Over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called “nuclear family” consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, and some headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.
When you think of a typical Kenyan family, what comes to your mind?
A while ago, people would have thought of a mom, a dad and maybe a brother or sister but in today’s society there’s been a huge increase in single parent households since the 90’s.
Many children are living with only one parent for support, love and guidance. More than 200 000 children are living in a single parent household.
Just think about how many children are growing up in such homes.
Children in these families have single parents because they are either going through divorce, a parent chose not to stick around or a parent passed away.
Single parenting affects children emotionally and socially.
Children with both parents in the home — earning two incomes — tend to have better financial and educational advantages. The effects of a single-parent home on a child’s behavior can be far-reaching and impact several areas of life, including academic achievement and social behaviors.
The lack of financial support from a father often results in single mothers working more, which can in turn affect children because they receive less attention with their homework. According to research children with single mothers who have contact and emotional support from their fathers tend to do better in school than children who have no contact with their fathers
Emotionally living in poverty is stressful and can have many effects on children’s self-esteem and an increased risk of violent behavior. Besides financial constraints, other emotional effects of growing up in a single parent household may include feelings of abandonment, sadness, loneliness and difficulty socializing.