Single parent households have a completely different dynamic when compared to families with both parents living under the one roof. There are quite a number of reasons why a household becomes a single parent situation and these can include things such as divorce or death of one of the parents. Many single parent households differ in the situation that caused the family unit to breakup however they share common experiences and challenges as a single parent household.
Single parenting differs greatly to dual parenting especially with the way that the child or children interact with the parent. Single parent households tend to discuss and decide things with input from the child or children where as dual parent households generally make decisions such as where they are going on holidays just between the parents.
Another single parenting issue concerns the roles of the individuals in a single parent household. Children in a single parent situation often have a more adult role in the family and their responsibilities are greater and more defined than children in a dual parent household. Many of these responsibilities, such as looking after other siblings or doing the washing, are picked up by the child simply because there isn’t another adult around to do the job.
Single parents also feel pressure or stress when it comes to providing and looking after children in the single parent household. Parents are very focused on giving their children the best and many single parents have trouble balancing time with the kids and also working enough to survive financially. In a dual parent household the carer and bread winner role can be divided between two parents unlike the single parent household where these two roles are a juggling act for one parent.
Apart from the challenges that arise from a single parent household situation there are some positives that can result from this situation. Children who are brought up in a single parent situation are generally more confident and mature and they use their free time more constructively doing activities such as reading or participating in organised sports. Another positive is that children in this situation develop a very close relationship with their parent and in situations where the children also visit the other parent the relationship is still strong. One important thing to note about single parent households is that children who are loved and supported have no more problems than a child who has both parents living under the same roof.