Single Parenting

 29 Apr 2018  27

Raising children can be exhausting and sometimes onerous – more so when ‘single’ parents feel that they have to compensate for the lack of the second, they often end up overcompensating. With an idea of proving to themselves and to the rest that they are leaving no stone unturned, single parents often overexert, taking on more than they can handle, thus making parenting needlessly more difficult and unpleasant for themselves. Often, with the ‘need’ to mitigate their guilt (particularly if the parents are separated or divorced) they go out of their way to prove that they are ‘as good’ as what they believe a duo would be. Their unquestioned belief that ‘two parents raise ‘better’,’ is at the basis of their distress. A myth carried down the ages that ‘children from ‘broken’ homes are problem children,’ makes them strive to prove otherwise – and in their desperation to “show people” a one-upmanship game ensues. And parenting then becomes un-enjoyable and challenging! Single parents could help themselves by putting to test their beliefs. They need to look for evidence for their assumptions and ask, “if two is really better than one’' – how come children from those homes are afflicted with similar issues and difficulties? How come they 'suffer' the same teething problems of growing? And their kids equally under-perform, are diffident, aggressive and what have you? Instead of concluding that everything going wrong with your child is only because of solitary raising – learn to look for more legitimate causes. Add another unsupportable belief – ‘a parent is totally responsible for his child’ – and you will personalize things going awry! Because the implication is that your child is a product of only you and your upbringing. And how egotistical and anxiety producing is that?

  • Parenting is like tight rope walking. We can never be perfect parents.
  • Question your beliefs about ‘two being better than one’ and DO NOT overcompensate because you are a single parent.
  • You are not totally responsible for your child – no parent is!
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