Photo Credit: The Fertile Chick
By Ewa Chiamaka
Many people confuse single parenting with co-parenting: co-parenting involves both parents playing a role of supporting and raising the child, rather than one parent—as is the case with single parenting.
Today single parenting has become a norm compared to nuclear family that consists of father, mother and children. Factors such as divorce, separation, death of a parent, unintended pregnancy or birth to unmarried couples, and single parent adoption are the major causes of single parenthood in our society today. When the subject of single parenthood is being discussed, it would almost certainly involve women since women are usually considered the primary care givers. Apart from being the primary care giver, she becomes the bread winner and head of the family.
Parenthood is challenging enough even under the best of conditions. So, being a single parent in our society is tasking to say the least. This is because, with one parent, the challenges are multifaceted. Single parenting in our society has been the focus of much interest in recent years. The effect of single parenting are far reaching because it does not only affect the parents, it also affects the children. In fact, the effects are more devastating on the part of the children because single parenthood leaves them with deep scars. For example, all children feel hostile towards their parents as they grow-up and try to be independent. But in a situation, where the anger and rebellion are all directed towards one person, it may seem worse, if there is only one to bear it, not for the two to share.
Children are like seeds, given by the seed owner (God), they germinate and whichever way you as the seed handler waters it so will it produce, they grow both physically and psychologically although single parenting has negative effects on them. Generally, children face problems or challenges just the same way adults do. The challenges they face are however, equal to their age. These problems are social problems, psychological problems, educational problems, behavioral problems, etc. Children in single parent families however, face significantly greater problems than those raised in dual parent families.
Mrs. Ajayi, a single mother, acknowledged the fact that “the journey has been filled with potholes but only God has been her sustainer”
Makinde David, a victim of single parenting revealed that the experience of growing under a single parent is difficult. He said, “I’m from a broken home and It’s hard growing up without a father but it’s easy when you have a fantastic mother who Plays both role”
Being a single parent can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By showing your child love and respect, talking honestly and staying positive, you can lessen your stress and help your child thrive.
The family is the first socializing agent that a child comes in contact with. It has a great influence on the child’s physical, mental and moral development.
Like they say, two good heads are better than one. Single parents (mostly mothers) should find a way to resolve their family issues and come back together for the future of the children. Women who are rendered single parents by the death of their spouses should be empowered and members of the spouse’s families should Grant them ownership and control of their spouses’ properties and businesses to train the children left behind.