More than one quarter of children nationwide are currently being raised by single parents, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.
The study found 26 percent of children nationwide are being raised by single parents in 2014, compared to a mere 9 percent in 1960.
Christina Jimenez, a marriage and family therapist with Doorways Phoenix, said the commonality of divorce nowadays is not affecting children as much as it used to.
“Obviously, divorce is a grieving process and children have to grieve and then adjust to their new environment,” she said.
Jimenez said children who grow up with a single parent can be just as successful in life as children raised by two parents, but single parents need to establish a strong boundary with their kids in order to create an in-home hierarchy.
“There needs to be strong boundaries, the hierarchy is the same: Parent, then child underneath,” she said. “But sometimes what we’re seeing in that single parent home is the hierarchy actually is side-by-side.”
Jimenez said single parents who place a greater amount of responsibility on their children can affect their development in the long run.
“The child (could be) exposed to information and situations that they shouldn’t normally be exposed to, that a spouse would normally be exposed to, which causes them anxiety because developmentally they don’t know how to manage it,” she said.
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