Tag Archives: single parent

Young Single Mothers are Better than Their Reputation

young single momsWithout a doubt young single mothers have a less than stellar reputation when it comes to disciplining children and raising a family. Many people in our society look down on them, but I believe that young single mothers deserve our support, not our scorn, and that if we give them our support they can create successful families.

Why are Young Single Mothers So Maligned?

Young single mothers are often viewed as being “kids having kids”, and many look down on them because they assume they are promiscuous or stupid falling pregnant.

However, it should be recognised that many young people are having sex, often with multiple partners, yet not all of these girls become mothers. Like most young people, girls think they are bullet proof and live the same lifestyle as everybody else, until something goes wrong and they discover that they are pregnant.

Many of these girls do not abort their baby, but bravely face a future as a single mom, including the social stigma and the implications for their own dreams and desires in life. These girls should not be looked upon as whores but rather as heroes!

What Single Mothers Give Up

Young single mothers have to grow up quickly. They may have been fooling around and carefree when they fell pregnant, but they have to face the reality of a completely different life for the sake of their child.

 

1. They Give Up Fun!

Most young mothers have to make the decision to give up fun, not being able to go out with their friends partying and relaxing. They may have their child minded occasionally, but the overall carefree lifestyle of youth has passed away for them.

 

2. They Give Up Their Dreams

Most young girls have dreams for the future, and most of them have not imagine that they would turn out to be single mothers. Perhaps they wanted to go to College, or study art, dancing or acting, but all these dreams are put on hold when they decide to become a single mom.

 

3. They Give up Their Reputation

Being a young single mother means having people look down and be overly critical about the way you discipline your child, what you spend money on and even how you dress them! Yet young moms I’m prepared to face these difficulties the gracious, and many learn to overlook the stares and snide comments that others make about their reputation.

While there may be bad examples out there, the fact is that most young mothers are incredible young women, putting their family and their children’s future before their own, and doing their best against the odds![‘

What are Three Areas a Single Parent Struggles With?

ssingle parent struggles around the worldAs a single parent struggles with bringing up your children are inevitable. You face the same difficulties that other families are confronted with, but you also face a unique set of circumstances because you are doing the job alone! You have no one to share the struggles with as a single, but you also have no one to fight with about how you parent your children.

Here are three of the unique struggles that parents face when they are single, and a few ideas on how to deal with them.

 

1. Applying Discipline:

Disciplining your children is one area you may find difficult, but it’s one of the single parent struggles that you cannot afford to lose! We have a lot of material on our website regarding disciplining children, and the simplest and most effective methods that can positively impact your kids for years.

One of the biggest issue for single parents is consistency, because they are often the only ones applying the discipline. It is normal to get tired and to struggle with consistency, especially if your children are strong-willed, but the best advice I can give is to stand back, view the situation without emotion, and consistently apply the right discipline.

 

2. Lack of Money:

Lack of money is a common struggle for many single parent families. Not only have you lost the income of your former partner, but you have to find a way to work or bring in income by yourself.

Many single parents are holding down several job is to try and come up with the money necessary to allow the family to function properly. Many fall victim to “make money quick” schemes because they are so desperate for money.

While there is no easy solution to this problem, you may need to rein in the type of spending you are doing, on yourself and on your children. Will the buying your kids everything is a common single parent trait, but it places an enormous financial burden especially if you are the sole breadwinner.

 

3. Lack of Time:

One of the biggest struggles you will face when you are parenting alone is time, because you cannot clone yourself! Your kids need your time, but you also have other responsibilities such as cleaning the home, educating your child, bringing an income through the door and having some sort of a social life yourself.

The best way to deal with the time struggles is to find someone who will share the load with you. It might be your mom, a close friend or an expensive day-care program, but the reality is you cannot do everything 100% of the time. In fact, don’t try to be all things to all people because you will fail and also drive yourself nuts!  You need to outsource certain things, and if you have someone close to share the load and free up your time, make sure you invest it in things that will be more profitable for both you and your children.

 

If you are wise and careful you can conquer these three common areas a single parent struggles with, and your children and family reap the rewards long into the future.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Families?

advantages and disadvantages of single parent familiesWith so many families today parented by single moms or dads, what are the advantages and disadvantages single parent families, and how can we make them better?

Single parents often worry that their children will somehow be damaged from living in a single parent family. While a single parent family may not be the ideal situation for raising children, many two-parent families are also less than desirable. Kids can actually benefit from living in a single parent family, so here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a sole parent family.

Disadvantages of Single Parent Families

Some of the key disadvantages of single parent families include…

1. Time:

Many aspects of parenting are far better if two of you were doing them, and things which are timing-based like trips to and from school, after-school sport and recreation things like dance classes or karate are much harder to do as a sole parent than in conjunction with another.

2. Discipline:

Many children are experts at wearing you down, so discipline is often more difficult because the complaints and protests of your children are unrelenting.

3. Working:

If you are working yourself, it is often more difficult to do without some sort of support, especially as you try and work your job situation into your children’s schooling or day-care.

4. Relationships:

Starting a new relationship or dating can be difficult for single moms and dads, with the need for children to be minded and the concern about how the children will bond with the prospective partner.

 

Advantages of Single Parent Families

1. Discipline

Discipline should be easier with two adults, but the reality is that it is often easier with only one especially if the other one fails to agree with the type of discipline involved.

2. Competition

Many times mom and dad are in competition for a child’s affections, but if the other partner is out of the picture or less interested in bringing up the children, a single parent can face no significant competition for their child’s affections.

3. Individual Time

Each of your children need is time alone with you because nothing says I love you like your spending time with them. When you are by yourself, it is a challenge to find time alone with each of your children sufficient to meet the needs, but it’s worth it!

4. Peaceful Atmosphere

Many single parents are in that situation because they have left a family which has looked more like a war zone! While any sort of parenting may be stressful, and may cause friction within the family, friction between mom and dad can often be the most destructive, so one advantage of parenting alone is having a peaceful atmosphere the home.

5. Money

Spending money on the children is often a source of conflict between parents, but when you are alone you do not have to ask your partner’s permission to spend money on your child.

 

The advantages and disadvantages of single parent families that I’ve spoken about here can become a real plus in raising your children if you concentrate on the positives and minimize the negatives.

The Trials of Single Parent Fathers

Single parent fathers Single parent fathers are under a different type of pressure to the average father. Instead of being able to share the load of parenting, single parent fathers often have to stand alone, and frequently they are in conflict with the estranged mother of the children.

Most fathers have to work to earn income and support their families. If a father’s single, coordinating work time and time with the children is often a more difficult task than for a married man, because when they have the kids there is often no one to help them share responsibilities.

Yet many single dads find that they get to spend better quality time with their children, perhaps because they have limited time available and they have decided to make the most of it. Many dads take real delight in prioritizing their family time, and if they are wise they will realize that their time with their children has to take precedence over work and other social activities.

There are several difficulties faced by fathers who are Ron their own. In addition to 2 limited opportunities and time with their children, they often have a rocky or difficult relationship with the mother of the kids, and all that this entails for parenting. As the kids grow older, they learn to exploit the differences in conflict that occurs between the estranged parents, playing mom off against dad to get their own way.

Add to this the fact that a father parenting on their own also has to balance in a work schedule and some sort of a social life, and you really can begin to understand the unique difficulties faced by single parent fathers. This situation is made even more difficult if the guy has decided to start dating again, because many times their children will react to what they perceive to be a “replacement mom”.

Yet for all these trials and difficulties, there are also unique opportunities present for a dad who is prepared to look for them, and prepared to change his lifestyle and priorities. They have the opportunity to make much of the time spent with their children special, and many single dads dote on the children and delight in spoiling them!

When you are a father trying to care for your children alone either full-time or part-time, you definitely face more difficulties than does a married man. You simply cannot live your life the way other single men do, and many of the things you may want to do in business or socially you will find restricted by the presence of your children. However, you need to balance the trials of this style of parenting off against the blessings and advantages that may present .

Single parent fathers do not have an easy task, but they can have a rewarding task that will not be recognized until their children mature and become adults themselves.

Single parent fathers

Christmas and the Single Parent

Christmas as a Single ParentChristmas can be a joy is time for a single parent, but it can also be a time of loneliness and regret. If you are coming off a recent breakup, you can look back at your year with regret and honest relationship.

Christmas is traditionally a time for family, and when your family has been torn apart it can be a painful experience. However it doesn’t have to be, because there are many things even as a single parent that you can draw from Christmas that will bring joy, peace and great satisfaction.

 

How to Enjoy Your Christmas as a Single Parent

If you have young children, Christmas is always a magical time. As a single parent, you have the opportunity to share this magical time on a close, one on one relationship with your child or children. This can begin when you start decorating the tree several weeks before Christmas, and continues right up to Christmas Day, when you’re young children can get up early and begin opening presents.

The night before Christmas can be made very special, and if you do not have a partner in your relationship you can experience the joys of “being Santa Claus”. In my family, the children leave milk and cookies out for Santa, and when we get up the next morning they will find the cookies gone and the milk drunk.

Kids love presents, and the prospect of Christmas will always begin early if they get the chance. Sleep in any other day but Christmas is a day for getting up early and watching the children open their presents. If you are lucky enough to have family present, such as your parents or aunts or uncles, make sure everyone is up for the opening of the presents.

Next comes the Christmas dinner, and as a single parent you have the opportunity of involving the children as you cook turkey, stuffing, potatoes and everything else that makes a Christmas Day lunch special. Make sure you prepare the days in advance, so that as your children help you with the Christmas lunch you were not panicked and stressed.

Later in the day the children may have to go to be with the other parent, so your task as a single parent is to make sure that their time with you on Christmas Day is not only fun but is also incredibly special. Remember, you are not trying to compete with your ex for the affections, but rather you were trying to allow your children to enjoy the excitement and beauty of Christmas morning.

And when you find yourself alone, do not descend into depression and loneliness but recognise that this is a special day, especially so for single parents. If the kids are with the ex, take the opportunity to visit someone and enjoy Christmas for yourself with people you love and care for.

Most Christmas see people getting depressed and down, especially if they are single parents, but I believe as a single parent you have a great opportunity to make this Christmas and every Christmas extra special for you and your family!

Coping with Children and Divorce

Ichildren and divorcen a perfect world children and divorce would never be linked together. But we do not live in a perfect world, and with so many marriage and family breakdowns and single parent families out there, very often children and divorce are wrapped up together, to the detriment of both the parent and the child.

We would like to think that every marriage was made in heaven and never needs help, but the fact is people change, relationships change and unfortunately divorce is the by-product of this. If you have experienced this you will know the emotional trauma and drama that separation can bring, but this can be magnified when it comes to kids.

Bringing the Best Out of Parents, Children and Divorce!

It is possible to bring the best out of both the parent and the child through a marriage separation, but it often takes both parents working extra hard to make this happen. The most important thing is that, despite how nasty or difficult the separation may be, that both parties continue to communicate with each other effectively and civilly, especially with regards anything that concerns the kids.

Communication is the key! You need to communicate with your ex-about important matters like how to discipline your children, when to discipline them and the rules of the family. It is no good if they are punished for something in one family while in the other it is completely overlooked all laughed off.

It is also important with how you relate to your children. You need to sit and talk to them about the family situation and the divorce, alerting them to what to expect, what visitation rights will be involved and continually reiterating that it is not their fault. The kids need to know that the breakdown in the relationship of the parents is not there fault!

They also need to understand what is happening, so the worst thing you can do is to hide the marriage situation in an effort to protect your children. Most kids of any age understand if things are explained to them properly, so don’t be frightened to talk to your child about what is going on, what you are feeling and what they can expect from the coming weeks, months and years.

If you are going through a divorce the children need to recognise that they are a positive part of a very negative situation, that they are a jewel in your crown rather than a pain in your neck! Whatever age they are, talk to them, explain things to them and even ask their opinion on how certain aspects of the household can be managed through this experience. This makes them feel that they are an important part of the decision-making even if they cannot control the major decision of your getting divorced.

Kids can survive a marriage breakup, and while many may be adversely affected, with the right counseling and care many also grow through it to lead productive and successful lives themselves. Take a positive attitude, and keep on believing that while children and divorce may not be the ideal situation, they can survive it well with your counseling, help and support.

Struggles with Single Parent Families and Shared Custody

struggles with single parent familiesThere are many struggles with single parent families which are unique, especially if the estranged mom or dad is still in the picture!

Having two parents in a family gives them the opportunity to share the load and the burden together, and when things get too much you have the opportunity to sit and talk with someone who understands your situation. For single moms or dads this is not the case.

Key Struggles with Single Parent Families and Shared Custody

 

One of the key problems has to do with shared custody, because sometimes your ex-partner is not going to share the same values and concerns that you have. In many cases, the kids are used as a pawn in an elaborate family game where parents try to use each child to attack their former partner.

This is common behavior but it is very unfair on the kids and also on the adults. If you are parenting your family and want to do a great job despite the separation, here are some key struggles with single parent families and shared custody that you need to consider…

Different values
It is common in shared custody that each of the parents have different values when it comes to bringing up the family. One might be stronger on discipline while the other is very lax, or one might prefer junk food where the other insists on eating healthy.  Financial differences can also be a source of friction. These differences can take a happy family and cause them to turn on each other, and the pressure is greater if you are estranged.  The best advice is to sit with your ex-partner, decide to help one another in the family and talk each family problem through, so that even if you don’t get on well with your ex-partner you can at least present a united front on key ethical and behavioral situations within in the family.

Fun Parents and Boring Parents
Very often in shared custody situations the adult who does not have the children (often the father) has the opportunity to make each moment count and have fun with the kids, whereas the primary care giver (often the mother) has to indulge in more mundane day to day activities with the children. Whichever category you are, it is important that you do not paint yourself as the fun one and your ex-partner as the boring or strict one! Your goal may be to earn a few brownie points by doing this in the short term, but in the long term your behavior will be exposed for what it is and the children will lose respect for.

Manipulating Behavior in your Child
Your children are born with an innate, genetic  ability to become master manipulators, and this is especially one of the key struggles with single parent families. A child is an expert at playing one of the parents off against the other in any family situation, and this is especially true when the parents are against one another. The only way to combat this behavior is to talk it out with your ex-partner and make sure that neither of the parents are manipulated by any child. Be wary of comments like, “Dad always lets me do this,” because if you have a difficult relationship your child knows that you will have difficulty testing the validity of this statement.

It is possible to have a stable, productive and successful family, even if is custody related stress involved. The key point is that, no matter what you think of your former partner, you need to open channels of the dialogue between you, for the sake of the children and especially for the sake of their character development.

You will face unique behavioral struggles with single parent families, but if you work together you will be able to overcome them, always put the child and their social or emotional development first, and bring up fantastic children, even if the parents are not together.

Children and Divorce: A Top Ten Survival Guide

Children and DivorceChildren and Divorce are a potent mix.  The pain that you go through during your divorce is reflected and sometimes amplified for your children.  Most often they have no idea of exactly what has gone wrong in the relationship, and frequently they blame themselves for the resulting divorce.

 

So how can you love your children and divorce their mom or dad at the same time?  The fact is, relationships break down from time to time and children suffer as much as adults, especially if they have a good relationship with the ex.

 

All through the divorce you will experience pain, and so will the children, but our Top Ten survival guide can help both you and the kids survive this difficult time…

 

Children and Divorce: Our Top Ten Survival Guide…

1. Assure them the Divorce is Not Their Fault!

They are your children and divorce is not their fault.  Explain that it is a decision that mom and dad have made, and although it affects them, it is not their fault, and there is nothing they can do directly to repair the relationship.  What’s done is done, and you all have to do the best you can dealing with the fallout!

2. Maintain Routine

Routine is a friend to your children, so as much as you can keep them in a familiar routine.  There will be times you have to vary it, especially when trying to fit visitation in, but make sure they are able to continue in what they see as important in their lives, even after school things like football or dance classes.

3. Careful What you Say

As tempting as it is to speak badly of your ex, you need to stop doing this.  Always speak kindly of them, because throwing mud is ground lost, and you can turn your children against you if you speak negatively.

4. Be Transparent

As much as you think the children will understand, speak openly and honestly about your reasons for the separation.  Your children deserve to know the truth about the divorce.

5. Don’t Make the Children Choose Mom or Dad

Having to choose between the two parents places your children in an uncomfortable position, so avoid forcing them to choose, especially pressuring them into choosing you.  When dividing their time, try to keep it even and fair between the two of you. If they don’t choose your way, let them live with their decision and never guilt trip them.  Don’t take it personally, but rather tell them that you love them no matter what thye do or decide.

6. Spend Time with Them

Children and divorce equals pain and loneliness, so the best way for you to show your love for your kids is to spend time with them.  Take them out for an ice-cream, to dinner or for a walk in a park, or have a great night at home with a movie and popcorn!

7. Take Time for Yourself

Put the kids first, sure, but remember in all of this you are also in pain, so take some time for yourself.  Treat yourself occasionally, enjoy friends or just stare at the stars for an hour one night.  Whatever you do you need to protect both your children and yourself during this divorce.

8. Minimize Drama with the Ex

Divorce can be tense, and your children feel the tension.  Talk to your ex-partner and even if you hate one another, agree to speak well of each other especially in front of the children.  If you finish yelling at each other the children will feel the pain, so put on a happy face and control yourself!

9. Remain Positive

If you are experiencing divorce and the children are unstable and reacting, always try to remain positive.  Speak positively about your ex, yourself and especially the children themselves, because positive words build up while negativity breaks down!

10. Remain Firm about Your Decision

Children are always hopeful that you might get back together again, and you may look back with rose colored glasses on your relationship, but you need to remain firm on your decision to divorce.  Having your ex-partner sleeping over sometimes might work for you and your needs, but it will confuse the children and raise hopes of reconciliation.  Give them a firm and stable situation for their sake.

 

Using this survival guide and applying these Top Ten ideas can help you cope with the developing situation.  With the right attitude you will help your children and divorce situation.

10 Scary Facts about Single Teenage Mothers!

Single teenage mothersSingle teenage mothers face a difficult time bringing up their children, but they can make it.  When many of us see single teenage mothers we think that they are too young and too irresponsible to be mothers, but in thinking these things we do them a disservice.

Here are 10 facts about Single Teenage Mothers You Should Know About Before your Criticize Them!

1. Any teen who is sexually active and fails to use contraception has a 90% chance of falling pregnant within 12 months.

2. 3 in 10 American girls will fall pregnant before the age of 20.  The reason, they are all playing the game of teenage sex.

3. Nearly 25% of single teenage mothers have a second child within 2 years of the birth of their first child.

4. The rates of African American and Hispanic teenagers giving birth is two and a half times that for white girls.

5. From 1990 to 2008, the rate of reported pregnancies among teenagers fell by 42%.

6. 8 out of 10 teenager dads do not marry the mother of their child.

7. Having a baby is the number one reason why single teenage mothers drop out of school.  In fact, more than half of teenage moms do not graduate high school.

8. Fewer than 2% of teenage moms will ever earn a college degree.

9. More than 50% of teenagers have never stopped to think about how having a baby would change their lives.

10. 100% of single teenage mothers need our support to make it

 

Teenagers experimenting with sex is common on the movies, TV shows and in popular music.  Many do this without contraception, or do it in response to peer pressure.  OK, they might have made mistakes, but then again who hasn’t?  As Jesus once said, let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

Single Teenage Mothers have made the decision not to abort their baby, but to face up the consequences of their behavior.  The dads often do not take responsibility, and this leaves the mom struggling to bring up her child the best she can.

With help, understanding and support we can see these incredibly brave young women do an incredible job of raising their children.  Their lot is hard enough as it is, they do not need more criticism from other moms.  The statistics may be against them, but if we love and support them instead of criticize and roll our eyes at them, I believe that single teenage mothers can become outstanding moms and raise fantastic kids!

Top Ten Tips on How to Parent after a Breakup

how to parentIf you have children and have experienced a break up you may be wondering how to parent after the event.  Breakups are frequently messy and emotional affairs, and it is often hard to be there for your kids in their hour of need, especially when you are hurting so badly yourself.

Learning how to parent through a breakup can soften the blow of the separation for your children, and surprisingly even for yourself.

So here’s out Top Ten of coping with your breakup, and how to parent your children through it!

1. Speak to Each Child Individually

While you can talk to all of them together, put some special time aside for each one individually.

2. Take into Account their Ages

Obviously younger children will have less of an understanding of what a breakup is about compared to teenagers.  Try to convey the truth of what has happening in the simplest way possible, and ensure they understand.

3. Let the Know the Breakup is Not Their Fault

Kids naturally blame themselves for a breakdown in the family and wonder what they could have done to prevent it.  Make sure they understand that this is between you and your ex, and they may have had a bearing on your decision, but certainly were not the root cause of the breakup.

4. Tell Them they are Unconditionally Loved by Both Parents

Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved, no matter what they do, what they say and no matter what the state of the relationship between the parents.  Convey that your love for them and your partner’s love for them is not dependent on the parental relationship, and although clearly this will affect the way the parent child relationship works, it does not change how much they are loved.

5. Tell Them that They will be Informed of All Important Decisions

Kids need to know that they are in the loop, so don’t try and hide things thinking that you are protecting them.  Keep them informed, even of the tough things, but do it gently and respectfully.

6. Remind Them that they are Your Joy, and You are Listening

Tell them how much you delight in them, and that you are willing to listen to them.  Learning how to parent through a breakup is going to be something that develops, so listen and care for them, and even if their opinions cannot change anything, at least they feel heard.

7. Never Bad-mouth the Ex to the Kids

It is so tempting in the heat of the moment to say bad things about your ex-partner in an effort to blame them for the relationship breakdown.  Avoid this at all costs, because mud thrown is ground lost.  If you think they are a jerk, tell your closest friend maybe, but speaking badly of the ex places the child in a horrible position, a pawn between two fighting parents.

8. Let them Know they Can’t Change your Decision and Bring the Relationship Back

As much as you love your children, you are still responsible for making decisions about your life and your relationships. Kids may think that if they change the relationship could be restored, so make it clear that your decision is independent to anything a child might say or do.

9. Try to Keep Parenting with the Ex-partner

Breakups are never pretty, but try to keep civility and an open channel in the relationship for the children.  Share your concerns and the needs of the children, and encourage your ex to learn how to parent with you, not undermine everything you do.  Explain to them that the kids come first, and they should not be used as a pawn in an adult relationship game.

10. Tell Them you Need their Courage and Help

Let your children know that in this difficult time you need their help and support as much as they need yours, and that together you can work to create a new life.  Encourage your children’s courage to help and face the future.

Learning how to parent during and after a breakup is a process, and every situation is individual.  Despite your pain or anger at the breakup, you can still learn how to parent effectively and create a new life for yourself and your children without your former partner.