Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Homes

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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The purpose of this paper is to express the advantages and disadvantages of single parent homes. As compared to over forty to fifty years ago, single-parent families are common in today’s world. A single parent is a parent with one or more children, who is not living with any of the children’s other parents. The percentage of children who live with two parents has been declining among all racial and ethnic groups throughout the years. It has been found that children in single-parent homes generally fare worse than those in homes with two parents. In today’s single parent households there are many advantages and disadvantages.

Even after you weigh the single parenting pros and cons you will see that the disadvantages of single parenting usually outweigh the advantages. The biggest concerns about single parenting are the children. Single parenting is not an easy thing to do. You must be both mother and father to a child or children. Youth from single mother homes, especially those living in poor communities, are at higher risk for adjustment difficulties (Shook et la, 2010). National estimates from the United States have found that the poverty rate of single parent homes was 43. 5% as compared to 21. % of cohabitating families and 7. 6% for married families.

Single and cohabitating parents also had fewer assets, less stable employment and higher levels of material hardships. Among single parents and never married mothers, they may be even worse off than divorced mothers, because they had lower levels of human capital or family support and were less likely to receive child support (Gibson-Davis and Gassman-Pines, 2010). Research has shown that low income parents were more likely to use harsh discipline, engage in erratic and inconsistent parenting practices, and provide less cognitive stimulation.

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Economic well-being has also been directly linked to parental psychological health, because financial strain increases stress, anxiety and depression, further compromising parenting ( Gibson-Davis and Gassman-Pines, 2010). Growing up in a low socioeconomic household increases vulnerability to a wide array of risk factors that can have long-term developmental effects among children (Taylor et la, 2010). Stress and psychological vulnerabilities negatively influence parenting quality through behaviours such as ineffective monitoring of children, harsh or hostile parenting, and inconsistent parenting.

Distressed parents are typically less affectionate and report feeling less capable in disciplinary interactions with their children. These types of poor parenting behaviours predict lower levels of children’s positive social behaviour and higher ratio of behaviour problems. Children from single mother families are at increased risk of maladjustment as a result of exposure to adverse environments resulting from poverty, parental internalizing symptoms and ineffective parenting (Taylor et la, 2010). Children from single parent families have very poor and behavioural outcomes.

The transition to adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time as youth begin to exhibit lower social competence, declines in academic performance and increased levels of delinquency do to the lack of monitoring from their parent. It is proven that children living in single parent homes, in poverty ridden neighbourhoods are more likely to drop out of school, both so they could go and work to help with the household income or do to the lack of interest in academics. Pregnancy rates also increase for children between the ages of 15 to 17 years of age who live in single parent homes.

There are also signs that children who have gone through a divorce may have problems with depression, and emotional stress. It has been found that adolescents from single parent families were found to be three times more likely to be depressed than those living in two parent households. Single-parent homes are also associated with criminal activity, such as murder, rape and other violent crimes. And they are also more likely to use drugs. Problems found in the single parent household may not be because of the parent who raised the child, but can be linked to other things that are also related to single parenting.

The effects of coming from a low income family can include things like lower education levels, lower economic achievement and can result in leaving the child feeling isolated and lonely. It would appear that being a part of a single-parent household indicates a negative family environment. It should be said however that many single parent families find a balance and successfully thrive in today’s world. 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. A home filled with conflict is the least desirable home environment for children. When the child’s prior two parent household included frequent fighting between the adults the child can benefit from living in one parent home provided that the conflict is stopped. 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 a difficult lifestyle from many of their peers. 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 structural around kid-friendly ingredients. 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. Kids who live with one parent tend to develop independence faster than their peers. Since the parent will probably have a job and other many other duties, the kids may have to learn to do things for themselves such as preparing a single meal or participating in household chores. 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 parent situation someday.

Another benefit of a single parent household is the child may become extremely close with the parent they live with. Because in some circumstances children only have one parent so the child will want to form a strong bond with the only parent they have. Your kids will have more opportunities to develop responsibility. Although no one wants their kids to grow up before it is time, as part of a single parent family it will be easier for your kids to feel like partners in the family as opposed to “just the kids”.

They will have more opportunities to contribute and grow into responsible adults. The single-parent and the children will learn resiliency. Resiliency, the ability to “bounce back” when negative things happen, is one of the most valuable skills one needs to survive in this world. Facing some of the difficulties of a single parent household, the parent and child will have numerous opportunities to practice resiliency. Face difficult situations with a positive attitude and hope, and learn to look outside the box when seeking solutions.

They will develop a skill that can get them through the toughest of times together. Even though woman face greater financial problems, they tend to be more nurturing to their children by telling them they love them, hugging them, and showing affection towards them. In conclusion it is apparent that single parent households, whether headed by a mother or father, have more to deal with than two parent households. Single-parent households will continue to exist in society.

It is also evident that children in two-parent households generally fare better than children who are raised by only one parent. With single parenthood being such a commonality in today’s world, it is important to take a close look at the research out there regarding this type of family unit and the effects it can have on children. With this knowledge, individuals are better able to address the many challenges accompanying single parenthood. Parenthood is challenging. Single-parenthood is excruciatingly challenging, I know because I am a single parent myself.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Homes. (2017, Mar 26). Retrieved from

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