What could be the reason behind lone parent families?


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An assessment carried out by the Single Parents Association of Uganda revealed that about 50% of families in Uganda are single parent with the majority of whom being single mothers

A lone parent, also known as a single parent, is a person who has a child or children but does not have a spouse or live-in partner to assist in the upbringing and support of the child.

There are a number of factors that come into play and cause one to become a lone parent:

Promiscuity is one of the major factors that have widened the gap for single parents, where people get involved with many sexual partners without restrictions because they are more interested in satisfying their sexual desires with no boundaries, some of which result in having children they are not ready to raise together.

Domestic violence, about 418 of the 17,664 cases reported at police resulted into death of the victims, the most common forms of domestic violence are physical beatings, sexual violence, family neglect and verbal abuse, this kind of acts leave partners no choice than to separate and raise children single handedly.

Social breakdown and HIV/AIDS have led to millions of parents and grandparents in Uganda raising children alone. Many also care for orphans who would otherwise be homeless. These single parents, most of whom are women, face immense challenges to earn money to meet their families’ needs.

Breaking up of nuclear families like divorce, separation, death create lone- parents, these has been gradual and the numbers are increasing.

The desire for independence and the freedom to do what one wants without restrictions has led to an increase in single parenting, as one parent does not want to be controlled and tied down. Some partners feel they can do certain things all by themselves without support from their spouses, so they see no need for a complete family.

Cultural and religious norms play a role in affecting single parenthood, where some tribes insist on marrying within their own tribe and also marrying into their own religions, yet one could have children already with the said partner.

Effects of single parenting on the child

Single-parent children can feel frightened, stressed, and frustrated by the difference between their lives and their friends’. Children of single parents are more prone to various psychiatric illnesses, alcohol abuse, and suicide attempts than children from homes with two parents.

Ways to reduce single-parent stress

  • Single parenting after divorce is a reality that many people face, accept, and deal with it maturely.
  • Know that you are not alone; there are many more people who are single parents. Talk to them and get ideas on how to cope.
  • Keep up a routine, make sure you don’t change and fall behind on family important days, even as a single parent, be there for the child and desist from bad mouthing the absentee parent
  • Attain financial stability; find ways of sustaining yourself financially without having to rely on handouts.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself; love yourself and do things that make you happy, but with caution.
  • Give yourself some free time; you need time alone to adjust. Don’t rash yourself.

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