Being a single parent is difficult after a divorce. Personally, I was raised by a single mother, and I have now begun to realize the benefits and skills I had gained as a child because of her. Here are four benefits of being raised by a single mother (although there are many more):
I did a session one night on how women can empower themselves in relationships. In one part of the discussion, we got to the topic of chivalry and the source of peoples’ habits and traits. One of the attendees made an observation that men of single mothers tend to grow up being a lot more chivalrous and understanding of women in general. The attendee was accurate, and the reasoning is pretty basic. Men raised by single mothers very often have the benefit of perspective and experiences that they would not otherwise be exposed to.
What does a child observe when their mother is spoken to by men that are interested in her affections? What will that child learn in terms of what to do and what not to do? While living with my single mother, I witnessed sexist, cowardly, and dismissive acts by other men that I did not appreciate. It sickened me in fact, likely because of how it made my mother feel and, I’d like to think, because I would not want to be treated in that manner. Regardless of what the perspective was attributed to, it was perspective nonetheless. I also witnessed honorable men like Ben Inloes whom my mom married and I now see as my real father.
We have already acknowledged that a child raised by a single mother is going to have the benefit of perspective. Perspective, as we know, only truly comes from experiences. But what does one do with those experiences? We watch single mothers grow from them and protect their children from the backlash of them. All the while, children are becoming stronger for any number of reasons. One, the experiences aren’t new, and thus, dealing with them becomes more common.
Two, their mother is a role model for how to deal with these experiences, and children want to emulate the strength exuded by their mother.
Lastly, children will find themselves staying stronger so that their mother can stay strong. This does mean that there are times, albeit rare, that mom is not superwoman in the moment, but by this point, her children are mindful of her hurt and doing everything they can to keep her going. Parents and children are the foundations by which each may grow.
As countless studies have shown, single mothers often spend more time with their children than they did when the father was in the house. For the child(ren), this means that there is more affection, attention, and personal development. The benefits of this do not require an explanation.
A single mother with the most energy in the world is still going to need help. She will know it. Children will know it. And so it goes, children will start doing chores around the house, help run errands, and watch out for their siblings. This is not just a request from mom, but instead, a recognition that there is a lot to do and only one adult in the house to do it all. What’s more, studies show that children raised by single mothers have a much higher appreciation for money and sacrifice. It is the acceptance and appreciation of the responsibility that the mother has assumed that her children undertake. I’ve seen the pride a young teenager has in their eyes when they can help their mother and she is appreciative.
This is not to say that children raised by both parents or a single father cannot have a positive role model to look up to and emulate. That said, the degree of attention paid to a single mother’s experiences and pain will outweigh that of a single father or both parents living in the same house. Children are going to be more in tune, observant, and protective of a single mother, and thus, their senses sharpen and feelings become more impassioned.
More from DivorcedMoms
- My Kids Were Scared, I Was Scared, Being Alone After Divorce Is SCARY!
- 8 Things No One Told Me About Raising Children Alone
- Meet the Children: Dating a Single Parent