The number of single parents has risen over the past decades as couples have divorced, widowed, or have decided to become singles parents by choice. Despite this reality, society maintains negative stigmas about single parents. Single parents confront a number of different stigmas that people hold against them and there are stereotypes that single dads and single moms deal with daily. There are three main stereotypes and stigmas that single parents continue to confront, although they are becoming more common in the 21st Century. Society needs to change how it views single parents and realize that they positively contribute to society.
Less than Coupled Families
The first response that single parents often deal with is the feeling of pity from others when they learn that they parent alone. This is because it is thought that they must have done something wrong that resulted in them becoming a single parent. They must have been in a bad marriage or married the wrong person. It is than believed that the parent did something wrong that resulted in them becoming a single parent. Following from that belief, single parents are less important and valuable to society because they are no longer coupled. This is detrimental to anyone to be viewed as lesser than someone else for any reason.
Since society holds the ideal of having a fairy tale wedding and marrying your soul mate, once a relationship fails it is believed that they did something wrong. This separation of an ideal from the reality of how many relationships turn out is hurtful to single parents. In some cases, single parents had no control over the outcome of their relationship. In other instances, it may have been the best decision to leave a relationship if they were abused by their partner. In the third option, both of the parents may have agreed that the relationship was not working out and that the best option is to divorce. Society, and others, does not know the circumstances that resulted in someone having to parent solo. Most importantly, it is not their business so it is not their place to judge someone else’s relationships. Being a single parent does not automatically make someone a bad parent. There are many bad two parents. Society must recognize this reality and stop blaming single parents.
Harmful to Society
Society, politics, and people view single parents are harmful to society. They failed a relationship and they are now raising their children alone so they must not be good people. Some people may even go so far as to call single parents’ immoral degenerates because they believe it to be unnatural. This is because it does not fit society’s ideal. Single parents are portrayed as dangerous to society in television and movie because they are assumed to be lazy or using others in order survive as solo parent. Politics discriminates against single parents by only having laws that favor of married two parent families. There are more than one thousand laws that provide two parent families with tax breaks from insurance to having children. People judge single parents for something that they had no control over and believe that they hurt society because of it.
As single parents become more common in society, it is time for the stigmas that are held against these parents to disappear. There are some parents who are even becoming single parents by choice as marriage is delayed or rejected. All singles are confronted by stigmas that society believes about them that are false, but single parents face a unique set of stereotypes. It is time that society abandoned its disapproval of single parents as they become more common today.