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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.
Results of studies have indicated that a home filled with conflict is the least desirable home environment for children. When the child's prior two-parent household included frequent fighting and discord between the adults, the child can benefit from living in a one-parent home provided that the conflict is stopped. A parent who is no longer devoting time to warring with a partner may have more energy to give to the kids. Children observe adult relationships and usually apply what they have learned to their own relationships as adults. By residing with only one parent, the child may actually have a chance to observe healthier adult relationships.
Children learn valuable lessons from dealing with hard times and having different lifestyle from many of their peers Your family may not represent the stereotypical American family, but there can still be lots of love and fun in your home.
A single parent may actually have more time for the kids that a married parent would have. Since there is no longer a spouse around at mealtime, meals don't have to be as substantial and can be structured around kid-friendly ingredients. If your former partner was not very involved with housework, you may have more time since you now have one less person to care for. Financial worries may actually be fewer. Yes, you have less income, but you also have total control over the expenditures that you may not have had while with your partner.
The opportunity to spend time in two separate homes can be a good experience for your children. They will see different approaches to life and hopefully, take the best of both homes to use in establishing their own households as adults.
Often, a child with parents who live apart will gain a stepparent or two. Your child's extended family will then be even larger, giving her more chances to develop meaningful relationships with caring adults. Your kids may even get exposure to new ideas or experiences that could ultimately lead to a career or hobby for your child.
Kids who live with only one parent tend to develop independence faster than their peers. Since the parent will probably have a job and other many other duties on their plate, the kids may have to learn to do things for themselves such as preparing a simple meal or participating in household chores. Kids with stay-at-home parents or two parents in the home may not have as many opportunities to take part in the day-to-day responsibilities of running a household. The kids also learn that they need to be ready to take care of themselves, since they, too, could end up on their own or in a single parenting situation someday.
A favorite benefit of many kids from single parent families is that they often get two or more celebrations for each holiday. They may get two sets of gifts at Christmas, often getting more stuff than they would have if the parents were together. Two Easter baskets, valentine's gifts, etc., are also enjoyed by many of these children.
Two-parent homes can often provide many advantages. However, single parent homes can offer many opportunities for self-growth for children along with other benefits. You can commiserate with your kids about their different lifestyle from their peers, but be sure to stress the advantages of their situation, too, along with offering lots of love. Your family can be a successful as a single parent family!