Teamwork is essential when it comes to the task of raising children.
Said teamwork is made much easier when the two parents are together and living under the same roof, as each can take turns with the responsibilities that go along with child-rearing while giving the other a chance to take a short break in the interim.
On the other hand, there is that group of single parents who do not have the luxury of relying on one another when it comes to the grind of daily life with the children.
As the divorce rate continues its upward climb, single parent families are seemingly becoming the norm. As a matter of fact, single parenting statistics cite that approximately 13.6 million adults in the United States are presently raising their minor children in the one-parent environment.
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In many instances the occurrence of raising a child as a single parent is the outcome of a divorce in the family. As a result, the number of single father parenting households is on the rise. Yet no matter how prevalent the situation of being a single parent has become, there are still several parenting myths that go along with the notion of bringing up a child by oneself.
First on the single parenting myth list is the idea that the mother will be rewarded with the custody of a child a majority of the time.
Though this notion might have been true ten or more years ago, much has changed in the field of family law since that time period. As long as both parents are mentally and physically healthy and stable, a judge will make a custodial decision based on the following factors:
•the amount of income each parent brings in;
•the safety of the residential area where each parent has made his or her home;
•the quality of the school districts in said areas;
•and other miscellaneous aspects that will aid the judge in making the right decision on behalf of the minor children.
Therefore, if it is the father who meets the above criteria more successfully than the mother, it should be expected that he is awarded primary custody of the couple’s youngsters.
Next on the single parenting myth list is the belief that children in single parent homes have more behavioral problems than those adolescents who live with both their mother and their father.
It is true that the best scenario for any child enmeshed in the stages of growing up is to have his or her two parents present in the same household.
But if a child is being raised in a single parent atmosphere, this situation does not automatically turn that child into a disciplinary challenge. In other words, youngsters brought up by single parents are no more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or receive bad grades in school than their peers living in homes where the parents are married, as many studies have shown.
The third myth regarding single parenting is the suggestion that a single parenting home is also a broken home.
Many spouses who have chosen to divorce have cited this decision as the reason why their homes are no longer considered “broken” – because after the divorce is final, the two warring parents are no longer situated under the same roof and consequently exposing their children to the perpetual fights between the adults.
It is not true that children in single parent families have lower self esteem than those adolescents living with both of their parents. Thus, this incorrect belief comprises the next single parenting myth.
One of the main factors that affects the self esteem of children is the income level of their parents.
For example, it is quite difficult for a child to watch as his friends receive all the hot toys on the market during the winter holidays, but because his parents (single or married) are in the bracket of lower earning he knows he won’t see any of those toys for himself.
And since a two-parent family can be just as likely to experience income issues as a single parent family, the children from a single parent household are no more or less susceptible to self esteem problems than those from a family of two parents.
The fifth and final myth on the single parenting subject has to do with child support payments from one spouse to the other.
The amount of child support paid is based in part on the number of days of the year the paying parent spends with the minor children. If the two parents decide they want to share equal custody and therefore equal time with their children, the paid child support total will decrease as a result.
Does this mean the children suffer because the parent receiving the payments now has less money to spend when they are in her custodial care?
The answer to this question is also what debunks the myth.
Child support payments are doled out to compensate for the time the paying parent is not spending with the minor children.
To put it another way, if one parent has primary custody then he or she naturally spends more funds on the children, which is where the child support comes in to help cover that additional money spent.
But money cannot replace the time spent with a parent, which is why a child is better off having equal time with each adult in place of the payments his other parent would receive instead.
It is common knowledge that the ideal situation for children is to live with both parents.
Regardless, it is comforting to know that if a child must be brought up in a single parent home, he has just as much a chance of successfully thriving in his future life as a child who has both of his parents together on a daily basis.