How far would you go to live a lie? For one woman in Japan, she has constructed what you might call a web of lies – but all in the hope of a greater good, for her daughter. The woman split from her husband when the girl was born – actually, the husband left and made no attempt at reconciliation or child-support. In some ways single parenting has its advantages if both parents have realised they cannot see eye to eye. The child grows up in an environment that is devoid of arguing, and possibly violence, and one parent can provide some degree of stability that prevents the child becoming anxiety and withdrawn. But on the other hand the lack of a parental figure can cause problems too. There is a lack of parental influence, but also the social awkwardness that comes from meeting peers and their parents and realising you are different.
The afore-mentioned woman hired an actor to play the part of a long-last father seeking a reconciliation. At first the daughter was angry, seeking explanations, and going through the whole gamut of emotions that one would expect her to feel. Then gradually she accepted the man into her life. There have been positives, the mother noted – she is now less anxious, more confident, and less withdrawn not just within herself, but also within the company of her peers. You may conclude that while this seems rather radical an approach, it has been worth it.
But this approach has brought in some other complications too. The man playing the role of her father has doubts about what he is doing, whether he is only complicating the issue – what would happen when the daughter has children? Will they call him Grandpa? How is he going to write himself out of the script without some form of tragedy? And there is an added complication that by virtue of his frequent appearances in the life of the woman and child, even the mother is starting to fall in love with him!
One of the problems single parents face is in giving their children attention. After all, there is one less adult to help bear the load. It may be a good idea for children to take up more leisure pursuits that are good for them, such as team sports, or learning a skill like an instrument. The latter in particular helps to develop practical knowledge in application – that is, it is not just content knowledge, but applied – and it also teaches skills and traits such as perseverance, patience, and drive, all of which help them in future life.
The Piano Teachers Finsbury Park blog has a good article on how children find practice difficult and how to manage their learning. And if you are a single parent, considering giving your children some outlets of expression – asking them to practice each day would give you a break too! It has good tips about making practice attainable and enjoyable!