Saturday July 26 2014

Single parenthood not worth lamenting about

Sometimes nature does not bear scrutiny but just results: a beauty that bursts the banks logic. If you woke up one morning only to find that you are mothered by a single parent, will that be reason enough for cursing why such a thing could have happened to you? More so, if you find yourself facing a number of difficulties? Despair should not therefore render us vulnerable to the fact of being brought up by one parent.

Many a person has attributed their failure to being singularly parented, a reason one would find so flimsy! Gillian Gathon Edube,a director of missions and partnerships in Global Link Afrika, says she came to learn of her father’s existence at 25. She always wondered about a father’s role in a family. This gave a different view of single parenthood altogether.

“I wondered whether I had to call the man seated before me my dad. Not after 25 years! But all in all I had to,” she points. This has not stopped her from being the great woman that she is now. Some will even go ahead to crucify their parents demanding to see the other parent.

Sylvia Namutebi, a nurse at Kololo Hospital, was brought up by a single mother amid quite a number of siblings. At the age of 16, she demanded to see her father. To her dismay, she found that her father was a struggling offal seller and a drunkard.

“What could he have helped me with?” she wonders. She came to appreciate that being raised by her mother alone was not so bad after all. We then ought to appreciate what situations we find ourselves in because the ones we are not in might be worse. One could find this unfair but it’s true. “I wish my father was around. I wouldn’t be suffering this much,” one would say. This might be right but not necessary.

“Yes. We need the two parents but one can thrive through life even with one parent,” Fiona Atim,a student at International Health Sciences University points out. She has been brought up by only her mother from the age of seven when her father passed on. We have seen many who have both parents and yet they, too, feel that their parenthood needs are not met. One can clamber to success at all odds and success does not scratch those with both parents. So, if there is anything that has hindered your success then that should not be because of single parenthood.

Stephen Atlas in his book Single Parenting, highlights several strengths of being raised in a single parent family. One strength that stands out is that single-parent families allow children to be part of the decision-making process.

Single parents depend more heavily on the voluntary cooperation of their children. This cooperation is encouraged by holding family councils, where children are involved directly in making decisions and solving problems. When children are thus involved, they are more likely to help carry out the decisions. Such children are usually well-adapted to different situations.