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For Single Parent Families

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Many single mothers today find it difficult to arrange for dependable child care during the summer months. A common problem many encounter is not only finding safe child care, but also being able to find affordable options. Not only that, but no mother wants her children spending the entire summer without any kind of reading, educational experiences, or real mental stimulation. So how does a busy single mom find summer child care that is affordable, safe, and exciting/challenging for their children?

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If you are a single parent, or if you are considering supporting a single parent family, please know this is one of the most meaningful things you can do. Below are some of the real challenges of life as a single parent in America today.

Resource Management: This can be anything from finances to childcare to food. Stretching the dollar to cover normal daily needs–and dare I say desires/wants-of self & family. If finances are not the challenge, single parents must make the most of time to pay the attention required to meet children's needs (like school, activities, quality communication, and care) the demands of employer(s), and expectations of extended family, while still making room for recreation and rest. There is often more month than money or time in a single parent household. When a single parent comes home from work and starts their "second job" of cooking, cleaning, homework, bill paying, project making, and grocery shopping – they have completed a solid 12-14 hour day. Normally, social connectedness, and self-care suffer tremendously. Self Care – if you do not take care of yourself with proper nutrition, rest, exercise and spiritual food – you cannot possibly be balanced enough to take care of others and make sound and healthy decisions alongside having sound and healthy reactions to life's more challenging moments. A single parent must remember to ASK FOR HELP. There is no replacement for investigating and learning the community resources and unapologetically putting them in place as an active part of their home. This can be like recreation centers, libraries, coupon groups, babysitting exchanges, the church, and so on. maintain a work life balance.

maintain a work life balance

Social Networking: Because time and money is stretched, it is difficult to build a support network, but it is a MUST. Many single parents have mentioned that they struggle with loneliness and isolation. Often, the dynamics of dating are so challenging that people choose to stick to themselves. Many adults do not want to date a full time single parent and share attention with the children or bother to try and "blend" a family. This type of rejection is often met with heartache and brings about low self-esteem. I believe a sound solution is to surround oneself with other FAMILIES. You are not a single – you are a FAMILY. Our first priority as a family is to its members. Our activities as "grown ups" like dating, girls/guys night out, trips to the salon, etc can be supported by the circle of families to which we belong. In turn, we can offer the same.

Making up for the missing Parts: Many single parents try to play both parent roles. If there are any moms like me, the lack of interest in baiting a fishhook or tying knots with the boy scouts must be met a neutral role model of the opposite parent that is trustworthy and consistent who will commit to this type of relationship on an ongoing and long term basis. Additionally, it is very difficult to balance the demands of work fully when your child needs you at school or at home. Overtime crushes more than the clock for a single parent– it crushes our ability to give our hearts in full connection with our child–and then crushes them. A single parent needs a network – this can be with neighbors, school, church, family – whatever circle is safe, consistent, and reflective of good & sound ethics that support the parent and the children and is at the ready for life's unexpected moments.

Guilt /Shame/Self Worth: Many single parents feel guilty and some even ashamed of having to ask more of their children than in terms of sacrifice and household operations. Often, "letting a kid be a kid" is a rare privilege. Single parents carry guilt about this at times, or overcompensate with tough love, which can be good–or build walls, depending on how it is approached and presented. Making choices about what we can do and cannot do as it relates to time and money adds to the guilt that parents carry regarding their situation. However, single parents MUST build each other up. They MUST commit to a positive and productive perspective for their kid's sakes.

Anxiety/Fear: Single parents are often faced with making the quality of interactions make up for the lack of quantity interactions. Most single parents, however, find themselves in what I call "survival mode" emotionally, financially, or physically. They are in a stance of fight or flight rather than in a place where decisions can be made based on patient, thoughtful, well strategized, and intentional efforts. Hearts that filled with grief, guilt, shame, anxiety and fear are however leading homes and families all across America. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we recognize this and develop healthy alternative habits. AWARENESS is step one – ACKNOWLEGEMENT of this reality and a plan to replace unhealthy perspectives with positive and productive perspectives and reactions is a commitment we must make and apply starting today.

Single Parent Children Struggle AlsoSingle Parent Children Struggle Also

 

Many children in single parent families face their own challenges:

Countless studies show that children in single parent households are under a lot more stress. When the stress accumulates it can lead to problems in school and behavioral issues. So what are single parenting's effects on a child's mentality overall?

Effects on Your Child's Emotional Health - When a single parent argues with the other parent in front of the child, this can lead to stress in the child. It is especially problematic when the parents try to get the child to take sides or deliver critical messages to the other parent through the child. The conflicts between parents and single parenting's effects on a child's mentality can lead to the child's inability to grow an attachment with either parent. This lack of an emotional attachment can lead to feelings of insecurity in the child.

The Effects of Abandonment on a Child's Mentality - When discussing single parenting's effects on a child's mentality, it is important to note the effect abandonment can have. Abandonment refers to when a parent leaves the household and cuts of all contact. Feelings of abandonment can lead a child to question his or her own self-worth. The remaining parent must help the child cope with the other parent's absence so the child doesn't develop low self-esteem. Abandoned children also tend to have trust issues and bottle up their emotions rather than express them freely.

The Effects of Constant Moving on Children - Single parents move around more often usually because they face more economic hardship and must move around frequently in order to find more affordable places to live. This frequent moving is another one of single parenting's negative effects on a child's mentality. Each time children move they have to leave behind their neighborhood friends and the transition is even more difficult when they change schools. The possible effects of frequent moving are a sense of isolation, depression, and anxiety.

A toxic combination of unstable schedules and unstable access to childcare leads to a pattern of serial quitting. Single parenting's effects on a child's mentality vary but due to its inherent challenges, single parenting can cause stress for both parent and child and it is the parent's responsibility to make it as least traumatic as possible. It is possible for the negative effects to be balanced out if the parents make an extra effort to provide their child with all the emotional support they need.

If you are a single parent, don't be hard on yourself. It is a fight to move forward so, keep up the pace, ask for help and use your resources! If you are a supporter of single parent families, THANK YOU!!

If you are considering supporting a single parent family, please know this is one of the most meaningful things you can do.

You can CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO SINGLE PARENT ADVOCATE and support our work with nominated families.  

If you would like to get involved, you can CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER.  We definitely need your help.  

If you know a family that needs help in the Dallas County, Collin County, or Denton County areas in Texas, please review our resource page on this website. If you are unable to find suitable aide, please email us and we will try to help as well.

If you are outside of this area, please like us on Facebook, and Twitter!

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AskForHelp Logo 2In speaking with many single parent families, there is a common thread of guilt and/or shame when it comes to asking for help. The truth is that so many families are facing tremendous ruin of some kind like abandonment, divorce, death, disease, disability, or economic duress; and, it is very difficult to prosper in those conditions.

Furthermore, Single Parents must earn more as an individual to be self sufficient than dual parent two-income households. In fact, it takes about $45,000.00 annually for a single parent to raise 2 children on a conservative budget and do so self sufficiently. Most available jobs do not provide that level of income.

Therefore, single parents MUST educate themselves about their corporate, community, faith based, and charitable resources. Not only that, they MUST use them responsibly.

 

 

Faith based, community based, and civic organizationsyou have two hands one to help yourself and one to help others have a TON of support for families. This is not always in the form of cash to pay a bill, but may be in the form of job education and advancement plans, work/life balance resources for affordable childcare and flexible scheduling options, and health and savings resources. Often, by communicating concerns and needs, a family finds they develop help, and also, potentially, a good friend, and a helping hand.

So, single parents, we want to encourage you. If you need food, go to the food pantry in your area. If you need clothes, go to the Goodwill or a Thrift Shop in your area. If you need shelter, seek a job at an apartment complex and reach out to your civic housing authority or HUD. PUT YOUR MIND INTO THIS. Typically, as single parents, our hearts have been sliced a bit by life, but we cannot let it affect our heads!!!!

 

Single Parent Families can do many things themselves to create community like create a babysitting network, a Sunday School or Bible Study, a social outing club that is family friendly. SPEAK UP about how you are seeking flexible job solutions, and boldly pursue your options, and even ask for new options to be created. Be ready to hold up your end of the bargain in all this with your employers. Position things carefully so it is clear that you are not seeking a hand out – but that you are seeking a hand UP.

Whatever it is we are lDont Be Discouragedooking for, sometimes we feel like there is no where to go – but that is not always the case. Be steadfast and don't quit or give up in your pursuits. If you quit - you teach your children to quit. Be smart, be resourceful and engaged with your talents and USE THEM. Speak UP when you need help – shelve pride for the sake of your kids if not for yourself. If pride comes before a fall - You MUST lay down your pride – ask for help when you need REST, or WORK. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children. Ask for practical assistance, so your child doesn’t have to do without.

Parenting education, safety education, resource education (USA.gov, United Way, Salv. Army, Goodwill, YWCA, YMCA, BBBS, Boys & Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, HUD, Workforce Commission, Nemours, Care.com, CCCS….all offer suitable aid). There sometimes seems like there is nowhere to turn and that there is not a hope, but do not be discouraged. There are many working to make better lives possible for single parents and their children of all ages.

If you are seeking resources, please visit the Resources page on the Single Parent Advocate website. It is a great place to start. We are researching and looking to add more too just for all of you. Take heart and have courage. You are not alone, and this is not impossible - it is just challenging. Believe in yourselves!! We believe in you!!

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Each single parent family is different. The specific challenges are always unique to the family, yet there are some common themes with most around not enough time, money or emotional support. As a single mother for 10+ years, have had many of the same challenges.

In this series, I'll share what I've learned along the way and hope it can help you too as you successfully single parent your family.

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For Single Parents by Cederick Tardy

I want to open a discussion about unintentional child abuse and neglect in America and what it has done to this generation.

What is unintentional child neglect? UCN is when a parent decides to put a priority of lower value over the ultimate well-being of his or her child. In many cases the parents thinks they are acting in the child’s best interest. In America, 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made every year. In 2005, 49.7 percent of children who were mistreated were white, 23.1 percent were African American, and 17.4 percent were Hispanic (USDHHS, 2007). Imagine the “statistics” if the numbers reflected the unintentional child neglect figures.

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Every little bit helps when it comes to saving money to get back to school!!

Single Parent Advocate just partnered with Operation Back to School, and World Vision in the Dallas area to send 350 children of single parents back to school with back packs. This was no small task, so we found many other organizations committed to helping students succeed in education by giving supplies to qualified families.

Thanks to Life Message, Grace Outreach Church in Plano, Texas, First Baptist Downtown Dallas, Operation Back to School, World Vision, SheBang Gun Club and Tamara Shelley, Siemens, Solomon Associates, Courtney Ridings and Fred Mackie, Chick Fil A Park and Plano, participating Starbucks locations, Gifts for Moms, This Side Up Family Fun Center, and all the individuals that helped gather, pack, and deliver school supplies this year with Single Parent Advocate! Also, thanks to Telemundo for helping to tell our story!

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This article was sent in by one of our readers, Marilyn, as a good guide for those interested in dating again. As single parents, our first love is always our kids with our time and attention, but many consider this, so we are reposting it as it originally came from datehookup.com.
Thank you Marilyn!

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