Single parenting is not a trend or a passing phenomenon. There are 50,000 more single parents in Australia every 5 years and currently, it sits at around 959,000 of us. So, it’s safe to say the numbers won’t decrease. As an advocate for single parents, being one and running a biz that’s got a lot to do with them, I’ve learnt how important it is to look past the stereotypes to examine the real impacts of this experience on the children of single parents.
Use single parents can sometimes struggle. We don’t get much time off and we do need support from time to time but the children of single parents reap the benefits of what others consider the bad experiences. Let me explain. the lessons they learn give them a leg up as they move towards independence and adulthood which children from two-parent households might not get. So, now is the time to stop feeling sorry for the children of single parents and change the paradigm to see how beneficial things really can be for them.
- Financially savvy. The majority of single parents live on a budget so it’s no surprise their children know the value of a dollar. These kids know what it takes to keep a family financially afloat and they develop, early on a strong sense of how to budget, how to save, what’s important to spend money on, and what purchases would be frivolous. These lessons will serve them incredibly well as they forge their own path toward financial independence.
- A single parent alone simply can’t do it all, they need their child or children, once they are capable to get involved in running of the household. From a young age, these kids learn to be independent. My daughter just 2 and she takes her plate to the kitchen when she is finished eating, she feeds the dog, she puts rubbish in the bin and she gets the concept of vacuuming. My 4-year-old vacuums, he sweeps, he cleans up after himself and he puts dishes in the sink and helps me carry the washing basket out. My kids, along with many other single parent kids, they don’t often need prompting, they are not raised with the luxury of having a parent to be there all the time, so they learn to fend for themselves and love being helpful because of the close-knit relationship they usually share.
- Too often these days, hear stories of young people who simply can’t cope with change. Not for single parents children. These children have watched change that’s close to home, they have had to adjust to new situations and come to terms with things that might be difficult. They learn resilience and the lifelong ability to adapt and preserve.
- Appreciation of hard work. Most single parents are hard workers, juggling jobs and family with few resources and little support. These kids, they watch their parents juggle and tireless dedication and come to appreciate the struggles. Not to mention, the added challenges make victories even sweeter.
- Enlightened view of gender roles. Daughters of single parents learn they don’t need a partner to be happy or successful. Meanwhile, boys raised by single parents learn to value emotions and have a much more enlightened view of the world and gender roles played in society.
- An inclusive understanding of family. Children in single parent families come to understand that family doesn’t always mean mum and dad. Their family might be mum and grandmother, just mum, or dad and brother, or just dad, or any number of other configurations. Their own experiences make them accepting of the non- traditional family arrangements that are increasingly common. This means they are, as adults, more accepting and open-minded about friends and co-workers and their relationships and family arrangements.
- A single parent ally. Being raised by a single parent makes a person sympathetic and supportive of other single parent struggles. In the long term, this understanding is good for society in general and for the workplace specifically. Instead of judgment and criticism, children of single parents become adults who treat single parents with compassion and respect.
Too often, we focus on all that is missing in the life of a child raised by one parent. But, as you can see, children from single-parent families form beliefs and habits that serve them well throughout their lifetime, if their single parents do them. In today’s world, the odds that a child will at some point be raised by their mum or dad alone is increasing. It’s nice to know that this reality comes with some important benefits for the generations after us.
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