Single Parenting

Single Parenting

Single Parenting

Written by American Psychological Association Help Center

Over the past 20 years single - parent families have become even more common than the so - called "nuclear family" consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.

Life in a single parent household - though common - can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Members may unrealistically expect that the family can function like a two - parent family, and may feel that something is wrong when it can not. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of juggling caring for the children, maintaining a job and keeping up with the bills and household chores. And typically, the family's finances and resources are drastically reduced following the parents' breakup.

Single parent families deal with many other pressures and potential problem areas that the nuclear family does not have to face.

Some of these are:

Visitation and custody problems

The effects o f continuing conflict between the parents

Less opportunity for parents and children to spend time together

Effects of the breakup on children's school performance and peer relations

Disruptions of extended family relationships

Problems caused by the parents' dating and entering new relationships

The single parent can help family members face these difficulties by talking with each other about their feelings and working together to tackle problems. Support from friends, other fam ily members and the church or synagogue can help too. But if family members are still overwhelmed and having problems, it may be time to consult an expert.