Single parenting

Single Parenting vs. Marriage: Which is the Better Option for Raising Children?

May 2, 2023

When it comes to raising children, there are two primary paths that parents can choose: single parenting or marriage. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, and each family’s unique situation will determine which path is the best fit. In this thought leadership post, we’ll explore the differences between single parenting versus marriage, discuss the pros and cons of each option, and offer insights that can help parents make informed decisions about raising their children.

Single Parenting

Single parenting is when one parent is responsible for the care and upbringing of their child or children. Single parents may have never been married, got divorced, or were widowed. Regardless of how they became a single parent, they face unique challenges in raising their children alone.

The Pros of Single Parenting

  • Flexibility: Single parents have more flexibility in how they raise their children. They don’t need to coordinate with a partner or seek approval for every decision.
  • Closer bond: Many single parents report feeling closer to their child because they spend more one-on-one time together.
  • Empowerment: Single parenting can be empowering for some individuals as it allows them to prove to themselves and others that they can successfully raise a child alone.

The Cons of Single Parenting

  • Limited support: Single parents may not have the emotional or financial support that a partner could provide.
  • Time management: Single parents may struggle to balance work commitments with childcare responsibilities effectively.
  • Burnout: Raising a child alone can be exhausting and lead to burnout if not balanced adequately.


Marriage is a union between two people who agree to share their lives and raise their children together. Marriage is often viewed as the traditional path for raising children, but it’s not the only option.

The Pros of Marriage

  • Support: Marriage provides emotional and financial support, which can help alleviate some of the challenges that come with raising children.
  • Shared responsibilities: Parents can divide childcare responsibilities, allowing them to balance work and family life effectively.
  • Role models: Children can benefit from having positive role models in both parents.

The Cons of Marriage

  • Potential conflicts: Marriage can bring its own set of conflicts, such as disagreements on parenting styles or household duties.
  • Incompatibility: Not all marriages are successful, and parents may struggle if they have incompatible personalities or values.
  • Divorce: Divorce can be challenging for children and lead to custody battles and child support disputes.

The Impact on Children

The primary concern for parents is how their decision will impact their children. Both single parenting and marriage have different effects on children’s well-being, so it’s important to consider these factors when making this decision.

The Impact of Single Parenting on Children

A study by Pew Research Center found that single-parent households are more likely to struggle financially than married households. This financial stress can lead to less time spent with the child, limited access to extracurricular activities or resources, and increased stress for the child as well.

Children in single-parent households may also struggle with behavioral and emotional issues, such as depression or anxiety. Single-parent households may also have less time to devote to their children, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The Impact of Marriage on Children

Marriage can provide a stable environment for children, which can positively impact their social and emotional development. Studies show that children who grow up in married households are more likely to attend college and earn higher incomes as adults.

However, children in married households may still experience negative effects if the marriage is unstable or marred by conflict. Children may witness arguments between parents, feel caught in the middle of conflicts, or experience stress or trauma if the marriage ends in divorce.


The decision to choose between single parenting versus marriage is a complex one that requires careful consideration of many factors. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer – the decision will be unique to each family’s situation.

It’s important for parents to recognize that both options have their pros and cons. Single parenting can offer flexibility but comes with limited support, while marriage can provide stability but may involve conflicts or disagreements.

Regardless of which option parents choose, what’s most important is that they create a loving and nurturing environment for their child. This means being present and attentive to their child’s needs, providing emotional support and guidance, and keeping their best interests at heart.

In short, there is no “better” option between single parenting versus marriage – what matters most is how parents navigate the challenges and joys of raising their children together.