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In my research for this page, I found there was not a lot of helpful information. Some of the sites were helpful in a small way, but they were heavy with advertising or the site was trying to sell you their system.
My christian beliefs tell me that a husband and wife should stay married until one of them dies. These same beliefs have taught me that a man and woman should not have sex until they are married. That being said I cannot turn a blind eye to those who are single parents. Besides, you don't always know how or why a person has become a single parent. Being a single parent is the hardest thing a person can do. There is a ton of information for families with both parents, but little information for single parents to draw from.
Much of the information applies for single parent families as it does for two parent families. However, with the added stress of being a single parent family there needs to be information specific to single parents families. It is my hope that the information on this page will help single parents find the right solutions for them. Remember each family has it's own personal dynamic and not all information should be used as it is stated.
Take your time and read through the information and websites listed below. There are some statistics listed below, but don't get bogged down in them.
Federal Statistics: Children and Family Composition
Family Economics and Nutrition Review, Summer, 1998
Children and Family Composition in the United States
Today's U.S. children under age 18 live in different family structures than children did during the 1970's. Families have changed, and these changes have implications for the circumstances of children. Now, children compose a smaller percentage of the population than they did years ago. More children are living in single- parent families, often headed by a never-married parent. These different family structures influence the economic well-being of children.Children as a percentage of population :
Children now compose a lower percentage of the population. In 1970, 34 percent of the population was under age 18; in 1996, 26 percent was. By 2010, 24 percent of the population will be under age 18. Families having fewer children and people living longer are reasons for this trend.Children and family type:
More children are living with one parent. In 1970, one-parent families with children accounted for 13 percent of all families with children. By 1996, this figure increased to 31 percent. More of these one-parent family groups are headed by the father: 1 percent in 1970, compared with 5 percent in 1996.Children and their mother's marital status:
A greater number of single-parent families are being formed through births to unmarried women than through divorce or widowhood. Births to unmarried women accounted for 11 percent of all births in 1970, compared with 33 percent in 1994. The rate is particularly high for African American women. In 1994, 70 percent of all births to African American women were to unmarried women.Children and poverty:
Single-parent families typically have a much lower income than do married-couple families. The increase in such families is one reason for the increase in children living in households where the income is below the poverty threshold. In 1970, 14.9 percent of all children were poor. By 1995, this figure rose to 20 percent.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Superintendent Of Documents
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
The information above was borrowed from: http:// findarticles.com/p/articles /mi_m0EUB/is_3_11/ai_ 53885196
Ten Tips for Single Parents
1. Take care of yourself.
2. Build a community of friends, co-workers, support groups, and other single parents.
3. Ask for help.
4. Share the care of your children with others.
5. Give each child time alone with you each day.
6. Don't take your anger out on your children.
7. Be honest with your children about the changes in your life.
8. Recognize that you can't be both parents.
9. Share the job of parenting with the other parent.
10. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
Ten Tips For Single Parents
1. Ask for help if you need it. Remember that it is a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help and accept it when problems are overwhelming . Seek out professional counselors in your community, or from PWP and friends.
2. Allow yourself and your children time for readjustment.
3. Remember that a single parent home doesn't have to be harmful to your children and don't attribute all difficulties to your single situation. Whether you are the visiting parent or the primary rearing the children, your ability to cope makes an important difference.
4.Allow bitterness, jealously, blaming, revenge, and self-pity to disappear from your life. Such emotions drain energy from the important tasks of building a good home for your children and a new life for yourself.
5.Allow your children to respect and love the other parent. Don't belittle the parent or involve the children in battles, or force them to "choose." Remember that the children's feelings and perceptions of parents are not the same as those of the spouse for a spouse.
6. Try to remember the positive parts of your marriage, but without living in the past. Share the good memories with your children.
7. Make sure your children understand that they did not cause the single parent situation and that they are not being rejected by the other parent. Make sure they know you won't abandon them and that you will be able to care for them.
8. Be open and honest; share your feeling with your children and let them share theirs with you. But don't impose your feelings, or demand their confidences.
9. Make an effort to think of yourself as an individual and not part of someone else. Examine old feelings of dependency and neediness. The value you place on yourself will be reflected in your children's sense of self-worth.
10. While it's easy to become wrapped up in your children, take some time for yourself. Use your single status as an opportunity for growth and development. Make each day count by trying something new or making new friends. Remember that your situation will change old relationships and will lead to new ones.
Single Parenting: Common Questions Parents Ask
I never have enough money to buy the things I want for my children. How can I make ends meet?
You may not have much extra money for special clothes or toys, but you can manage. First, decide if the item, for example a particular type of sneakers, is important and necessary. If it is, work on a plan for you and your child to start saving for it. This will help your child learn that it takes time to save enough money to buy something.
Another important step is to make a budget. List all your expenses on a monthly basis, for example rent, food, gas, electricity, childcare. This will help show where you spend your money. You can call your UNH Cooperative Extension County Office and ask about programs on money management to learn how to take control of your financial situation.
I feel guilty for not accomplishing more - the house should be picked up, we all should eat dinner together, I should go to Tommy's soccer games, I should stay late at work. I just dont know what to do.
Don't worry about perfection. Instead, keep in mind your child's needs and your own needs. Make running the household as enjoyable as possible. Complaining about what has to get done wont help.
Your children can do certain jobs around the house, depending on their ages. As they contribute to the family they develop a sense of being valuable.
Learn to laugh at yourself. For single parents, having a sense of humor and a positive attitude are important to feeling successful.
How can I find time for myself when I can never catch up with all the household things that have to get done?
Its important to make some time for yourself, even if it doesn't seem like there is time. Everyone functions better when they have some quiet time or time to exercise or socialize.
Decide to set some time aside just for yourself. Create a plan to make it happen. Write down what is important to you. Then, write down your schedule. Are you making time for the important things? Remember, children benefit when their parents are relaxed and happy. Make an effort to be a positive influence in your child's life.
Ive tried using logical consequences for disciplining my teen but nothing seems to be working. What should I do?
Sometimes teens will test a parent's limits to see what they can get away with. Even though it might be easier to give in "just this once," stick to the behavior guidelines you've set.
Take the time and think about why your child might be misbehaving. What else is going on in your child's life right now? Did she have a difficult day at school?
Depending on the age of your child, he might be searching for her independence by testing your limits. Help develop ways for him to feel independent. For example, encourage a special hobby or activity. Or allow him to take on more responsibility for a family task. Help him become involved in a community project or volunteer work.
I know I'm supposed to try and get along with my former spouse for the children's sake, but I think I'm going to lose it-everything seems to make me so angry! What should I do?
If you're worried you're going to blow up at your former spouse, it's important to stay aware of your feelings. If you become angry, quickly take a breather and remove yourself from the situation if possible. No one should act when they are angry or upset.
Maybe you need a break from seeing your former spouse. Is there a neutral adult who can help provide a smooth link between your household and your former spouse's home?
Maybe you need to find some quality time for yourself. Is there someone who could watch the children so you can have some time for yourself or time with your friends?
Find a friend or someone to talk with about your feelings. Explore what is bothering you. Is it something that is beyond your ability to control? Brainstorm with another parent ways to deal with your anger.
Maybe after seeing your former spouse, you can write down your feelings. Then when you aren't so angry, read what you wrote and think about why you felt that way. Write down things beyond your control and things you can influence. Concentrate on the things that you can influence. For example, you can control your attitude and behavior and establish clear guidelines for your children.
Sometimes it helps to write down positive ways to handle your emotions. For example, you can exercise, take a walk with a friend, cook, garden or do some woodworking. After you write them down, put some of your own suggestions into practice.
How should I talk with my teenage son so he will listen to me? He always listened to his father more than he did to me. But now his father isn't around and I just don't know what to do.
Most teens don't talk a lot with their parents. Try to keep communication channels open by talking about things that interest your son. Show respect for your teen and respect his privacy and struggles. Choose your battles and think about what is really important. Look for positive male role models for your sonmaybe neighbors , older cousins or other relatives. Continue to monitor your son. Know where he is, whom he's with, how he got there, and how and when he'll get home.
My two children are always fighting with each other. I'm running out of things to do with them.
Depending on the ages of your children, you may need to help direct their time and energy into specific, separate activities or hobbies. Watch and listen for clues to what your children enjoy. Maybe one child likes to draw and one likes to play sports. Encourage their interests.
Remember that children will act like children and may fight just because it is something to do. Sometimes they may fight with each other to get your attention.
Take time to praise them when they do something to help you such as clearing the table or helping you carry in the groceries. Try to ignore their misbehavior if they're not hurting each other. Remember to pay attention and spend time with your children when they are behaving.
What can I do? I'm worried that my teenager could be using drugs.
Remember we can't control teens' use of drugs, but we can influence them in ways that will make it less likely they will use drugs. You can help to educate your teen about the dangerous effects of drug use. Use magazine articles or TV programs to open communication. Contact local agencies in your area to get written information.
Teenagers have a desire for challenges. You can help to create positive challenges in activities such as team sports, bicycling or volunteer projects.
Establish clear guidelines that emphasize your need to know where your kids are when they're away from home for extended periods. Talk with other parents and agree on certain issues such as beginning/ending times for parties and a no-drugs-or-alcohol policy.
When your teen comes home at night, be awake but don't grill him. Be aware of the symptoms of drug and alcohol use. Confront your teen when you see specific behaviors you are concerned about. For example, if your son's grades have recently gone down, if he has difficulty concentrating and can't remember things, or if he spends unexplained time away from home, confront your son.
Teach your sons and daughters that drug or alcohol use loosens sexual inhibitions and can cause them to engage in sexual behavior that violates their own standards. Learn about and discuss with your teens the new tasteless, odorless drugs that can be slipped into innocent drinks like juice or soda and are often implicated in date rapes.
Remember to stay calm, especially when you suspect your teen of using alcohol or drugs. Becoming angry will not help the situation and could alienate your teen. Seek help from your teens school or your local community mental health agency, which will have a licensed drug and alcohol counselor on staff.
Al-Anon, a worldwide support group for relatives and friends of problem drinkers, helps many parents of teens or other loved ones with alcohol or drug problems. There are no dues or fees for membership. Meetings are anonymous; people hold in confidence who they see and what they hear during meetings. To find the times and locations of Al-Anon meetings near you, call toll-free 1-877- 825-2666.
Where can I find more information about single parenting?
Most bookstores and libraries have books about single parenting. Here are some suggestions:
The Single Parents Almanac: Real World Answers to Your Everyday Questions by Linda Foust. This easy-to-use guide offers smart advice and sound solutions for building a happy, healthy family on your own.
Single with Children by Caryl Waller Krueger. Krueger uses case studies that contain helpful suggestions about how other single parents actually cope, plus real-life stories of single parents, examples of successful single parenting, and how-to suggestions for getting it all done.
The Single Parent Resource by Brook Noel and Arthur C. Klein. This handbook covers the most important concerns of single parents throughout the country, economically presenting the issues and lavishing tips, techniques, and strategies gaining mastery over them.
Single Parents Association - The goal is to help single parents with their busy lives and help raise healthy and happy children. To receive a free newsletter call (623) 581-7445. Mailing address is Single Parents Association, 4727 East Bell Road Suite #45-209, Phoenix, AZ 85032. http:// www.singleparents.org/
Parents Without Partners focuses on the social, educational, and advocacy needs of single parents. Call (561) 391-8833 for information about joining or establishing a chapter in your area. Mailing address is Parents Without Partners International, Inc., 1650 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 51, Boca Raton, FL 33432, 561-391-8833, http:// www.parentswithoutpartners. org/index.htm
UNH Cooperative Extension. Family Focus Parenting Curriculum.
Foust, L. (1996). The single parents almanac: Real world answers to your everyday questions. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing
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