The number of children being raised in a single-parent family is higher than ever before.

In earlier civilisations, the untimely death of a partner was usually the only circumstance surrounding a single-parent family. But in the modern era, there are many reasons that contribute to the sharp increase of single-parent families.

Issues such as divorce, infidelity, teenage pregnancies and short-term hook-ups are the prevalent causes. According to the 2017 United States Census Bureau, there are around 12 million single-parent families in the United States. That is 25% of the total US population!

Shockingly, more than 80% of these families are headed by single mothers.

A single parent will do their utmost best to raise a child with the love, care and attention needed to not let the child feel the loss of the other parent. However, it is the natural order of things for a family to consist of both of the parents. And it is difficult to go against nature.

A child may seem happy and content in the earlier stage of their life. In fact, it is likely that a single parent won’t notice much wrong unless they really pay close attention. However, the effect of growing up in a single-parent family can leave long-lasting and serious damage that only surfaces as the child grows older.

The question is, what are some of these struggles? Here are some of the possible issues a child from a single-parent family can face – even later in life.

Bad or aggressive behavior

A child from a broken family is three times more likely to become badly behaved or aggressive as they grow older, according to a study carried out by the UK Office for National Statistics.

Children from single-parent families are 4.53 times more likely to develop emotional problems than those whose parents stayed together. They also were 2.87 times more likely to show signs of behavioral disorders.

These disorders then require a great deal of willpower and constant effort to control as a person grows older. In other words, it becomes an uphill struggle and many people give up even trying to fight it at all.

This can then lead to anger management or, in some extreme cases, sociopathic behavior that isolates a person from others and pushes them away from society.

Lack of discipline

Poor behavior can lead to a lack of discipline and destructive actions in a single-parent family. It can be challenging for a single parent to reinforce rules and discipline a child due to the lack of support from a partner.

Kids may begin to misbehave at school or can become rebellious during their teenage years. This can lead to getting into all sorts of trouble with the law as they get older.

Many children carry the pain of not having both parents in the home. As a result, they can begin to ease their hurt with drugs or alcohol abuse once they enter high school. Addiction is a vicious trap that once someone falls into, it becomes increasingly difficult to come out from.

Poor academic performance

Most single parents spend countless hours working to make ends meet and support their family. In many cases, they simply do not have enough time to get everything done. This can lead to children growing up to feel neglected and lonely.

This lack of supervision can cause poor performance in school or with homework. This inevitably leads to poor work ethics and difficulty holding a job when they get older.

They may also not receive as much guidance with their studies or recognize their academic strengths. The results of this include overall job dissatisfaction and never truly learning what their “calling” in life is.

Adults suffering from depression associate their mental illness with feeling like they have no purpose in life. Childhood traumas contribute greatly to the feeling of low self-worth.

Fear of commitment

Many adults that grow up in a single-parent family have been exposed to the toxic and negative environment of a divorce. Serious commitment phobia is a side effect of facing such situations.

In some cases, they refuse to believe in the foundation of marriage. They can be victim to deep-rooted beliefs and misconceptions that there is no loyalty in the world, and that they will never find true love and commitment.

For a person to go through life without the love and acceptance they deserve is quite possibly the worst feeling.

Surprisingly, many of these problems actually start surfacing in childhood or early adolescence but aren’t given the importance they deserve. They are usually brushed off as hormones or teenage immaturity. Or perhaps the single parent is too busy to even notice these issues.

The good news is, once a single parent knows what to keep an eye out for, it becomes easier to steer the child in the right direction. Correct communication and outside social activities such as team sports are good starting points to curb these potential future problems.

What are your experiences as a single parent, or a child of a single parent? Share your thoughts with us below.



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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Pimp Ho Pastor

    As an African American my problem while growing up and having difficulties was not because of a single parent for I was raised with a single parent. The problem was due to a lack of teaching me how to figure things out on my own intelligently (discipline). Another problem was showing me affection and love. It had nothing to do with the fact of being raised by a single parent. In the older days of civilian life it was actually one parent that did the disciplining. It was usually the mother who did the disciplining and only requested help from the father to reinforce her if it was necessary. The author seems to think that the problem with children now days is from having a single parent. This is false. It is because of a lack of caring and discipline. Rebellion in a child is caused from a lack of caring and discipline. When a child rebels they may be terrible at school with their grades. Some get involved in crime and take drugs. Still others will shoot up their schools or other innocent people. When a child rebels they harm themselves or others to get back at their parents in a effort to make things better. When this happens it is evidence that the child is not taught to make change using appropriate measures. Sadly the way the welfare system was designed caused parents to neglect their children in this way. The perpetuation of poverty is at least proof of this in the inner city. Welfare mothers simply did not need to discipline their children in order to receive welfare. They were no longer worried about their future either. For the government welfare had provisions when they got older until they die. This is what leads most children to having problems as a child and when they get older if not resolved. More well to do children simply were neglected by their parents failure to discipline them right. No matter the cause, parents who neglect their children causes their children to rebel in a effort to make things right with them. Only instead they end up harming themselves. Having a single parent has never been the problem with children. It was the neglect of a parent that failed to discipline and love the child. There is simply no excuse for a parent in the home to do this. It is more so that mothers more than fathers neglect their children this way. The reason for this is obvious that fathers would be the one not in the home in most cases.

  2. Tammy

    I guess my kids are an exception. I raised twin girls as a single parent, and although there were power struggles, they both did outstanding in school, and now as young adults. If you are a single parent, don’t let articles such as this have you believing your kids are gonna be trouble makers. From what I have seen in our society, kids are running wild no matter how many parents are in the house.

    Single parent or not, parents don’t take the time nor the effort to discipline their kids and have tied the school systems hands in doing so. It takes no effort to allow a kid to do as he/she wishes. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to teach a child correct behavior and consequences. I spend thousands of hours, to my kids dismay, explaining to them why what they did was wrong, telling them of possible outcomes if the behavior continued, and just about the hard knocks of life in general.

    I have seen very bad kids come from good two parent homes, and I have seen very good kids come from horrible single parent homes. All it takes is one good role model who is always there for the kid to make a difference.

    1. Pimp Ho Pastor

      Great comment. My point exactly. It doesn’t matter that a child is raised by one parent. It matters only that the children are disciplined and shown love affection. It matters to actually be a mentor and a parent to a child. When people say things like a child needs two parents or that a woman cannot raise a child it’s just a cop out. A child just needs two parents to be made. It actually just takes one to raise a child the right way. Weak and unwise people are always looking for someone else to blame when they are at fault. These people have a behavioral addiction like any drug. SADLY, posts like these are like the drug pushers and enablers for unwise parents. Thanks for your personal example and comment.

  3. Carolyn Jeffery

    Having raised three children on my own and then, after the death of one of my daughters, raising her three children on my own, I am pretty sure that love and caring is the secret to creating good kind people. Yes two great parents is the ideal, but if there is problems in that relationship the children suffer especially if there is domestic violence or even just indifference. Single parent relationships, if they are good ones teach kids to be resilient and responsible. Better to be a single parent who puts the welfare of their children before a codependent or crippled relationship. Society need to support families more weather single or couples. Good families supported by good schools create good people. Cooperation, caring and kindness are what makes good kids however the family is made up. Teach the to respect themselves and others, cut alcohol, violence gambling and drugs out of the equation. Lead by example and teach them personal responsibility.

    1. Pimp Ho Pastor


  4. Louise

    Love and affection is what it is all about. If the parent is cold and unloving detached from their child they may grow up to have these issues yes. However My mum raised my sister and I as a single parent and honestly she showed us enough love and care to show us what kind of people to be. All I wanted was to make my mum proud of me and repay her for what she has done for and still does at 27 years old. I wouldn’t hurt a fly and I’m a big pushover the big softie too. I’ve had to grow up faster being the older sister and very serious for my age however on the other hand I have done well for myself and my mum and dad are proud of me. My sister is a little mischievous but never horrible just likes a party with her friends but still done very well for herself. Young and free. I agree with most on here it’s about love and care. Showing any child love and care will make them kind hearted. The more kindhearted children the better. No matter how hard my mum had it we were always cared for. First on her list. Like all children should be to their parent/parents. I really believe that is enough to show them the way. Of course discipline but more importantly love ❤️

  5. Rebecca Gonzalez

    Children that are abandoned by a parent causes a child lots of mental and insecurity problems especially if it’s the mother that walks away I have seen this in two cases where the father is left to raise his children alone while the mother has run of with her lover in this scenario it cause severe breakdown on a child’s upbringing

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