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How Does Being A Single Parent Family Affect Our Kids?

Expertly reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD · Internal or General Medicine

Written by China Logarta · Updated Jun 03, 2022

How Does Being A Single Parent Family Affect Our Kids?

The adage goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” If this is true, how does a single parent family shape children compared to those in a two-parent home? What used to constitute a family is now vastly different than what it was 50 or more years ago. Today we see family types of all shapes and sizes. Each parenting arrangement has its challenges but also its own strengths.

Single parenthood in the Philippines

Authorities found that there were some 14 to 15 million single parents in the country in 2021. A staggering 95% of them were women, according to a study done by the Department of Health and University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health. Moreover, every eight in 20 women were in “vulnerable employment positions.” Needless to say, the pandemic aggravated the challenges a single parent family normally faced. Therefore, lawmakers passed a bill that seeks to give them monthly cash aid, automatic health insurance, and other benefits.

Under the measure, single parents can be:

  • Women who give birth after rape
  • A parent whose spouse had died
  • One whose spouse is detained or serving jail time for at least one year
  • A parent carrying responsibility due to legal or de facto separation from their spouse for at least one year
  • One whose marriage is annulled and has custody of children
  • Those abandoned by their spouse for at least one year
  • An unmarried parent who chose to raise their child
  • Anyone who provides parental care and support alone
  • A family member taking responsibility as breadwinner due to death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the biological parent
  • Factors affecting a single parent family

    Being that only one adult is present to raise the child might bring about certain issues:

    • Lower income: Raising a child is expensive – food, shelter, clothing, education, and recreation – could be challenging, especially for a single-income household.
    • Less involvement in child’s life: In some cases, though not all, parents may not be able to watch their children as closely as they would like to, because of their work schedule.
    • Conflict: For kids whose parents did not end things on good terms, arguments between the two might arise, causing undue emotional stress on the child.
    • Big life changes: A single parent family sometimes goes through changes in their financial situation, what school the child attends, or the child’s relationship with the parent they don’t live with. This definitely affects a child’s overall wellbeing.

    Positive effects on the child

    With a new set of problems comes a new set of strengths. In a single parent family, you can usually expect to find good effects on the child. In fact, children raised by one parent grow up as happily as those who have two parents.

    • Children learn to become independent, mature, and responsible. They may be asked to help with the household and be their parent’s “partner” in the home.
    • Parent and child have a tighter bond.
    • Single dads tend to use positive parenting more than married fathers. Positive parenting involves techniques that fortify your relationship with your kid.
    • A single parent family relies less on traditional gender roles than two-parent families.
    • The parent tends to use problem-solving instead of punishment when faced with difficult child behavior.
    • They find a support system in relatives, support groups, teachers, neighbors or even social agency contacts.

    Key Takeaway

    Life in a single parent family can be hard. But if you’re one of them, it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Though you might feel the pressure of playing both mom and dad to your child, all that matters is that we strengthen your relationship with them and rely on others when you need to. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

    Learn more about Parenting here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Internal or General Medicine

    Written by China Logarta · Updated Jun 03, 2022

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