Tag Archives: single parent families affect children

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Families?

advantages and disadvantages of single parent familiesWith so many families today parented by single moms or dads, what are the advantages and disadvantages single parent families, and how can we make them better?

Single parents often worry that their children will somehow be damaged from living in a single parent family. While a single parent family may not be the ideal situation for raising children, many two-parent families are also less than desirable. Kids can actually benefit from living in a single parent family, so here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a sole parent family.

Disadvantages of Single Parent Families

Some of the key disadvantages of single parent families include…

1. Time:

Many aspects of parenting are far better if two of you were doing them, and things which are timing-based like trips to and from school, after-school sport and recreation things like dance classes or karate are much harder to do as a sole parent than in conjunction with another.

2. Discipline:

Many children are experts at wearing you down, so discipline is often more difficult because the complaints and protests of your children are unrelenting.

3. Working:

If you are working yourself, it is often more difficult to do without some sort of support, especially as you try and work your job situation into your children’s schooling or day-care.

4. Relationships:

Starting a new relationship or dating can be difficult for single moms and dads, with the need for children to be minded and the concern about how the children will bond with the prospective partner.

 

Advantages of Single Parent Families

1. Discipline

Discipline should be easier with two adults, but the reality is that it is often easier with only one especially if the other one fails to agree with the type of discipline involved.

2. Competition

Many times mom and dad are in competition for a child’s affections, but if the other partner is out of the picture or less interested in bringing up the children, a single parent can face no significant competition for their child’s affections.

3. Individual Time

Each of your children need is time alone with you because nothing says I love you like your spending time with them. When you are by yourself, it is a challenge to find time alone with each of your children sufficient to meet the needs, but it’s worth it!

4. Peaceful Atmosphere

Many single parents are in that situation because they have left a family which has looked more like a war zone! While any sort of parenting may be stressful, and may cause friction within the family, friction between mom and dad can often be the most destructive, so one advantage of parenting alone is having a peaceful atmosphere the home.

5. Money

Spending money on the children is often a source of conflict between parents, but when you are alone you do not have to ask your partner’s permission to spend money on your child.

 

The advantages and disadvantages of single parent families that I’ve spoken about here can become a real plus in raising your children if you concentrate on the positives and minimize the negatives.

How to Have a Good Parent-Child Relationship

a good parent-child relationshipHaving a good parent-child relationship is something everyone strives for, both on the parental side and also on the child’s side. But it involves much more than just being popular with your children, because a truly great a good parent-child relationship is like a teabag… It’s true color comes out when it’s in hot water!

Top 5 Mistakes that Stop Singles Having a Good Parent-Child Relationship

As a single mom or dad it is certainly possible to have a good parent-child relationship, but many single parents make some classic mistakes in this area.

 

1. Trying to Be Their Friend

It is great to love your child and wonderful to relate well to them. It is also great when they share even their most intimate thoughts with you because they trust you. However, your children do not need you as a friend, they need you as a parent. You can still relate well to them, love them and have them trust you, but it cannot be as a friend it needs to be someone they look up to and respect, and that’s what parenting is about.

At some point your teenage son or daughter will choose to be with their friends over you, and that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is to force your friendship on the, especially in the company of their other friends. Love them, be close to them, be absolutely trustworthy, but don’t be a friend be mom or dad.

2. Manipulating Them

Singles in general and particularly single moms are very prone to manipulating their children. In a healthy relationship, if you want them to do something you need to simply ask honestly and openly, not manipulate them or use a guilt trip to have your children obey you. You may feel like the technique works, but in the long run it will come back toward you and can potentially ruin your entire relationship with your children.

3. Giving Them Too Much Freedom

A good parent-child relationship needs to have rules, and these rules need to be enforced consistently with appropriate consequences. Giving excessive freedom to your child is not a way of showing you love them, it’s a way of giving them a licence to destroy their lives. If you truly love them, you will set clear rules in place and make sure that they are adhered to. Asking them what they want to do and giving in to them is a bit like asking an alcoholic to mind your liquor cabinet key.

4. Being Harsh About the Little Things

Single parent families, like any other family, are going to face moments of conflict which potentially can damage a good parent-child relationship. Many things are said in anger and regretted later, but you cannot take them back once they have been said! Therefore, it is wise to pick your battles, taking a positive and immovable stand on big issues like curfews, sexual behavior or respecting others, but being a lot less harsh and “letting things slide a little” when it comes to small issues like mowing the lawn or eating their vegetables.

5. Showing Conditional Love

One of the greatest things you can possibly do to promote a good parent-child relationship is to love them unconditionally. Conditional love is one of the great killers of relationship, especially in a single parent home, but unconditional love can cover a multitude of sins. Your child needs to know that you love them no matter what they do and no matter what they say. So if they are good and obedient, you love them. If they are naughty, disobedient, rude or selfish, you love them just the same… Unconditionally!

 

If you can avoid these five mistakes you will have an incredible opportunity to build a good parent-child relationship that will last a lifetime.

Top 6 Trials of Shared Parenting

Shared parentingShared parenting is a difficult thing, and especially so if you and your ex have a rocky or volatile relationship. However, if you are determined to provide the right environment for your children, and if you are prepared to work together rather than against one another, shared parenting can be a great arrangement, both for yourself and the kids.

However, it also introduces a number of issues that you need to work on collectively with your ex-partner, and failing to do this can lead to a complete breakdown in your relationship with your kids over time as you attempt to parent together.

Here are the Top 6 Shared Parenting Hurdles you need to overcome in order to Become Successful Parents your children…

1. Never Speak Negatively About the Other Parent

I know it’s tempting, but as much as you can you need to not speak ill of your ex to your child, no matter what they say or do, what arrangements they make or how much you or the children don’t think they care. Many separated couples use the children as a means to attack the other adult, and this not only alienates them, but it causes deep mistrust between you and your ex-partner.

2. Communicate about Rules

No matter how much you dislike your ex, you need to be in communication with them and present a united parenting front to the children with regards family rules or laws. Frequently in cases of shared parenting, each household develops a different set of rules after the separation, but you will be well served to change communication with each other and make sure that your arrangements like what time they go to bed or what time they have to be home by are uniform, no matter which household they are staying at.

3. Talk about Consequences

Likewise, the consequences for breaking the rules need to be uniform for the children between the two parents. The kids need to understand they cannot do something in one household and “get off lightly” while on the other household they face severe consequences. If you are involved in sharing custody, make sure that the consequences for the children’s actions are the same no matter which one of you they are involved with.

4. Don’t Grill the Kids!

If you are involved in the business of shared parenting, it’s important that you don’t grill a child about the behaviour or relationships of the other party. You may be curious but it’s none of your business, and it’s time to realize that trying to manipulate the information out of your children will destroy trust that they have in you, and can completely undermine your credibility with them after some time. Frankly, you are better off not knowing the details of the other parents activity!

5. Share the Load

We all want to have fun with each child, but in cases of shared parenting is not healthy for one parent to be the fun one while the other is to deal with the mundane issues of life. Make sure that fun things like going out to the movies or dinner with the kids are distributed between the two parents, and especially make sure that difficult tasks like discipline, homework and chores are also equally split.

6. Beware of Manipulation in Shared Parenting

Your little angels, as lovely as they, can be master manipulators! Even if a couple is together, kids are experts at playing one parent off against the other to get what they want, especially as they hit the teenage years. This effect is amplified in the case of shared parenting, so be aware of manipulation, and make sure that before you grant permission for something you check with each other party, via a phone call or a quick text.

Regardless of how you view your ex-partner, your responsibility is communicating and treating each other with respect. Set time on a calendar aside to meet, plan and make arrangements for the kids and you will find that the business of shared parenting becomes easier.

Facing the Key Issues with Single Parent Families

issues with single parent familiesIf you are single and have kids you will realize that there are issues with single parent families.  All families have issues, but in single parent families these issues can be magnified or minified, depending on the parent involved and a number of other factors.

 

Facing the facts is an important aspect of improving your situation as a single parent. Many families suggest that in a lot of cases being involved in a single parent family is preferable to a dual parent situation, especially if the previous arrangement was abusive.

 

All families have thing they need to work through, and the issues with single parent families are in many ways no different to two parent families.  Of course, because you are a single parent, there are some pressures that your family will face which are unique to your situation, and here are a few of those you must think about…

 

Single Parent family Issues to Consider

 

Rules

Families need rules, and single parent families will experience issues with regards the application of these rules.  Having only one parent at the helm means that rules are made with less people involved, and you need to make rule in consultation with your kids.  Set up rules and attach a consequence to them that is fair and reasonable in your children’s eyes.

 

Discipline

One of the real issues of single parent families is that it is harder to apply consistent discipline because you cannot share the load.  This means you need to be on your game every day, and sometimes it just gets hard to be that consistent.  Add to this the very real issue that your ex may be undermining your efforts at discipline and you may have a touchy, difficult and painful situation on your hands.

 

Guilt

Many children feel guilt at the demise of the parental relationship, and you need to be very clear about what has happened.  Kids need to not feel guilt at something that is really between two adults, and they must not be used as a pawn in an adult war!

 

Favoritism

Favoring one child over the other is not going to result in a good outcome.  Fighting and over-compensation to become the child’s favorite parent is similarly going to create problems and issues that your single parent family is better off without!  So don’t strive to be the favorite parent, and always try and treat your children with impartiality.

 

Manipulation

Children are masters at this, and very often so are single parents.  If you want a healthy relationship and if you want to avoid alienating issues with single parent families, ask or tell your children straight out what you expect from them, and avoid trying to bribe and manipulate then to get what you want.  In the same way, don’t let them manipulate you with statements like, “Well dad lets me do it!”

 

Unconditional Love

Above all, always love your children unconditionally, whether they are obedient or not, whether they are successful or not and whatever they say or do to you.  If you are hurting as a single, chances are they hurt as well, and hurt people hurt people!  So if they lash out at you, love them back and you will find that the anger drops away!

 

There will always be issues with single parent families, just as there will always be issues with any family, but a wise parent will work to minimize these issues.

How do Single Parent Families Affect Children?

single parent families affect childrenIt is well recognized that single parent families affect children, but it can work in both a positive and a negative way.  On the TV Talk Shows, you will see all of the negative effects, but there are some positives that can make single parent families a positive experience for a child.

 

One positive way in which single parent families affect children is in the area of time.  Without the added distraction of a partner, many single parents choose to devote themselves to their children rather than spending time with their partner.

 

For children, time is an important way of saying, “I love you!”  If you never spend any quality time with your children, they begin to feel that you are ignoring them and are more interested in your own life than in theirs.  Many single moms I know love having girl’s nights with their kids, enjoying movies and popcorn or pamper nights in a way they simply would not pursue if the dad was around.

 

One Hidden Positive Affect on Children of Single Parent Families

 

One of the hidden positives ways that Single Parent Families Affect Children is if the other partner is abusive.  Many women feel they need to stay with an abusive husband for the kids, to keep the family together, but most often the children are much better serving in a single parent family, away from the abuse of the ex-partner.

 

One Hidden Negative Affect on Children of Single Parent Families

 

Families were designed to have two parents, and both men and women can bring positives to the equation.  One of the hidden negative ways that Single Parent Families affect children is in the lack of a positive role model.  Many single moms find that their children have real difficulty relating to and trusting men because their dad is either absent or has been negative in the past.

 

One of the Worst Negatives is this…

 

When children are used by each parent as pawns in an adult game!  When you separate from your ex, it is very tempting to use the kids as leverage to attain what you want from the ex-partner.  This places the children in a difficult and awkward position, and it also places the power in your family into their hands.

 

This difficult position is a huge way in which Single Parent Families affect children, and it can affect every aspect of their lives.  Kids are also skilled in being able to turn this to their advantage, playing one parent off against the other, so for the child this becomes an awkward, pressured situation, but also a tool to get what they want.

 

So if you are leading Single Parent Families, make sure you come to an agreement with your ex-partner about not using the children to manipulate each other, and about being careful that the children do not use you!

 

You can decide whether your single parent family is going to be a force for the negative, or a great and positive experience for your children.  If your ex is behaving badly towards you, you cannot control what they say and do, but you can control how you react.  Always make sure your actions are full of understanding, grace and strength instead of reacting to what the other party does.

 

And above all, believe and live the mantra that Single Parent Families Affect Children in a positive way, and that you as a single parent can make positives happen every single day for your children!