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Running head: SINGLE PARENTING 1

Single Parenting

Kai A. Brown

Liberty University


I. Description of the Problem

According to, “Single-parents families are defined as households in

which there is at least one child under the age of 18 and there is only one parent in the

household because of divorce, death or because the parent never married.” As a result,

children raised in single parent households are without either a male of female presence

in the home depending on which parent is raising the child or children. Depending what

sources one uses the opinions range from, children who grow up in single parent

households are doomed or they are not affected at all. Some believe that compared with

teenagers of similar backgrounds who grow up with both parents in the household

children who have lived apart from one parent at any point in their childhood are twice as

likely to drop out of school and have children before the age of twenty (McLanahan, &

Sandefur, 1994, p.2). There are some difficulties in raising a child alone, however

Matthew 19:26 states, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but

with God all things are possible’.”

II. Statistical Data on the Topic

The statistics vary on the affects of single parenting. According to the Washington

Post, “One in four children in the United States is being raised by a single parent — a

percentage that has been on the rise and is higher than other developed countries”

(Armario, 2011). , according to a report released Wednesdayody Dysmorphic Disorder

had been limited statistical data, however, as time progressed research, according to

Phillips (1998) has been able to compile information suggesting that nearly 1% to 2.4%

of adults are impacted by this disorder. Whereas, more than 2%to 13% of students are

impacted, 13% to 16% of people hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital, 9% to 14% of

people seeking treatment from a dermatologist and 3% receive cosmetic surgery. The

percentages translate into millions of people in the United States, alone, suffering from

BDD and studies suggest BDD may be equally common in adult male and female

(Phillips, 1998).

III. Symptoms of the Problem

The symptoms of single parenting are a concern for both the parent and the child.

Each person in the single parent household can be affected differently. BDD consist of a

person being preoccupied with imaginary physical flaws (“Medicinenet,” n.d.), usually

facial or places easily viewed by people. Excessive time is spent focusing on the flaws

and the noticeable behavior is trying to hide the imperfection. Also, there is consistent

comparison to and seeking validation from others. Receiving cosmetic surgery is viewed

as a trigger for BDD, as well, and can make the disorder worse.

Additionally, being avoidant, so much so, there is a significant disturbance to the

individual’s life: social, work, school or other areas of functioning. These are the

requirements according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders

(DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (2000). The four criteria’s that

have to be met is exhibiting repetitive behaviors, preoccupation areas are not restricted to

concern with body fat or weight in an eating disorder (American Psychiatric Association,

2000) and asking for reassurance about his or her appearance from others. Furthermore,

frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction, excessive grooming, such as hair

plucking, extreme self-consciousness, refusal to appear in pictures, skin picking.


Delusion may set in by imagining something about the body that’s not true, not matter

how much someone tries to convince them otherwise.

IV. Cause of the Problem

There is no one factor that is known to be the cause of single parent households.

However, there is a combination of cause such divorce, death of a spouse, or a woman

choosing to have a child out of wedlock. There is no specific brain chemical differences,

structural brain difference that influence single parenthood. There are however many

environmental influences. Environmental influences, can include, but is not limited to, a

traumatic even taking place, having a spouse being unfaithful, not being married by

desiring children, and numerous others. Lastly, societal expectations can place pressure

on a couple that is unrealistic and causes marital problems that can lead to divorce and

single parent families. In this day and age it is not unusual to have women who have

never been married, but want children having a child or even adopting one.

V. Treatment of the Problem

When one looks at the problem of single parenthood, one must wonder if there is

or if there needs to be a treatment for the problem. The one suggestion I would give to

single mothers is that if they have a son that they find a male role model with whom the

son can connect. Preferably one with a strong Christian foundation who is willing to

work diligently in making sure her son becomes a man. As women we do not necessarily

understand what young men face and having that strong male influence will help. The

same is true for single fathers raising daughters. Young girls also need to have a male

role model so that she can learn proper male-female relations. Another suggestion is to

make sure that she as a single parent is taking time for self-care. “The tendency of all

single parents is to forget that caring for oneself is not just an individual right but an

obligation to the family’s mental health. Women in particular tend to equate “self-care”

with “selfishness” and to give the children priority over themselves consistently” (Collier,

1982, p. 108). This can create situation where the single parent does not feel valued and

becomes frustrated. However, when one takes time out for self rejuvenation occurs and

along with it the ability to face the next thing. Although some may believe that a child

raised in a single parent home will have more issues than a child raised by two parents, a

child who is nurtured and loved regardless of the number of parents in the home is less

likely to experience these issues.

VI. Biblical Perspectives

Clearly God had a plan for the family. Genesis 1:26-28a states, “Then God said,

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in

the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all

the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in

the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them

and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” So

when we multiply we are to do it as a male and female and raise the child in the same

fashion. However when Adam and Eve fell all sorts of issues arose out of their sin and

this includes damage between the male and female relations.

Marriage is God ordained and the consummation of marriage is the only true way

in which children should be created. However, fornication in this day and age is

unfortunately the norm and therefore too many children are born out of wedlock. This

present a situation that God did not intend. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 states, “For this is the

will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one

of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust

like the Gentiles who do not know God” (ESV). So for that reason as a single parent for

whatever reason self control is the order of the day. This self control will help to teach the

children in a single parent household how to be self controlled, not giving into the desires

of the flesh. Although this may not be an easy task 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “No

temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not

let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the

way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (ESV). So when temptation comes, and

it will, remember that God is faithful and provides a way out of the temptation.

As a mother, in spite of how you became a single parent, loving and nurturing the

child is a requirement. Ephesians 6:4 states, “Parents, do not exasperate your children;

instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (NIV 2011). That

means as a single mother you cannot take your emotions for the father out on the child.

That does not mean that the child should not be disciplined. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train

up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it”

(NASB). So as a single mother you must find that balance between discipline and


VII. Suggested Homework

First, realize that God is in control of all things. Next create a list of positive role

models that can be helpful with the rearing of children. Then ask them if they will be

willing to help you as a single parent to teach your children appropriate male-female

interactions. Make sure you take time out for yourself as a single parent so that you do

not burn out. It is important to have boundaries set for yourself and for your children.

Determine what these boundaries are and share them with your children when it is age

appropriate. Journal any feelings that will help you to better parent and finally,

Establishing long-term and short-term goals allows for the client to have a working plan

in order to reach his or her goals.



Armairo, C. (2011, April 27). 1 in 4 children in us raised by a single parent, higher than

other developed nations. Washington Post,

Collier, Helen. (1982). Counseling women: a guide for therapist. New York, NY: The

Free PressMcLanahan,

Sarah, & Sandefur, Gary D. (1994). Growing up with a single parent: what

hurts what helps. Cambridge, MA: Havard Press.