Single Parenting: Effect on Children
Summary: A recent study by the University of Iowa has shown that children who form a close relationship with at least one parent during infancy are less likely to experience emotional or behavioral problems later in life. However the stress and time constraints of single parenting often poses challenges.
A new study out of the University of Iowa has found that infants able to experience a close, intimate relationship with a single parent (mother or father) during their formative years are less likely to experience emotional or behavioral problems later in life and may fare as well as children from two parent households.. However single parenting places unique stresses and time constraints that may render single parents less effective to meet their children’s needs.
The study published in this month’s journal Child Development reviewed the relationship of 102 infants (15 months of age) with a single parent and evaluating 86 of them at the age of eight. Parents were given separate surveys and were drawn form a diverse spectrum of education, income and race. The researchers also interviewed teachers and discovered survey results that were often more similar to children’s responses than parental responses to the children’s experiences.
One finding that is encouraging for single parents was that children who felt attached to two parents did not experience emotional or behavioral advantages over children who reported attachments to a single parent only.
The study also shed light on the myth that fathers may not be as good a caregiver than mothers. "Some people think the father is not good enough to be the primary caregiver," stated UI researcher Sanghag Kim, "our data show otherwise."
Both single mothers and fathers share a common challenge however: Time. Single parents simply are challenged more that two parent households to find time to exercise. This lack of exercise often increases levels of stress, depression, and can render a single parent less effective.
TrekDesk helps alleviate the time constraint by allowing single parents the opportunity to walk slowly while they work. JW a single mother from Dover, NH recently wrote to TrekDesk praising the life changing qualities of walking while working. “Single parenting is so challenging. While your moods may change by day (or minute), the one thing that stays constant is your love for your children. However, not having the breaks that you need to refuel each day when bouncing between work and kids robotically seems to accelerate stress levels regardless of how badly you want to stay “cool”. Because I am getting exercise throughout the day, I feel calmer and less reactive to the demands and stress associated with single parenting. I feel like I am not only investing in myself, but in my relationship with my kids. I bought my new TrekDesk about a month ago. This tool is life altering. I am a busy, single working Mom who has NO time for exercise. As a former, self-proclaimed gym-rat, staying fit has always been important to me. Unfortunately, kids and career, which entails sitting in front of a computer all day every day from my home, has made exercise nearly impossible. Since baby #2, I just can’t get the weight off unless I stop eating altogether. Enter TrekDesk. I haven’t been so excited about a new material object in years!”