What Are the Disadvantages of a Single-Parent Family?

Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2021
As a single parent, you will have more things to look after, from finances to the house and kids. You may have to multitask your way through the day. This can affect both you and your children.
As a single parent, you will have more things to look after, from finances to the house and kids. You may have to multitask your way through the day. This can affect both you and your children.

A single-parent family is as common as a two-parent household. Being a single parent can be stressful but rewarding. But single parenting disadvantages can affect you and your children over the long run.

Single parenting disadvantages

‌A two-parent household can be beneficial for a child when it comes to time, money, and attention. Both parents can share responsibilities and make enough time and money for their child. 

Although a single-parent family has its benefits, it can have the following disadvantages:

1. Having less money

‌As a single parent, you may be at a financial disadvantage. Lower income can affect how much money you can spend on your children’s needs. 

2. Spending less quality time

If you're a single parent, you may have to juggle your work and your children. You will be busy trying to fulfill the roles of both parents. This can affect both you and your children. You may have to change your schedule to make time for everything. 

Parents need to spend quality time with their children. Quality time helps you check in on your kids and give them the attention they need. A single parent can get very busy trying to maintain a work-life balance. If you have multiple children, you may have trouble spending quality time alone with each child. 

3. Work overload and multitasking‌

Being a single parent gives you all the decision-making power in the house. But this can mean a work overload for you. As a single parent, you will have more things to look after, from finances to the house and kids. You may have to multitask your way through the day. And if you have multiple children, you may have to double your efforts to maintain your children’s lifestyle.

4. Negative feelings

‌Some children may be affected by and feel upset about the family situation. They may develop negative feelings about relationships and may even blame you for their problems. They may also feel a deep sense of loss and grief of losing a guardian. Not being able to process these feelings can make your children anxious and aggressive.

5. Disciplining your children 

‌If you’re adjusting to being a single parent, your children will also be adjusting to this change. You may be doing everything to make your children feel safe and loved. Still, they may feel neglected or unloved at times. Sometimes, they may even react aggressively or try to emotionally manipulate you. At times like these, you may have trouble disciplining your children. 

6. Behavioral problems 

‌If you’re a single parent, you may be less involved in your children’s studies and school activities. Children's performance at school can be affected if you don’t monitor their activities. Your child may also develop behavioral problems, be less motivated, and get lower test scores.

7. Relationship problems

‌Children of single parents may have pent-up emotions such as grief and anger. In such cases, your children may find it difficult to build new relationships. They may even have problems accepting new relationships or bonding with your potential partner.

8. Clinging to your children

‌A single, lonely parent can get attached to their children, clinging to them for constant company or support. This can make it difficult for children to be independent or leave home in the future.


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Overcoming these disadvantages

‌To overcome single-parenting disadvantages, you can:

1. Give your children love and attention

Each day, set aside some time to spend with your children. You can play, read, or just sit with them. Shower your children with love and praise whenever you can. Make them feel loved and supported.      

2. Set rules

Create a set of house rules, explain them to your children, and enforce them. This will help your children stay disciplined. For example, you can set limits on screen time.

3. Give your children responsibilities 

Talk to your children if you’re having a hard time. Give them responsibilities that they can handle. You can set rules that will reward your children when they complete their chores and responsibilities. You can even ask them to help you with housework. In this way, you can even spend more time with your children.

4. Create a schedule

Setting a routine with fixed activities at regular times can help you and your children manage time. Schedule mealtimes and bedtimes so that your child takes on the responsibility while knowing what to expect.

5. Find quality childcare

You may have a hard time managing your work and family. For quality childcare, hire a professional caregiver instead of a babysitter. Childcare can help you keep your child in a safe environment.  

6. Take care of yourself

Don't feel guilty or blame yourself for being a single parent. Give yourself a break from your daily routine sometimes. Ensure that you take care of yourself by eating healthy food and getting good sleep

7. Seek help

If you need extra hands, don’t hesitate to seek help from family and friends. You can also join a support group for single parents.

8. Stay positive

Make the most of every day and enjoy your time with your children. Acknowledge your and your children’s feelings. Stay positive and focus on the well-being of your family. 

Final thoughts

‌A single-parent family may require more work from you. But like two-parent families, many single-parent families are successful. You and your children may have to make a few compromises and adjustments. But these disadvantages can be overcome so that your children can thrive.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 9/8/2021

Better Health Channel: “Single parenting.”

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA: “The Disadvantages of Single-Parent Homes.”

BYU: “Being a Successful Single Parent.”

raisingchildren.net.au: “Single parents and positive single parenting.”

Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars Briefing Report: “Single Parenthood and Children’s Well-Being.”