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Pressure Single Parenting Can Cause On The Parent

Aug 17, 2007
Single parenting is seen as parent (whether the mother or father) carrying out the role of maintaining the family as a result of either separation, death, personal choice or divorce.

This type of parenting is an additional arm of the traditional nuclear and extended family types that we have learned since childhood. Nuclear families consist of two parents, and children who are living in the same house.

Extended families however, consist of two parents, aunts, uncles, children or grandparents living under the same accommodation. Over the last two decades, the number of single parent families in the US has doubled in size.

The main 3 reasons for single parenting

* Death of a spouse

* Personal choice (teenage mothers, wanting to raise a family without a partner)

* Divorce

Either of these causes have a major effect on the family living and will require the whole family to make adjustments to the emotional aspect of the family. Many times the parent who is left to raise the kids often feels guilt, despair and even resentment.

There are ways to deal with these. Many single parents sometimes feel the pressure of the world on their shoulders. Never be afraid to ask for help, this in no way means you have failed as a parent. Having someone to talk to and get advice of can only be a positive thing/

The 5 stages of grief have been defined below

* Denial - This stage comprises of feeling guilty and denying what has occurred. The feeling of "he is just away, and will come back" are the usual reactions of this stage.

* Anger - This is generally felt towards the person who has left or has died.

* Bargaining - Often this is were the person tries to negotiate with God if their partner has died. Dealing with the partner who has left and trying to negotiate and promising to change what went wrong in the relationship

* Depression - This stage comprises of the near-realization that the situation will not change. This is where the acknowledgement of what happened starts.

* Acceptance - This stage is the acknowledgement and acceptance of the grief.

The effects of single parenting are widespread and not only felt by now single spouse but it vibrates through to the whole family, especially children. Recent studies have shown that many children have felt as though they have been taken advantage of, betrayed and even depressed and inadequate as result of their parents separating.

There are a number of way to help the single parent if they are feeling grief

* Taking care of yourself - If the parent does not take control of his/her life, he cannot take control of his/her child's life. One should take care of himself/herself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Taking care of oneself ensures a positive environment of hope and love in the family.

* Accepting responsibilities - Being a single parent means maximizing all resources to take care of the family. This means looking for all possible, even creative solutions to solve a problem. One should not spend time blaming others for what happened, but instead, look for ways in addressing the problem.

* Family as the first choice - Successful single parent families have made their family as the top priority. These means determining non-negotiable and balancing commitments. Single parents usually forego career changing decisions for the family.

* Establish routine - The routines that the child was in before the divorce or death must always be kept as this is a way for the child to child to realize that things have not drastically changed. Stability to the child's mental state must always be the prime focus. Routines can be as simple as a walk in the park or even a bed time story.
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