Before Judging A Single Mom Read This
Single moms who are moms-by-choice do a heck of a job raising well adjusted children. Recent research has shown that children raised by single-moms-by-choice do just as well as "together families" with a much wider social network to get the job done.
Children of Single Moms Households Thrive
It does take a village to raise a child, and a new study has shown that no one does it better than a single mom.
More and more moms decide to go it alone when it comes to raising children and their children reap the rewards.The new research out of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, has compared the well-being of children growing up with a single-mother-by-choice and two-parent heterosexual household and found that there is no difference in the quality of the parent-child relationship or of the child’s social development. What the study did find however, was that the single-mothers-by-choice did have stronger social support.
Children of Single Moms Are Well Adjusted
The study also showed, that children raised by a single mom, are generally well adjusted, with positive feelings about their family life. While they are generally curious about the absence of a father in the home, the children had became accepting of their family circumstances and continue to function well.
There are many “firsts” with this study. This study is the first to observe child development and adjustment from the children's perspectives in single mother households where children are old enough to accept and understand their family circumstances about not growing up with a Dad. This is also the only study that assessed children's own accounts about their family and social experiences.
Fifty-one single mother families were evaluated and compared with 52 heterosexual two-parent families household that had at least one donor-conceived child aged 4-9 years old. The subject families were matched by age and gender of the target child, and by the mother's education level.
Mothers in both groups answered child adjustment standardized questionnaires about child adjustment and parenting stress. Additional, the single Mom’s completed an interview about how their children felt about not having a father, and whether or not this was a topic of family discussion. 47 of the 51 children of single mothers agreed to be interviewed and were asked about family life and friendships.
No Difference In Children Of Single Mom Households vs. Hetero-parent Households
Results showed there was no significant difference between the two family types when assessed for child adjustment according to the standardized questionnaire. However, higher levels of financial difficulties within the single mother households, as well as higher levels of parenting stress, were each associated with higher levels of child adjustment issues. Still, 39% of mothers reported that their children had neutral feelings about the absence of a father, while 29% percent had mixed feelings about it, although the qualitative analysis of the mothers' reports showed that conversations about fathers were a regular part of family life. What is more 89% of the children from single households either wished for trivial changes to their family did not wish to change their family circumstances.
Positive Parent-Child Relationships Are The Only Thing That Matters
"In general, our findings seem to suggest that what matters most for children's outcomes in solo mother families is not the absence of a father, nor donor conception, but the quality of parenting, and positive parent-child relationships. These findings therefore echo much of what we already know about the determinants of children’s psychological adjustment in other family types."