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Few of us set out to become single mums, but life has this crafty way of changing our carefully-laid plans.

For this reason, more and more women are finding themselves as just that … single mothers. And with this status, comes a whole new set of complications and emotions. Most significantly, surrounding the well-being of our children.

How will our break-up affect them? Will living between two homes leave them in disarray? Will they be able to function normally as adults? Or will they become crazed hermits, unable to find love and end up living in a house full of cats?

Well, in answer to the above, you really don’t have to worry. Children of separated parents are perfectly able to have healthy, happy lives. And not only that, they can thrive from it.

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Let me explain why.

They are more realistic

The beauty of being a kid is that life is full of fairy floss and flowers and no-one wants to snatch this from an innocent child, but children of separated parents are privvy to reality sooner. My daughters watch me work two jobs in order to pay a mortgage. They know that working = paying bills = surviving. They learn that not everything in life is perfect and easy, making their expectations more realistic.

They have a happier home

We know that the rate of separation is rising. Yet, I don’t believe anyone takes separation lightly when children are involved. If you have broken up, it would be for a good reason, most probably because you were miserable. Your child will have been part of the atmospheric black cloud placed over your home. When their parents separate, their home will naturally become a happier place with less conflict and negativity.

They are more organised

Living between two homes, alternate weekends, whatever the set-up, children of separated families have to be more organised in a practical sense. They must consider things that children from partnered parents are oblivious to. They need foresight and must learn to plan. Being organised in their home life filters into their school life, meaning they are able to learn better and excel at school.

They are more compassionate

Going through a family break-up means a child will see and deal with emotions that they may otherwise not have experienced at this point in their lives. They gain an understanding and empathy which they can use to help others. When my daughter’s friend’s parents argue, they tend to tell my daughter, as she ‘gets it’ and is able help by relating to her own experiences. It makes her sympathetic, responsive and gives her a wonderful sense of self-worth.

They are more resilient

However hard we try to protect our children from the pains of separation, they will be affected. Emotional and practically. By having no choice but to deal with these issues, children of separation become stronger people. They start to build on life experiences from an early age. They cope with different homes, different routines and different rules. The result is a more adaptable child who can take change in their stride.

They are more open-minded

We’d all like the stereotypical family from the Myer Christmas ads. Where parents, siblings, grandparents and Great Aunty Sybil get along like a house on fire. But we don’t need what the media consider the norm to be happy. Children of separated parents have experience of being happy and loved in a different type of family unit. This opens their mind to the differences of people and situations. It makes them less-prejudiced and more accepting as they encounter other situations that fall outside the periphery of ‘normal’.

They are more independent

A child who lives with only one parent has to pull their weight around the house. They are generally expected (well, needed) to help with household chores. Not only does this make them more capable and independent, but they also feel like a valued member of the household team. There is no doubt that self-sufficiency and independence as a child, makes for confident and go-getting young adults.

Do you know some children of single parents who are thriving? Share with us in the comments.

  • i know some single parents whose only goal in life is to ruin the relationship with the other parent and childrenThen i know some that are amazing as well

    Reply

  • It depends on the mother/father with single parent children – some turn out wonderful and others don’t.

    Reply

  • Whilst this makes some sense, the kids I know of split homes really struggle with many things, particularly in the teenage years. I’ve seen some kids go off the rails, and some who just need support and to know that someone is there for them.

    Reply

  • Some good qualities for children to have but important to note as others have mentioned this is not always the case.

    Reply

  • I’m glad you have such positive experience with thriving children after your divorce ! Sadly I’ve seen that this isn’t the case for all.

    Reply

  • interesting read but I’m not so sure-have know some kids of single parents who are a total mess and completely selfish

    Reply

  • This assumes the father was on the scene and still sees the child. My partner of 7yrs left for another woman when we found out I was pregnant and doesn’t want to be part of our lives. My child will be raised in a happier and more realistic home having never met his father. They don’t need two homes. His son to a previous relationship is not so lucky. His parents always tried to buy him and competed for affection. I feel sorry for any woman who ends up with him as an adult because he’s been spoonfed and only shown how to not treat women.

    Reply

  • I know children of single mothers who are the total opposite. The mothers are messes and really shouldn’t be a patent

    Reply

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