Single parents want what's best for their children too.

How Single Parents Affect Children's Lifestyle

by Melissa Gagnon

Young children being raised in single-parent families are increasingly common. Parents often wonder if they are negatively affecting their children by bringing them up in a one-parent household. Research has shown both negative and positive aspects to raising a child alone. The good news is that what you do as a single parent can make a difference in positively raising your toddler and preschool-aged children.

1. Relationships

If you are a single parent, you are the one who is there for your child. You kiss boo-boos, make lunches and lend a listening ear. This means you can develop a very strong, close relationship with your child. Toddlers and preschool-aged children in one-parent homes often are very close to that parent and feel strongly bonded to her. However, your preschooler may have a more difficult time forming relationships with kids of the opposite sex at school. Your toddler may be uncomfortable around adults of the opposite sex as well.

2. Economics

Young children in single parent families often feel the strain of money on their lifestyle. Besides the obvious disadvantages that come from not having money such as poor diets and not having expensive toys or clothes, children may suffer mental strain. Many single parents work long hours and are forced to leave their young children with a caregiver. Single parents are more likely to worry about money, and even children as young as toddlers will pick up on these types of stresses in the home.

3. Communication

Toddler and preschool-aged children in single family homes are likely to look up to their parent and listen to what their parent says. The parent is able to clearly communicate household rules and expectations because she is the only one in authority. As a single parent, you will be the one to answer your toddlers many questions and to hear all about your preschooler's busy day. This early one-to-one relationship with your child sets a foundation for strong communication.

4. Feeling Left Out

Children who are raised in single parent homes may feel left out during some activities at daycare or preschool. Many childcare centers plan crafts that children can make for moms or dads to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. Some centers host special events for children to bring their moms to such as a tea or luncheon, and other events created especially for dads and their kids.

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