The Bright Side of Being Raised by a Single Parent

In the Unit­ed States today, more than 23 mil­lion chil­dren live in a single parent family. This total, has risen over the last half cen­tu­ry and cur­rent­ly cov­ers about one in every three kids across Amer­i­ca. A num­ber of long-term demo­graph­ic trends have fueled this increase, includ­ing: mar­ry­ing lat­er, declin­ing mar­riage rates, increas­ing divorce rates and an uptick in babies born to sin­gle mothers. With­in sin­gle-par­ent fam­i­lies, most chil­dren — 14.3 mil­lion — live in moth­er-only house­holds. More than 6 mil­lion kids live with cohab­it­ing par­ents and about 3.5 mil­lion kids live in father-only house­holds, accord­ing to 2022 estimates.

Many sin­gle par­ents pro­vide sta­ble, lov­ing envi­ron­ments and rela­tion­ships for their chil­dren. Exam­ples of how sin­gle-par­ent fam­i­lies can ben­e­fit chil­dren include that solo par­ents may have more time to focus on their kids if they no longer need to spend time focus­ing on the needs of their spouse or partner. Years of fight­ing may pre­cede a divorce or sep­a­ra­tion, and end­ing this con­flict and pro­vid­ing calm home envi­ron­ments is impor­tant for chil­dren and can reduce stress for the entire family. Here are 5 bright sides of being raised by a single parent.

1. Undivided attention. ‌Children of a single parent usually get their parent’s undivided attention. As a single parent, their love and attention will be reserved just for their children. That is, of course, until a parent decides to date again, which (while often tricky) is absolutely okay to do!

2. Fewer arguments. ‌Parents often have arguments in front of their children, which can affect them mentally. A single-parent household can be more peaceful than a two-parent family. A single-parent family will have fewer arguments between adults, and this can make the home environment less stressful for the children, who will feel safer and more secure in such a house.

3. Close relationship. ‌Sharing space and responsibilities can create a more tight-knit bond between single parents and their children. Children from a single-parent household may form closer relationships with their family than children from traditional households. This is especially true if the parents do not have equal custody of the children and they may be spending more time with one parent than the other.

4. Independence and responsibility. ‌Single parents can get busy juggling work and family. In such cases, children of single parents often take responsibility for manageable home chores. They also learn how to be independent. You can encourage these qualities in your children by treating them as your team members. You can also reward them once they complete tasks. Fostering independence and responsibility at a young age can help boost your children’s self-esteem and work ethic.

5. Having a good role model. ‌Your children will learn by looking at you. You get to be their role model. Over time, your children will value your presence. They may also realize the importance of independence and how life can be managed without a partner. It’s equally important to set a good example of putting in hard work, but also of when to throw in the towel on something that just isn’t working.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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