Is it really the case that 1 in 3 families are a single parent family?

(29 Posts)
equinox Wed 18-Jun-14 10:10:58

What do you all think? I haven't noticed that at all where I live. My son who is 9 goes to a very upmarket village and there are only a handful of single parent families in each class of over 30 children out of two classes in year 4. I have yet to know any single parent families where I live although my neighbourhood is very insular and does not mix. In addition I go to a spiritual group and there are only 2 single parents i.e. myself and another lady out of over 100 people.

Is it just where I live or is this usual? I am in Derbyshire.

Can there really be as many as the news would have us believe it strikes me there are very few where I live. When I was living in London there were way more.

I am not saying that is good or it is something that society should aspire to but to find more around would at least help resolve the social isolation that single parents such as myself have to endure through no fault of our own....!

cestlavielife Wed 18-Jun-14 11:27:17

define a single parent family.

one with no second parent at all eg widow(er) or second parent not on scene at all ?

or split family/step family etc included? does single parent include when child goes between two parents routinely?

one in three nationally does not equate to in a given class in a village one in three - it s statistics...

equinox Wed 18-Jun-14 11:34:46

A single parent family is one where there is only one parent living in the household irrespective of whether the children see their father or not.

cestlavielife Wed 18-Jun-14 14:43:02

so a shared residency where child lives with both counts twice? once with the dad and once with the mum as both would claim to be single parent families..... maybe that's why figures are high...

equinox Wed 18-Jun-14 15:18:38

I don't know how they count it up c'estlavie in any case I really don't think there are even many shared residencies - in fact way less numbers of those than even single parent families themselves.

Surely 9 out of 10 cases of single parent families it is the woman doing the majority of the childraising and rarely will the male ex be willing or able to do shared care.

Either way if you ask me there are way less families out there that are single parent ones than the media would have us believe. I would be interested to hear what others think/know about this.

equinox Wed 18-Jun-14 15:27:47

I have just done a little research online and according to the Office for National Statistics 26% of families with dependent children are single parent families. This is according to statistics back in 2012. It also states 92 per cent of those single parent families are female lone parents.

I just wonder where they all are then! Perhaps they are just not where I live??

MrsSmithers Wed 18-Jun-14 18:00:58

It's a good question. Out of my sons class - year 2 - there are only 2 single parent households.

We live in outer London. I hear these stats on single parent households and wonder where they are - can't see much evidence at my sons school.

All the parents I know are two-parent, living in same house, families. Makes me feel lonely at times.

revealall Wed 18-Jun-14 18:07:34

Depends how old you all are. Mid forties and noticeably more single parents through divorce.
When I became a single parent ( no father on the scene at all ) it was just me and a few who had had children in their early 20's. This was all in a nice village.
I do get the impression that more urban areas have more single parents.Perhaps if only because that's where more of the suitable accommodation is. Nothing to rent for under £1000 in my select village and I had to move to HA in the nearest town.

equinox Wed 18-Jun-14 19:10:17

Yes I think that urban areas will have more single parent households although having said that I moved up here when my boy was 3 from London and I didn't know many even in the outskirts of London either, which was where we were living!

Surely the Office of National Statistics cannot be wrong? Although it does make one wonder which city or town they are to be found in ....

Perhaps we should all move to that place and throw a big party for us and all the children!

JaneParker Wed 18-Jun-14 19:29:33

I was the only single (divorced) parent in my sons' two classes right through their prep school (unless one father died running).
For many families they do better as single parents than couples do though so I don't see it as a negative at all.

lljkk Wed 18-Jun-14 19:56:21

I'm shock that OP knows so much about the household status of the children in her son's class. I have lived 10yrs in a small insular town, SAHM for 8 of those yrs, & I don't know marital stats of half of youngest DC's classmates (class of 23, even).

I know a lot of single parents up at the school but DC seem not to be close friends with their offspring.

equinox Thu 19-Jun-14 05:09:59

I do not go around interrogating the mothers of the children in my son's class to find out their marital status it is merely an observation that is all.

kickassangel Thu 19-Jun-14 05:39:56

You may well find that couples divorce as kids get older so by the time your ds is in secondary school you see a different picture.

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 05:41:17

I would of said even more than that if you look in rl. I thought it was 50% nationally.

Preciousbane Thu 19-Jun-14 05:54:51

Thinking of DS circle of friends I would say about a third of his friends are in single parent families.

We live in a market town with a population of about thirty thousand. Lots of very hard up people where I live.

There seems to be three flashpoints for divorce or breaking up. Either pg women abandoned, I know three, within first couple of years of child being born or when people hit mid life crisis which often means secondary school age dc. Obviously people can break up at anytime but friends, colleagues and reading on here there seems to be a concentration around these times.

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 06:00:22

Most single parents I know where either not that close to the dad, or he left when they were pregnant or had little ones. Overall there are probably more single parents than coupled ones or at least not that many with the original dad.

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 06:21:23

I have worked out with cb and overtime this month we made £1981 but we still have 730 left and we get paid next week. We have had no trips this month as been hot here but still had decent amount of food, and been out lots locally as well as paying for dd1s extracurricular activities, school dinners etc

melissa83 Thu 19-Jun-14 06:21:43

Wrong thread!

Meglet Thu 19-Jun-14 06:25:49

I wonder if some parents cover up the fact they're LP's? There's a few kids at the dc's school whose dad has only appeared a couple of times in the almost 3yrs since we've been there. Maybe they're teachers or in the military but you'd expect them to pop up for the odd pick up or school event confused. I always wonder what's going on there.

Off the top of my head I reckon it's around 15-20% (known) single parent families at the dc's infant school. That'll rise as the children get older.

AmeliaToppingLovesShopping Thu 19-Jun-14 06:50:08

I have no idea how many DC are from lone families in my DCs classes (one secondary, one primary and one preschool) but think more of DD1s are than the other two.

I have a lot of friends who are lone parents though some are now in new relationships.

I have just done a course for one evening a week over the last year with a small group of people and it wasn't until we met up last night to celebrate finishing that it came up that I'm on my own. It's just not something I have spoken about.

Minime85 Thu 19-Jun-14 07:13:01

My dcs are massively in the minority at their school. In their classes of about 28 only two others. But as a secondary teacher myself I know this will change as they move through the school system. So far they haven't had any negatives because their dad left as I hope attitudes have changed now? I hope so.

STIDW Thu 19-Jun-14 09:14:49

Haven't checked recently but inner city areas in London, Glasgow and Liverpool (I think it was) used to have the highest number of single parents by far. Many of the factors associated with poor outcomes of children across the board were prevalent in these areas (eg poverty, emotional and behavioural problems) so the number of children from separated families with long term problems is skewed.

cestlavielife Thu 19-Jun-14 14:40:21

I know straightaway two from dd2's school - both like me working mums, kids aren't missing out, kids doing fine at school etc.

MaliceInWonderland78 Thu 19-Jun-14 16:05:20

Our kids go to a school with fewer than 35 kids. I think that most are married/in relationships, but base that solely on seeing both parents from time to time (nothing scientific).

I wonder if the single parents are out there but that the two groups don't really mix. That really would be a shame. In fairness though, they're not the most social lot!!!

Our kids previously went to an private school biggest waste of money ever and apart from two sets of parents that had affairs and subsequently split (and left the school) there weren't ANY single parents. They were much more social though - which probably led to the affairs! :-)

BeatriceBean Thu 19-Jun-14 16:10:19

Quite a few in my childs infant school. Not all appear "single parent" if you are counting that they are living with a new partner, so only one birth parent but also a step parent. (To me single parent is when theres one adult in the house). Unless you knew the famliy you wouldnt know. Estate area, lots with housing benefit etc. I'd say it wasn't uncommon at all here.

Also sadly will only increase as the children get older.

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