Free Essay Example - Effects on Children raised in a Single Parent Home

Published: 2023-07-14
Free Essay Example - Effects on Children raised in a Single Parent Home
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Parenting Child development Social psychology Essays by pagecount
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1885 words
16 min read

Most religions, schools, governments, and the media define an ideal family as that which is comprised of two heterosexual parents that live with their children. However, the number of single parents in the society has been on the rise, and in the past years, single-parent families make up large portions of the population in the United States. Children raised by single parents experience a lot of negative effects that change the way that they interact with other people. With effective communication, families can easily change the effects that their children face when being raised by single parents through ensuring that they can easily air their problems and get help.

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According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics Forum, almost 30% of children are from single-parent families. Most of the families in such circumstances have mothers as caregivers (Amato, Patterson & Beattie, 2015). The information available on the effects of single parenthood on children is currently limited, and many single parents that would want to educate themselves on the matter find it hard.

Being a single parent has become more popular in the United States, with the US Census Bureau placing the number of single-parent families at 12 million (Amato, Patterson & Beattie, 2015). As a change and dissolving of relationships continue, many children are left with one parent to take care of them. Single-parent households have a higher likelihood of struggling with poverty compared to the families that have two-income parents.

The reason why the number of single-parent homes has been increasing over the years is due to the increase in divorce rates that have been experienced in the United States as the years' passed. The divorces have several adverse effects on the children, and they face many challenges throughout their stays with single parents (Amato, Patterson & Beattie, 2015). Another group of children that are raised in single-parent homes is those that are born to unwed mothers or lose one of their parents to death.

The negative effects that the children raised in such families face are mainly due to limited emotional, financial, and social resources. Many researchers argue that children of single-parent homes are at a higher risk of dropping out of school, where the boys are idler than the girls, but the girls are at a higher risk of getting pregnant before marriage (Watt, 2019).

Overall, the chances of most children from such families going to college are very low. Such children are born and cared for in undesirable circumstances, and they have a higher likelihood of being poor in the future, getting involved in criminal activities and drug abuse (Watt, 2019). Poverty can be stressful and frightening for children, which causes them to have feelings of frustration and anger due to the large difference between them and their classmates and friends.

The main reason why many children brought up in single-parent families faces a lot of challenges that affect them to their adulthood is that they grow up in financially challenged environments (Watt, 2019). Financial challenges can cause more problems for the children as they are also likely to experience lower incomes than people that grew up in homes with both parents.

Families ran by single parents have less ready income for disposal; hence they are unable to access more educational assistance that is required in their studies (Teel et al., 2016). Due to the limited funds, the children in these families are forced to involve themselves in extra-curricular activities which hinder possible chances of getting scholarships that help reduce their burden in payment of school fees.

Peer mockery and scorn are common in cases where stable peers instill negative outlooks on the children from single-parent homes. The children that are cared for by single parents often face negativity from those that have both parents due to a lack of disposable income and material advantages (Teel et al., 2016). The affected children, therefore, engage themselves in criminal activities to make sure that they can live the good lives that the children from both-parent homes display. The adoption of illegal activities to get extra income most of the time land them in trouble with the law, and they end up in jail or with a bad reputation that affects the rest of their lives, especially when searching for employment after college.

The mockery and scorn from their peers may also cause the children from single-parent homes to have self-esteem issues that lead to anxiety and depression. Many of them end up dropping out of school, getting suspended, or adopting the abuse of alcohol and other drugs (Song, 2016). The use of drugs affects their performance in schools and has a high chance of increasing their addiction to drugs and increasing absenteeism.

Different reports have proven that children, especially those that come from a single-parent home where their parents divorced, report distress and feelings of huge losses ten years after the divorce happened (Song, 2016). Such painful memories are the root causes of developmental issues that hinder the social and psychological development of the children.

The self-esteem issues may also develop as a result of the children craving for affection that they do not get from their busy parent. They, therefore, lose all expectations of future relationships in life and take all blame for the living conditions they find themselves in (Song, 2016). The female children become more vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies as they continue losing their value, and people who note their struggles take advantage of them and ask for sexual favors so that they can help where the child is stranded. The parent is not available to offer any help.

Many sociologists argue that children cared for by single parents receive less effective discipline and parenting, which leads them to obtain negative behaviors that have a huge impact on their lives. Most parents that have no partners work full time, with most single mothers taking two jobs to be able to pay all the bills in the house (Golombok et al., 2016). When they spend most of their time at work, they have less energy and time monitoring their children and disciplining them where they go astray.

The children grow with no one to correct them where they go wrong and adopt an attitude where they take correction to be a disadvantage rather than a way to help them change their behaviors. It is hard for all the people that such children interact within their stages of growth as they do not take correction positively (Golombok et al., 2016). It even gets worse for them when they get employed because they work according to how they deem correct and often get into conflicts with their employers and other employees. Research shows that most children raised in single-parent homes find it hard, maintaining one job due to their arrogance and lack of disciplinary actions in their early years of growth.

In cases where children find themselves in single-parent homes, they suffer from problems of adjustment and shame. If one partner stops looking after the children like they used to, the children most likely suffer from resentment (Golombok et al., 2016). The parent that is left to care for the children faces hard times as they try to control them and ensure that they are obedient. The children become a nuisance to the single parents as they hold on to bad memories of the other parent and the reason why they divorced.

Communication as a way to Manage and Resolve Single Parent Effects

Research shows that being born in a single-parent home does not necessarily mean that the children will experience negative effects on their behaviors and performances both at school and at work (Cherry, 2016). Being raised in a single-parent home does not also mean that the children's lives will be filled with problems leading to poverty.

Effective communication and sparing time to talk with the children can help single parents develop more positive life skills than when they spend all their time at work to the extent that they rarely see their children (Cherry, 2016). Spending quality time with the children allows single parents to develop unique bonds with them as they easily talk about life issues that affect them and create means to solve them.

When single parents talk and listen to their children, they are easily able to note and explain any changes that may be occurring or affecting their growth. Communication also helps to accentuate the positive where the single parents appreciate their children who take on more responsibilities so that they can pay for their fees (Cherry, 2016). The parents are also able to recognize the contributions of their children through communication; hence they help them encourage potential development. The single parent should be consistent by having a routine where they talk with their children every day, regardless of how busy they are at work.

The best way to ensure effective communication happens is through the establishment of meal and bedtimes while ensuring that the children feel appreciated and cared for every day as they have their meal. When the step parents and their children have time to talk, it becomes easy for them to know what they need and how they can make them happy regardless of the money available (Cherry, 2016). Effective communication, therefore, helps the parents create a budget wisely and control finances.

Wise budgeting will help the parents consider the needs of the children and develop priorities that help to ensure that the negative effects they face are drastically reduced. Communication will also involve social supports where the single-parent families turn to the extended family members, speak with other single parents, and consult with professional counselors for help (Supratman, 2018). Such strategies offer single parents ideas of how to turn their single-parenthood to positive experiences for the child and the parent.

Single parents should acknowledge their children when they do something good as it helps to gain self-confidence in them and encourage them to work even harder. If the single parent is very busy at her place of employment, she should make an effort to post a card in the children's bedroom when she comes home regardless of the time of the night (Supratman, 2018). Posting a card in the bedroom is an effective way to build strong relationships between parents and children and build the self-esteem of the children. They also feel appreciated and learn how to deal with stressful situations such as bullying from schoolmates.

Communication plays an important and fundamental element of the nature of the family's relationships and units. Effective communication is a refined skill that all single parents should adopt in their management of the families, especially when the mother is the breadwinner of the family (Supratman, 2018). Such skills help to strengthen and deepen the trust, connections, bonds, and intimacy shared between the children and the single parent. Effective communication helps to give coping skills to the children so that they are easily able to express their feelings and talk about major issues that may be affecting them in school and other immediate environments.

On the negative side, lack of effective communication, including repressed anger, punishments, and silences, has the exact opposite effect on the children. They detach from their parent and find it hard talking what is in their mind (Schmuck, 2013).

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