Single parenting begins with the divorce of a couple who have children. Approximately ninety percent of all minor children live primarily with their mothers. Non custodial fathers usually have less than biweekly contact with their children, and involvement usually declines as time goes by. Since most single-parent households are mother-headed, and have only one income, often below that of a man. This results in economic distress and fewer opportunities for educational and extracurricular experiences.
Economic constraints may limit growth enhancing experiences. Even children whose fathers pay substantial child support are faced with limiting experiences. Children hate divorce because having two of the most important people in your life living apart hurts. For children, divorce is not a one time event, but a continued process. This is a traumatic experience for the children because it leaves them feeling alone, as if nobody in the world cares about them. Single parenting affects each child differently according to that child’s age.Order now
Infants and young children can feel abandoned by the decision of parents to get divorced. Most infants and young children need to feel, hear, and see both parents in order to bond with their parents. This bond is important for their parent/child relationship later in the child’s life. Parenting is difficult at this age because this young child requires great amounts of nurturing. Single parents dont have time to give the proper nurturing because they are forced to work and take care of the household duties alone and therefore become extremely stressed because they worry about their children getting enough of their attention.
Preschool aged children need a daily schedule.
They have certain times for naps, lunch, dinner, and play. They like their certain toys, certain spots on the rug, certain people, and certain television shows. In the book, Growing Up With Divorce by Niel Kalter, he states that, an inconsistent daily schedule can cause distress in preschool age children in much the same way as it does in infants and toddlers (136). Parents need to maintain the daily schedule. This is most difficult for the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. The non custodial parent must try to accomplish a schedule of their own, that must include the needs and wants of the child.
Depending on the work situation of this parent, it can be a quite difficult task. Preschool age children can develop stress reactions when they dont live with their non custodial father. The attachment many children develop with their father by the preschool years makes them sensitive to changes in the amount of time they spend with him and interact with him. In these instances, the changes in the quality of the father-child relationship can be difficult at best. A younger child can not always understand who their father really is. This leaves fathers feeling desparate for time with their child.
When the father spends time with his children, he is liable to stretch the time they have together by taking the children home later, which causes stress for the mother because she has such negative feelings toward the father. This becomes fuel for confrontations with the father.
The elementary school age is the third stage of child development. Children gain an increased capacity for abstract thinking. Children of divorced parents have frightening fantasies and dreams of being abandoned or hurt as a result of their parents rage towards each other. Carla B.
Garrity and Mitchell A. Baris, authors of Caught in the Middle, explain how children of six to eight years of age, are often directly involved with their parents disputes. Research suggests that parents encourage children of this age to take part in their quarrels. These children are like a communication channel. Mom may use children as spies to learn details at dads house. Dad encourages children to harass and complain to their mother about things he dislikes himself.
Ninety-five percent of children this age witness episodes of verbal abuse between their parents (31-32). Mothers may find themselves spending a great deal of time trying to make the father look bad. Children begin to dislike their mother for what she is doing to dad. In Warner Troyers book, Divorced .