The struggle of single parents can increase as the years go on. Being that parenthood has been starting at younger ages, it’s less likely that younger couples will stay together due to many factors including maturity. Over the years being raised in a single parent home has become more prevalent.
First, we must define what a single parent household means. We can have a single mother, a single father, a grandparent, or foster parent. The sequence of events that lead up to a single parent home vary immensely. The immediate idea for society is that a single parent home is a single mom who has a “baby daddy” somewhere not involved. Most people are amazed when they hear of a single father whose wife maybe passed due to an illness, or a grandparent who inherited a grandkid due to the parents perishing in an accident. More recently becoming a foster parent even as a single parent has become popular. According to Childrensactionnetwork.org “Of the families who adopt children from foster care, 67 percent are married couples, 28 percent are single females, 3 percent are single males, and 2 percent are unmarried couples.” The requirements for single foster parenting vary by state but are more less limited than married couples. Though any person(s) willing to love a child and provide a safe home has a good chance of being approved even if single.
Now, does raising a successful child require both parents being present? Some possible examples could be a single mother working 2-3 jobs, 80+ hours a week, with a small support system if any that sits at her son’s military graduation ceremony, proudly. A grandparent that visits her granddaughter at the detention center, where she is being held after attacking a staff member at her high school. Her parents died when she was a toddler in a car accident. Grandma is involved in the church and neighborhood watch committee, however cannot control her teenaged granddaughter. But, what about the couple down the street. They both work week day jobs and bring in 6 figure incomes and their son is addicted to drugs and skips school 2-3 days a week. He is usually home when his parents get home and is super polite. They just don’t seem to notice the nice new shoes he stole with his friends from the Nike Outlet, maybe because they are too busy working. Maybe because they make a lot of money they assume their son would never have to steal. Isn’t having both parents an advantage for this kid? Why would he need to get high or steal? Doesn’t he get twice the attention?
All of these would be debatable assumptions. No one knows why that single mom is single. Was she a victim of rape who decided to keep her innocent fetus? Is the Grandma single because the grandpa already passed away, so she once had a father in the house? Is that couple going through marital problems, are they abusive or possibly addicted to drugs themselves? We don’t know. Does it matter? What would be the difference in each of these examples? Can we say for sure that if things were different these kids would be different?
In the article- Advantages & Disadvantages for Children in a Single-Parent Family By Modern Mom Staff, it is stated that “Parents and children undergo some difficult changes when they go from being a traditional family to a single-parent family” and that some disadvantages to being in a single-parent home consist of; “a decrease in household income, less quality time, scholastic struggles, sense of loss, and difficulties accepting new relationships.” Single parents are on a two-way street, one direction is success one is struggle. Some single parents work to make just enough to keep the bills paid and decent food in the home. Some single parents work and can provide wants and needs of their children, and some single parents go without being able to fully pay each bill or provide a decent amount of food in the fridge. According to thebalance.com, “There are six major U.S. welfare programs. They are TANF, Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, EITC and Housing Assistance.” The federal government provides the funding, but these programs are not entitlement programs. The requirement application is more than 8 pages long, but most eligibility is based on prior contributions from payroll taxes. Does that mean everyone is approved? No. The government can deem that you make “too much” money to need assistance or that you don’t make enough.