One of the hardest jobs in the world is to be a single parent. And usually that job falls to the mother. Acting as both mother and father causes undue stress. In normal married circumstances when the kids drive you insane you yell for help from your spouse. Single parents often don’t have anyone to fall back on, and ‘role overload’ becomes one of the occupational hazards of this kind of life.
Children need the guidance and role models from both parents in order to develop in a normal way. Unfortunately though, when a divorce has happened, it is a strong indication that one or both of the parents were not good role models to begin with.
Possible adverse effects of single parenting include poor behavior and performance at school, an increased chance of becoming involved in destructive behavior such as drugs and criminal acts, and also an increased chance of becoming pregnant or being sexually active at a young age. Parenting in a one-parent family means that you must take responsibility for many decisions alone and at times this can be very stressful. Family or new relationships, parenting alone or working at shared parenting, an absent parent, answering your child’s difficult questions, making major choices – these are just some of the issues that can arise for one-parent families. Counseling and parental involvement are essential to ensure that single parenting does not have these negative effects on a child.
Counseling provides confidential, personal time to talk and be really listened to by a non-judgmental counselor. The counselor won’t tell you what to do. He or she knows that you are the person best qualified to live your life and will support you towards your own solutions.