Contrary to popular opinion, the majority do work although often at low paid jobs. The lower wage scale of single households is because the majority are headed by women, who for the most part, usually earn less than their male counterparts. Although the lack of money is usually the biggest and most daunting challenge of parenting solo, the majority do not live in abject poverty. Another surprising statistic is that many of these families are headed by those who are forty years or older. The #griefcoab perception by many that most single parents are very young is usually not the case.
However, when poverty is the case, there is a higher risk of social, behavioural and emotional problems but most children raised in single parent homes do quite well. Other considerations besides family income are the parent’s age, education, attitude, personality and how it relates to parenting, the availability of a family support system and most important of all, good parenting skills.
Single parent families are made up of those who are divorced, separated, who have never been married or grandparents. The percentage of those who have chosen not to be married is growing, as is the group of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
Statistics suggest that rather than single parenting being the cause of the increase in youth problems, it is more likely that poor parenting is the cause. Poor parenting is as likely to happen when there are two parents as when there is only one parent. Whether it is single households or those with two parents, statistics show that delinquency and youth violence has been increasing steadily since 1970.