The single parent problem

As a product of a single-parent household, I know firsthand some of the challenges such parents face. While my mother became a single parent through the death of my father, there are many situations where it is not death that places the burden on one parent, but uncertainty about paternity, migration, divorce, separation and more often the unwillingness of one parent, typically the father, to take responsibility for their children.

Single-parent households and especially those headed by single women are prevalent in our society. We have long seen many men philander and impregnate women and then refuse to take responsibility. Some of these men proudly declare that the child or children belong to them but still refuse to take part in their upbringing. In many cases, it is not that they are financially incapable but because of selfishness and ignorance about how their absence could affect the overall wellbeing of the child. Some may, however, be unfit to invest in the holistic welfare of their children, even if they were willing, because they themselves may have a need for healing. We live in a society where many of our people are uncomfortable or unsure of how to express love. Whether the root is the dysfunctional relationships between many parents and children—where many children are abused in the name of discipline—the affectionate faculties of many are severely damaged. And so our children continue to suffer…..