The mother and the father, both clearly play defined roles in the development of a child’s personality. While the mother teaches the child things like kindness and love, the father reinforces messages like hard work and dedication. Due to various reasons, there are a number of children who end up growing up with single parents. Both the child and the parent have to deal with a lot of hardships.
The patterns observed also differ based on whether the single parent is the mother or the father. There are various negative effects to this, and few of them have been listed below.
- Social disconnect: Most children growing up with a single parent do not feel normal. There is a constant feeling of confused identity. In some cases, the children may not be able to cope with these hardships leading to depression and decreased self-confidence. In the long run, the child may be less compassionate and supportive and more aggressive and confused. There could be a sense of resentment towards the parents for forcing him to live with a single parent. The kid may also despise other children who grow up with both parents. They may also have very less friends and social connect than kids with both parents
- Odd combination: If a single mother is raising a son, her contribution to his growth is very limited from a psychological point of view. They would always look for a father figure whom they can reach out to. Same is the case with a girl growing up with a single father. She misses the mother with whom alone she would be able to share some things. The overall personality in both these cases is significantly altered from boys and girls who grow up with both parents.
- Performance levels: The stress of living with single parents puts pressure on the child constantly, and there could be performance dip in academics, sports, and co-curricular activities. These children also tend to become uncooperative; therefore getting them to follow the school curriculum becomes difficult. The chances of them dropping out of education and getting expelled from school are quite high.
- Social menaces: The incidence of smoking, alcohol abuse, and substance abuse is quite high and also happens much earlier in these kids. Because of the constant stress they are in, these become outlets for them to be themselves.
- Sexual abuse: With single parent children, the chances of sexual abuse (by them and of them) are also quite high.
These are some of the psychological problems that children growing up with single parent face. Although this may not be the case with all the children as every child has a different thinking and reaction. However unpleasant it may be, this continuous battle on raising a child alone and addressing these issues has to be fought every single day. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychologist.