The Single Parent


Abstract

A single parent is one living without a spouse and on whose shoulders lies the higher responsibility of looking after a child. The single parent is the primary caregiver with whom the children have most residency with. In most circumstances, it occurs after separation or divorce and the mother becomes the primary caregiver as the custodial parent, and the father becomes a secondary giver as the noncustodial parent. In some instances though, such roles may interchange between the parents. Single parenthood is a growing trend in today’s world; this can be attributed to increased rates of divorce, separation, mortality amongst parents and individual decisions to be single parents.

The Single Parent

The single parent faces some unique challenges and should always be ready to tackle them and maintain a happy family. The main challenge is how to influence a child's growth and development positively without the child being affected substantially by the absence of the other parent. This, therefore, raises the stakes of single parenthood in owing to that sole responsibility bestowed on a single parent that is, usually, shared by both parents in healthy parenthood.

In many cases, such responsibility becomes enormous on the single parent especially when the parent is not receiving alimony or child support from an ex-spouse. It, therefore, calls for stringent budgeting aimed at reducing the overall expenses in order to make ends meet. Most single parents volunteer to work overtime or take on additional part-time jobs in pursuit of financial security. It is always important for such parents to make the children understand their economic status and personal responsibilities. Quality time with the kids is limited because the parent is strained between responsibilities that make him or her chronically fatigued. It is important that such a parent find time to get enough rest and recuperate lest they experience depression and burnout, and this may easily cause hopelessness in life on the parent.

Unless the single parent is properly planned and has personal systems and mechanisms in place, responsibilities of a single parent , may turn out to be overwhelming. Most single parents utilize childcare facilities and baby sitter services to offload some of their duties. Despite the challenges that come with single parenthood, the single parent has a responsibility to the family. Showing love to the children, staying active, creating appropriate routines, setting realistic expectations for the children and defining the future of the family fall under one roof in single parenting.