Whilst it is ideal that children have two parents there is no reason why a single parent cannot bring children up just as well. There are disadvantages and advantages in bringing up children alone:
- Isolation. Many single parents find that living without a partner and caring for their children alone can be an isolating experience. Click here for advice on overcoming isolation.
- Financial difficulties. Losing an income from another partner can have a significant impact on many families.See our Financial section for advice.
- Returning to work. This can prove daunting to anyone who has been out of work for a number of years and juggling parenthood with working full time is never easy.
- Gender related issues. Mothers can find it difficult to deal with boy's issues, and fathers with girl's issues, particularly when tackling puberty. Our Parenting Page can help with gender related issues.
- Dating. Relationships can be complicated when children are involved as you try to balance the needs of your new partner, your children and yourself. Click here for advice on re-dating as a single parent.
- Prejudice. Whilst single parents are becoming increasingly common they are still subject to bad press, and if you are a lone father you face the perception that only a woman can care for her children.
- Autonomy. You are largely responsible for your children and get to set routines, make decisions and run your own household. This does not mean that the other parent will not have a say in the way that their children are brought up.
- Choice. You can choose what you cook, when you do your housework, what colour the walls will be, what program you are watching on television.
- Financial independence. You hold the purse strings and can make decisions regarding your own money. There is no need to consult a partner when deciding how to spend your money and you can plan your financial future for yourself.
- Time off. If you are divorced or separated, as long as your partner maintains contact with your children, you can have time totally to yourself to indulge as you will. In marriage couples rarely take time out alone and you may have relied on your partner for a social life. Now you have the chance to be free and single if only for the occasional weekend!
- No more rows. Ending a bad relationship can be a relief and not only will you feel happier, enabling you to care for your children more effectively, but your children will no longer be subjected to watching their parents tear themselves apart. You should reassure them that you both love them and that they can still spend time with both of you.
- Double wardrobe space. - enough said!