, making them feel guilty or sad for stressing their parents. As a result, children tend to have a feeling of being a burden to their parents and the society.
Early development is very important for children. However, children with a single parent face a lot of development challenges. Most of these children are not able to be successful in life and receive lower grades in school. They do not relate well with people and are always involved in fights with their fellow classmates. They are not usually sociable and cannot communicate well with others. Some of these children are unable to go to school due to the financial instability that their single parents face. What is more, some of them may opt to leave school since they cannot afford it, while the others may opt to search for work in order to help ends meet. There are some parents who end up being stressed and frustrated hence leaving the responsibility of raising children to their older siblings. As a consequence, it affects children development as they do not have ample support and time to experience and grow up the way children should do (“Single-parent families - The effects on children”, n.d.).
Children from single parenthood need a lot of love and care from their parents. It is proper for parents to take up their roles and raise their children in the right way. There are a few things that could aid in child raising in a way that the other parents grow their children. First and foremost it is important for single parents to accept the the responsibility of raising children as it is very crucial to the child’s well-being. It is, therefore, important for them to handle their responsibilities with the seriousness it deserves. Parents should ensure that they do double work in ensuring that children get the attention they need. They should aid in developing children physically, socially as well as during their cognitive development since it is crucial for their lives in the future. They should always spend time with their children, give them pieces of advice and know what they feel about living with a single parent. It is also important for parents to make their children feel loved and important in the society.
As much as it is the duty of parents to ensure that children grow in the right way, the society has a role to play. It is important for members of the community to treat these children in a good way at home as well as at school. They should not make children feel insignificant just because they come from a single-parent home. Moreover, they should not discriminate, judge or insult these children but treat them as they would treat a child from a two-parent home. All in all, children are important to the community whether they are raised in two-parent or single-parent family. Therefore, if the society does not accept and treat these children well, the repercussions will not only be felt by the family but the society in general.
Children from single-parent homes are among the disadvantaged children in the society since youngsters being raised in two-parent families are able to live with both of their parents and get the benefits that come with it. These children are prone to be social misfits as they rank among drug users, criminals, and prostitutes and are emotionally unstable. Thus, it is the duty of all people in the community to ensure that both children and their parents get support and that life for such people becomes easier, making them better citizens.