Single Parent Families
Single-parent families are families with children under the legal age of 18, headed by a parent who is widowed or divorced and not remarried, or by a parent who has never been married. Single parenthood in India may be the result of many things. In most cases, it is an unforeseeable tragedy as in the death of one parent, divorce, or abandonment by one parent. On the other hand, many independent youngsters, today, choose to become a single parent with the help of adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood and extramarital pregnancy.
Single parents and their children often have to face stigma, violence and social problems based on myths, stereotypes, half-truths and prejudices of a traditional society. These leave a deep impact on the subconscious of the child who is reared by a single parent. As in any other situation, there are advantages and disadvantages to being a single parent family. Amongst the disadvantages are that the children tend to grow up more one sided in their knowledge of family relationships, the single parent may feel lonely, stressed out and feel the burden of making all the major decisions of their family. But the advantage comes in the form of greater self confidence in the children, it adds tremendously to their self-confidence and sense of independence. They may work harder because they have faced hardships in life from an early age and learnt how to deal with life on its own terms. Single parents are also often more independent and multi-tasking than their counter parts with a partner.
Single parent families are showing a sharp rise in today’s society. In India itself around 49% children are living in single-parent homes. Since the single parent norm becomes a common phenomenon, the parents do not feel alienated in the common society.