Single Mom's Romantic Life Hurts Kids

New research reveals that romantic lives of single moms can have a devastating impact on children. We tend to think that children suffer from the absence of a father, which is true; but it is easy to overlook the fact that single moms, who expose their children to a man (a romantic interest), most likely cause emotional damage to their kids.

A new study by Arizona State University professor Carey E. Cooper and family scholar Sara S. McLanahan looked at how “partnership instability” impacted children’s mental health using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national survey that follows approximately 5,000 parents and their children from birth to age five.

It’s not just living together (cohabitation) that puts children at risk; it’s dating drama that upsets children. The study found that partnership instability is associated with lower verbal ability, more anger problems, and more social problems. Single moms who date… their children have much more attention issues. The study is the first to provide strong clear evidence that dating is actually harmful to most children.

What can we learn from the study? A mothers’ romantic life drama is very unsettling to her children. Dating fosters insecurity in a child’s life. The fitful search for soul mates by single moms does not work to help your child feel he or she is the center of your world, and deeply protected. Children do not want to compete with a boyfriend for a mother’s love and attention.

“A father to the fatherless and a defender of widows is God in his holy habitation. God takes the lonely and sets them in families.” -Psalm 68:5-6. If you are a single mom it is often best to wait until your children are grown before you enter the dating world. New boyfriends, or even husbands, are often bad for your children because they rob your kids of your time, attention and emotional energy. Look to God, God-fearing people and family for friendship and support—not a new boyfriend.

Steven LeBlanc

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