It is important to understand that this situation affects both parent and child, and that the key is being prepared in order to reduce the impact from consequences that this situation brings.
Officially there are no statistics reflecting how many single-parent families there are in Colombia. In counties like the United States and England, the number of single parent families continues to increase. It is calculated that in both counties, there are more than two and a half million of homes made up of single-parent families.
We have some tips that can make the job of being a single parent a little easier:
- The parent that assumes responsibility for taking care of the children should have a close, supportive social circle. It doesn't necessarily have to be his/her family; close and trustworthy friends can be key players who can help out in certain moments that require assistance and emotional support.
- Replacing the father or mother figure is almost impossible. However, for the emotional and psychological development of children it is important to understand the role of the man and the woman. Looking to a close family member for support can be an option. It's like the psychologist Ofelia Balderas expressed in her blog Social Psychology: “Support from family members in this situation is essential, as family members most often turn into father or mother figures that can help the single parent.”
- It's important to plan time to spend together so that the single-parent-child relationship can take root and lead to feelings of trust and respect.
- It's important to have clear rules and not enter into manipulative situations where the children have no responsibilities. According to the experts, single parents don't require much from their children because of fear of causing feeling of resentment. However, the reality is that the same rules used in any other family should apply. It's necessary to create basic responsibilities and require that they are carried out. One example might be making the bed.
- Even though you cannot control everything, the children should be brought up in the most normal way possible. Over-protection (or the opposite, too much freedom) are situations that should be avoided at all costs. The family should act like any other family does, where the roles of each family member are clear. The child still needs a parent to guide and accompany him in his growth and development.