A single parent wants to bond with her child, but sometimes, circumstances may make this difficult.

Advantages & Disadvantages for Children in a Single-Parent Family

by Dosser Handron

Statistics from a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center reveal that 64 percent of people surveyed in the United States believe that the growing trend of single motherhood is a problem of significant concern, largely because of the negative outcomes of single motherhood. The respondents believe these negative outcomes will affect society generally -- especially, since this trend is growing. Women may become single mothers if they become a widow, if they divorce, or by choice or unplanned pregnancy.

1. Advantages: Maturity

A single parent’s child could become mature by learning from the hardships he encounters, which will give him experience when handling later disappointments. For example, he could learn to make wise relationship decisions to avoid undergoing the same problems he witnessed between you and your boyfriend. He can become responsible at an early age because he watches you run the family by yourself. He sees that he is your priority, but he does not become egocentric and realizes that he needs to help with certain tasks.

2. Advantages: Strong Mother-Child Bond

Single parenthood offers you a chance to develop a strong bond with your child by engaging in activities such as watching a movie, going on a picnic or shopping, states Dr. Kenneth Condrell, a child psychologist and professor at Medaille College, in an article entitled, "Fostering Loyalty in the Single-Parent Family," and cited on the Fisher-Price website. Fun activities help build unity within your family, and you can set aside time for these with your child. In developing a strong bond, you need to allow your child to express his feelings and thoughts openly, which helps foster an honest relationship among the family members.

3. Disadvantages: Financial Problems

Single parenthood offers you a chance to develop a strong bond with your kids by engaging in activities like watching a movie, going on a picnic or shopping, according to Condrell. Fun activities help build unity within your family, and you can set aside time with your children. In developing a strong bond, you need to allow the kids to express their feelings and thoughts openly, which would foster an honest relationship among family members.

4. Disadvantages: Emotional Problems

Your child or children could fall victim to emotional problems if you do not bond with them efficiently, or they could become involved in frequent feuds with their non-resident father. Alternatively, they might need to relocate frequently to new areas, which can contribute to emotional difficulties associated with frequent readjustments, according to the Paul Amato, author of the “Future of Children” journal, published by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. Hostile conflicts between you and your child’s non-resident father could have a profound effect on your child -- especially if you or the child's father tries to manipulate him into supporting one parent's side against the other parent's side. Frequent or constant adjustments to a new neighborhood may cause him emotional distress because he loses contact with friends from his former neighborhood.

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