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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Ironies of Life: Journey of a Single Parent

    Most children grow up with parents and cannot or would not have imagined growing up with just father or mother only around them. For various reasons in life, some parent (father or mother) have to face a difficult situation of bring up a child on their own.

    The single parent living and bringing up children in such circumstances have unique social and emotional issues, bear unnecessary or inappropriate comments passed by friends, elders and neighbors. As the child matures into an adult, the parent is further burdened by the inability to interact with the child on certain issues, like a father with a teenage daughter or a single mother with a teenage son.

    But I always admire both the single parent and the child because they face many hurdles at various stages, bear subtle discrimination socially and within family circles but come out successfully with their heads held high.

    A single parent or a child brought up by a father or a mother alone, deserves our respect instead of sympathy or a biased opinion, for they do a wonderful job single handedly, when many couples in a family struggle and grumble.
  • #624081
    It is a difficult proposition for a single parent to bring up their child. One has to take the roles of two. Really a very difficult proposition. Both the child as well as the parent will have the difficulty.
    During my high school studies, one Brahmin family was staying in a small house near our house. The mother and the boy were staying there. The boy was a little innocent type. All his relatives were using him for small works in their house. He was not able to concentrate on the studies. His mother was taking care of the family as his father was not there with the small income they are getting from their fields. They used to stay in a rented house. I still remember how that boy was treated by his relatives as they were not rich. He was not able to complete his SSC also. Somehow he has managed a job as a postman in another nearby village and left there. I saw the plight of that lady in bringing up that above. Really painful.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #624095
    I find another irony in this matter.

    In the early days our forefathers and leaders have to do great efforts for a acceptance of widow/widower remarriage. Similarly fo the divorcees.
    However the irony is hat when society has become ready and more liberal to see that widows/widowers/divorcees get remarried and lead a partnered life, rather than face loneliness, now a days many people prefer to stay unmarried or in the case of widowed/divorced stay single by not going for a second marriage. Many voluntarily prefer to be single parents by adopting a child .

  • #624118
    Nice topic initiated by the author. I have seen single parents either mother or the father coping up with the grown up child and unable to understand fully well as the father has to deal with daughter and the mother has to cope up with the grown up son. For the daughter there has been persistent fear that she should not leave her mother even after marriage and wants to marry such boy who can adjust and stay with them. For the grown up boy, his botheration whether after marriage with his wife adjust with his mother as he cannot leave her alone. Such kind of challenging situations are faced. One of my friend who has only daughter and was living happily was suddenly came with the shock of his life as his son law took her to the US for permanent settlement leaving him in lurch. Now the old man is living with great difficulty of course with financial help from them.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #624123
    This topic is very much personal to me. I was brought up by a single parent. I like the statement of author that, they need to be respected instead of sympathy. Yes, that is true. Many do not preferred to be a single parent, it happens unfortunately. True, that the responsibility for a single parent and his/her children also high. They don't simply sit and grumble their own fate and feel handicapped, instead, they actually prefer to row against the flow of life and persist through inappropriate comments of people around them.

    Even the closest relatives cannot digest the growth of such kids because, they would have imagined a different life, once the mother or father passed away. Kids, whose mother passed away will be expected to have immoral values and kids, whose father was passed away will be expected to undergo financial problems. When they overcome their cheap thoughts, they will get affected with their jealous eyes for sure.

    But there are people, who actually emphasis them and extend their helping hand either financially or morally. I have come across few good hearted people, who understands the true needs and come forwards to do the needful. There are some people who helps and expect to be their slave for lifetime, by keep telling, "what could have been your life, if I would have not helped you?". For these reasons, Both single parent and their kids need to be careful in seeking help from people. There are many chances to be misused.

    Life of a kid, brought up by a single parent:
    1. Have to come across, financial problems
    2. overcome the useless comments
    3. persist to go ahead,
    4. work hard to bring meaning to the life of his/her parent
    4. prayers to stay healthy and wealthy to take care of that one Human God, who chose to live the rest of the life for this kid.

    I always think, "God gives burdens, also shoulders"

    Thanks for the author, for coming up with this topic.

    Sri Vetri
    Spread Positivism

  • #624125
    Very nice topic and I liked all the responses here.
    I have very closely observed the difference between a normal growing kid with both the parents and a kid having a single parent. Although many kids try to cop up with this, but somewhere in their heart they miss their another parent a lot and that can be seen by their nature or behavior.
    One of my brother in law has lost his father at the age of only 1 and a half years and he brought up by his mother only. His mother got a job as a replacement for his father. It became difficult for her to look after his kid and office work both. So, at very early age, he started doing all his work himself without complaining.
    But now he expects the same from his child and when his wife says that our child is still young to do all these on her own, he simply says that he started doing all this at very early age.
    Is this attitude right? I do not think so. Just because I faced some difficulty, it is not necessary that my child should also follow the same.
    I guess this is another dimension to discuss.

    Padmini

    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #624131
    Thought replies so far
    @Srimathi: very valid point, it didn't strike me, single parents should be careful accepting help from others. Rowing against the tide for such single parents would be hard but it makes their resolution more stronger
    @Padmini, the person whom you are referring has undergone hardships, it may be a genuine intent to make his wife and son tougher or he still is annoyed with life making him face the difficulties as a child. He would change if some elder or well-wisher has a few discussions with him.

  • #624141
    I do not agree with the assumption that single parents take on the role of two parents. Single parents do a perfect job, by just being a good parent. Parenting is a tough job, but that is true for every parent. A single parent must set a good example, instead of focusing on being both mom and dad, because that is never going to happen. You cannot be someone that you are not. But, yes, a single parent is a parent and most do a wonderful job of it.

    I think the pressure comes from society, who sees single parents as being different because they break the norm. Being a single parent is more difficult in our country because every other person makes your life, their business. It is more difficult being a single mom – because then you have to face a barrage of questions and taunts. You are judged and your every move put under a lens.

    I would say hats off to single moms, who take parenthood in their stride. Whether it was a choice they made or circumstances that led them to be single parents, they need to be applauded. Like every other parent, they put their child's interest before their own. They may not choose to marry/remarry because they fear the outcome of such an alliance and the impact it would have on their child.

    “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for your own pleasure.” - John Berger

  • #624155
    Anyone in this world wouldn't like to grow up without mother or father, everyone wants both parents with them. Sometimes a child needs his father sometimes his mother to talk with. But for the various reasons in life, some couples are separated and become a single parent.
    Being a single parent for your child is a very difficult task. Single parents had to bring up their child in very difficult circumstances because of the society, relatives and the neighbour especially in our country where single moms are questioned and taunts are placed on them. It is supposed that if you don't have a mother, you don't have manners and if you don't have your father with you financial problems will occur in your life. Not only single parents but their children also face many problems like discrimination in school, taunting from classmates.
    I am totally agreed with the author that instead of sympathy and biased opinion we should respect both single parents and children. Society should also grow up and start respecting and also start supporting single parents.
    At the end, I would congratulate the author for bringing wonderful topic to share.

  • #624160
    Although a child needs both his parent equally for character building and many more things even if he/she have only one of them he/she can still achieve everything in life and not any lesser than the child having both parents.
    Most people pass comments on children raised by a single parent or make various assumptions too. But in reality, these children are morally more upright, caring and understanding as they have gone through many hardships while growing up.
    And since parent try to play the role of both the parent for his/her child which makes them more strong filled with strength to face any situation and this quality come to his/children naturally.
    So we should not make any assumptions about any single parent we came across.

    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #624200
    @Juana Nice that you agree with the hardships of single parent, especially single moms. But you have mentioned that single parents do not perform the role of two parents. In my opinion, it is not true, most of the single parent, especially single mom does the role of both parents.

    At this point, we should be happy that, in parenting there is no difference like father's role and mother's role. (I don't include pregnancy, delivery and mother feed). Now a days, we could see, fathers feeding the kids and cleaning the poop of his kids; Mothers dropping kids in school and other extra curricular classes. They interchange or equally share the responsibilities of kids. But as a couple, they share responsibilities.

    When it comes to single parenting, the sharing gets absent, but the responsibilities still remain the same. Nothing can be skipped. As @Padmini mentioned, those children can understand the situation and can start doing works on their own. But this is the situation for many kids, where both parents go for work.

    For example, when it is a marriage for a kid, a father may take few responsibility like, making financial arrangements, searching for groom, and other arrangements like catering photography etc. Whereas a mother will do shopping, speak with bride/groom's family etc. In case of single parenting, all these has to be done by one person. It is not simple as well.

    This scenario is same in every other life event of that kid. It is not, that one cannot perform the role of other. We, human beings are great at playing different roles like sister, mother, wife, child, all at once. So to a kid, being a mother and a father at the same time might be difficult, but not impossible.

    Sri Vetri
    Spread Positivism

  • #624212
    When a person chooses to be a single parent he/she is willingly challenging his/her life.
    I don't get how it's ironical.
    A parent can never be parents. We often just assume that men and women are the same.
    But we are two different species.
    Our needs and roles, both are very different.

    In such case, hoping that a single parent can achieve what average parents can achieve is absurd.

    Maybe I finally get the irony. A person wants to be a single parent to show that he/she can work independently and strives for respect from society. But society ends up pitying them.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #624238
    @Aditya
    If single parent happened as a choice, all your other comments in your response holds good but that has happened as a chance then it is surely ironical because now the society is not completely changed to choose the partner immediately and also if one chooses also there are various other kinds of problems if they have kids with the previous partner.

    Nice to be in ISC and feel the difference.

  • #624246
    Excellent topic to be discussed and very great responses here. Personally, I have tremendous respect for single parents who raise their children on their own facing too many obstacles in life. It is not a cake walk for sure. Although the effect of the child's moral, philosophical and analytic thoughts may vary from others, it all depends on how the single parent raises them. Irrespective of the situations on how they became a single parent, they must be respected rather than showing sympathy. I personally feel kids who grew under the cover of a single parent turn out to be strong emotionally. And I infer this to the struggles the child faces since his/her childhood albeit there are certain cases where kids turn out to be violent and some developmental disorders but it is rare. It all depends on how the parent raises the kids and how he/she balances the professional and personal life.

    I have massive respect for both kids and the single parents, especially single moms.

    @Aditya, I neither contradict your statement nor agree with you but I do contradict with your grammar. Both male and female aren't two species, they are the same. They are humans scientifically called Homo sapiens. Just take this as a grammatical suggestion and nothing further.

    Thank You
    Dr. V. Shashikanth

  • #624259
    Srimathi,

    Whatever the circumstances, a single parent makes a conscious decision to remain single. A widowed or divorced parent might not choose to remarry. A person may choose to have a child out of wedlock or adopt a child as a single parent. They make that choice. And that choice is not because they think they can play both mom and dad. All they know is that they can be the best parent to their child.

    That being said, I consider it imprudent to believe that a single woman is incapable of doing things on her own steam. Why does she have to be compared to a man or thought of as taking on a man's job? Why can't she be seen as a parent, doing whatever she does out of love for her child? The same goes for a single father.

    It is not possible for a mother to be a father, or for the latter to be a mother. They cannot take on those roles. However, they perform the duties of the missing parent, being themselves.

    I did not imply that being a single parent is easy. Single parents know their responsibilities and know they have to handle affairs on their own. They are strong individuals who brace themselves against society and all challenges that life throws at them.

    A child is brought into the world by two people and they are duty bound to share the responsibility of raising the child – be it cleaning poop or dropping the child for extra classes. However, when one parent is absent the other manages to cope.

    “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for your own pleasure.” - John Berger

  • #624279
    The responsibilities of a single parent are manifold and he or she has to exert a lot in meeting the demands of the family.

    Those who are bold and active can only face this ordeal. Even in the presence of both the parents there are disputes and differences in allocation of duties whether outside the home or inside it.

    The single parent knows the difficulty of managing the things in a balanced proportion in workplace as well as in house. The children also look up to him for every support or help.

    If the single parent wishes to start his or her life again by going in a relationship then the question of sentiments of the children comes as supreme concern. He or she has to quash the own desires for the welfare of children.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #624350
    Nice discussions between parental roles and difference. I think mostly be the default and sometimes by choice, a single parent dons the mantle of both parents and whoever we dissect it, it is a difficult task to balance the demands of modern life, parental responsibilities, career and income commitments etc.


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