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Running head: Single Parents

Single Parents
Vince Jet Cacanindin
University of the Cordillera

Single Parents

INTRODUCTION
Families represent the primary setting in which most childrens lives are shaped and
determined. Central to the process of the socialization of children are the parenting behaviours
and discipline responses which children experience within family settings. Within these family
contexts, children gradually internalize social standards and expectations, which facilitate, in
turn, greater self regulation skills and responsibility. Knowledge of the range of disciplinary
tactics used by parents and of parental beliefs and attitudes to discipline strategies is, therefore,
essential in order to promote and support effective and constructive parental discipline responses
with children and young people (Halpenny, 2010).
Barber et al (2005) have identified three dimensions of parenting that appear to
characterize parental influence across multiple cultural samples, both in industrialized and nonindustrialized countries. Parental support, which refers to varied behaviours with affective,
nurturing or companionate qualities, is especially relevant to the older child and adolescents
degree of social initiative. Psychological control refers to parents actions that attempt to change
the childs thoughts or feelings, ignores or dismisses the childs views and withdraws love or
affection; such parental behaviour has been associated with the development of depressive
symptoms later in a childs life. Finally, behavioural control refers to parents monitoring and
knowledge of childrens activities and is relevant to the extent of the childs anti-social
behaviour. Differing parental values and needs are associated with variations in child-rearing
styles and the discipline responses of parents to their children (Pinderhughes et al, 2000). One of
the overarching goals of effective parenting is to support childrens development from
dependency and external control to internalization, the ability to take initiative and to be socially
responsible (Smith et al, 2005). Within family contexts, children gradually internalize social

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standards and expectations, a process that facilitates greater self-regulation skills and
responsibility for their own behaviours.
The study of parental disciplinary practices and their impact on childrens development
can be considered within a variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks, including learning
and social learning theory, the theory of moral internalization, the parenting styles approach, and
ecological/systemic approaches. One overarching theoretical perspective underpinning parental
discipline is that of learning and social learning theory. Within this approach, mechanisms of
reinforcement (or reward) and punishment are central to learning and socialization. Learning
theory suggests that the consequences of behaviour strengthens or weakens behaviour in the
future: behaviours that are rewarded continue in the childs repertoire, while behaviours that are
punished drop out (Eisenberg and Valiente, 2002). Punishment is defined as the presentation of
an aversive stimulus or the removal of a positive stimulus. According to principles of learning,
punishment following a specific behaviour is likely to lessen the likelihood of that behaviour
being repeated. Punishment can be an effective agent for behavioural change, but in order for
punishment to effectively suppress undesirable behaviour permanently, it must be immediately
and intensely administered after every transgression (Domjan, 2000). Thus, according to learning
principles, physical punishment must be administered severely enough to ensure that it is a
negative consequence for the child, in order for it to successfully suppress behaviour. This,
according to some, may become a recipe for physical abuse and injury, rather than effective
discipline (Holden, 2002). In modern social learning theory, children learn through observation
and imitation of models in their environment (Bandura, 1986). Parents provide important
information to children about behaviour expectations and possible consequences for various
behaviours; parents model relevant behaviour, and reinforce and punish children for different

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actions (Eisenberg and Valiente, 2002). One argument commonly used against physical
punishment draws on social learning theory to argue that parents who use physical punishment
with their children model aggressive behaviour for their children (Straus, 1991).
But as time passed by, there are many changes occuring in families. There are many
broken families nowadays that causes the increasing of numbers of family consisting only of a
single parent. Single parents is faced with many trials. Along are the problems on financial,
emotional, and social aspects. But even though it is hard to be a single parent. It also has a good
result when it comes to the relationship between the parent and child. The problems, effects to
the children, and any other issues will be discussed here.

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DISCUSSION
Single parenthood is defined as one or more children dependent on one parent. People
become single parents through a range of life choices and circumstances. The causes of this are
extremely varied. The other parent could have passed away, been divorced, abandoned the
family, or been summoned to active duty. Given the large number of troops overseas it is difficult
to determine how many children have been affected, or how severely.
If you look back 500 years, the parenting style was very different. The phrase 'it takes a
village to raise a child' is an accurate way to sum it up; the child would be cared for by the
parents, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and close family friends. However, as time passed
and the Industrial Revolution and modernization occurred, the 'village' shrank, and continues to
shrink. Human brains evolved to be raised by the 'village' and when it is absent then dysfunction
could potentially arise.
RA 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act provides for benefits and privileges to solo
parents and their children. It aims to develop a comprehensive package of social development
and welfare services for solo parents and their children to be carried out by the Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the lead agency, various government agencies
including NSO and other related NGOs. The comprehensive package of programs/services for
solo parents includes livelihood, self-employment and skills development, employment-related
benefits, psychosocial, educational, health and housing services.
Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold
as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the
assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance. A Solo Parent can

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directly inquire from the following agencies to avail of their services: Health Services (DOH),
Educational Services (CHED, TESDA), Housing (NHA), Parental Leave (Employer, DOLE,
CSC).
Single parenting alone is different in many ways compared to a two-parent household and
it can have its difficulties and challenges. It can also have positive benefits such as being able to
make your own decisions about parenting and having more time to spend with your children and
develop a closer connection. Children can have a very positive experience in a sole parent
household. Its important for them to know where they come from, and to know and love both
parents without feeling guilty. Single parents usually find it helps to have a strong network of
friends and family for support.
Sometimes its stressful and tiring to care for children 24-hours-a-day without help,
especially babies, toddlers, or children or young people with special needs or challenging
behaviours. Ensure you are able to take breaks, talk to someone supportive or seek support from
professionals. Single parent families often have less money than two parent families where many
have a double income. Some single parents feel grief or loss over the break-down of a
relationship or loss of a partner. One might feel alone and isolated at times and miss having
someone to share parenting with. The childs contact with and visits to their other parent, and
movement between homes can become part of life and something that have to get used to. Its
important to work out how to do this well. Whatever the challenges its important to live the life
in ways that shows children you are happy. This will help them accept and value their lifestyle.
Some single parents feel happy and relieved to be on their own and out of a situation of
conflict. One may enjoy the freedom of making own parenting choices without consulting or

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arguing with someone else. One may find more time for themselves and can choose how to
spend it. One may develop a closer connection with the child as one can spend more time
together. Single parents often discuss things with their children that they might have discussed
with the other parent, e.g. what to buy, where to go for holidays. Many children develop a
broader range of skills by being more involved in the day-to-day running of the household,
sharing chores and looking after themselves. While this is valuable learning, its important it
doesnt take over and they still have the time to do the usual things of childhood, such as being
with friends, playing sport, doing homework or just dreaming. If they are outspoken at home,
some children may have difficulty at school if they expect to be treated in the same way by
teachers. Children need the security of knowing you are the parent and the grown-up and its a
single parent's role to look after them. Its not a good idea to rely on children all the time for
company. For parents who have just separated or lost a partner, feelings can be very strong. This
is also a very difficult time for children. Get support from other family members and friends or
professionals, rather than talking with the children about one's concerns. Children need to know
that parent needs adult company too. Spend time with supportive family and friends. Sometimes
it can take a while for children to settle down after a family break-up. Children may need extra
help and understanding from parents, other family members, carers and teachers. Children are
often trying to have a relationship with parents who live apart. They can feel disloyal and
confused when they love both parents and have to listen to put downs from parents about the
other. This is very distressing to children. They often want to defend the other parent but are
afraid of getting into trouble. Its most important to keep children out of issues between parents.
Develop a range of supports for the child. It may help to have the support of an adult who is the
same sex as the child. Be choosy about who this is, and be sure they are trustworthy. Give

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thought to and make plans for your childrens future in case anything should happen. Some
children are more likely to misbehave for the parent who has them most of the time and does
most of the disciplining and daily routines. Its often easier for them to behave better for the
parent they see for a shorter time and do more fun things with. It is often easier for one parent to
be in charge of parenting, including guiding what children can do. On the other hand, being
responsible for all the discipline can be demanding. If a child moves between two homes it may
be useful to talk to their other parent about some common limits. Check with other parents if one
is unsure about what limits are reasonable for the child. Develop limits and routines that will
work for the parent and the child e.g. bed time and computer access. Growing up in this type of
home can be a very positive experience for children, who often have a close and special
relationship with the parent. Sometimes children envy their friends in two parent households, but
it may help them to know that all families have their ups and downs. Following the loss of a
parent and the family unit as they knew it, children require time to grieve. They need to feel
supported in the range of emotions or behaviours they experience. Children in single parent
households are often more mature because of the extra roles they have. Let them know a parent
feels proud of them. Make sure they have time to spend with their friends. If a parent is very
close to the children, it may be hard for them to leave home when they are ready or they may feel
guilty about leaving the parent on his/her own. Let them know that the parents have their own
lives to live and that they will be proud, not unhappy, when they grow up and are ready to make
their own choices. Take new relationships slowly. This may mean some sacrifices on a parent's
part. If a parent decides to have a partner, it can often create problems for the children. They may
show this with behaviour and feelings, whatever their age. Talk things through with them, listen
to how they feel and let them know that they are still just as important to the parent.

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CONCLUSION
The association between family structure and child well-being is frequently cited:
children who grow up with two married parents tend to fare better than others (Sigle-Rushton &
McLanahan, 2004). Most studies of family structure compare children in single-parent and
stepparent families to those living with their married, biological parents, treating these marriages
as a homogenous group. A somewhat distinct body of work shows the importance of parental
conflict for child outcomes. Children whose parents often argue score worse on measures of
academic achievement, behavior problems, psychological well-being, and adult relationship
quality; they are also more likely to form families early and outside of marriage (Amato &
Sobolewski, 2001). Examining variation in conflict between married parents is important for
social scientists because it expands our understanding of how families matter for children. It is
also important for the broader public, with marriage emerging high on the U.S. policy agenda in
recent years as a tool for improving child outcomes (Nock, 2005). Increasing marriage rates was
an explicit goal of the 1996 welfare reform legislation and a key piece of the latest welfare
reform re-authorization package (U.S. DHHS 2008). The success of marriage promotion for the
sake of children depends not just on the overall association between marriage and child wellbeing, but on how this association varies across marriages.
Growing up without both parents is associated with a host of poor child outcomes.
Children from single-parent and stepparent families have higher poverty rates and lower levels of
educational and occupational attainment than children who grow up with both their biological or
adoptive parents (DeLeire & Kalil, 2002). They report greater substance use and risk-taking
behavior, such as smoking, drinking, and drug use (Carlson, 2006). Further, these children are
more likely to have sex at an early age (Davis & Friel, 2001), to be young and 3 unmarried when

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they form their families (Kiernan & Hobcraft, 1997), and to experience the dissolution of their
own romantic unions (Amato & DeBoer, 2001).
Should parents stay together for the sake of the children? Children tend to fare better with
both married parents, but mean differences in child well-being mask important variation. Despite
caveats concerning potential underestimates of conflict, findings suggest that children from high
conflict married-parent families do more poorly in the domains of schooling and substance use,
and are at greater risk of early family formation and dissolution, relative to children from low
conflict married-parent families. In half of the research outcomes read, high conflict, stepfather,
and single mother families are statistically indistinguishable in their associations with young
adult wellbeing. These findings hold once account is taken of key mechanisms posited to link
family type and child outcomes. They are consistent with recent research on marriage and the
well-being of adults, showing that although marriage confers benefits to adults on average, those
in poor quality marriages are no better off than the single and, indeed, may fare worse on some
measures. (Hawkins & Booth, 2005). I conclude with the perhaps obvious point that marriage is
not a blanket prescription for the well-being of children, any more than it is for the well-being of
adults. Recent policy initiatives to promote marriage need to take account of how variation
within marriage relates to child well-being.

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REFERENCES
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