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Q: Are my children missing something because I am a single parent?

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A: Every family is different, so there is no one approach that fits all. But I think we can say it’s important to ensure that a child does not feel inferior to others. It is unnecessary for single-parent families to try to imitate families where both parents are present. There may be times when a child longs for the mother or father who is not there. Yet there are children with both parents who are overindulged and cannot become independent. Quite a few people who have lost a parent while still small develop remarkably as human beings. As long as the remaining parent prays earnestly and loves the child wholeheartedly, the child can definitely grow into a strong and resolute adult.

First Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi was separated from his parents as young child. He built a wonderful life by experiencing one difficult challenge after another. Shakyamuni, too, lost his mother right after he was born. They showed that a person can become great even without parents. If one possesses a strong spirit, or what we call strong faith, then one can change even what most would see as a disadvantage into an advantage. It’s important to foster such a strong mind in children, so they will never be defeated by anything. (Ikeda Sensei, Happy Parents, Happy Kids, p. 16)

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