Single Parent Families

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What is a single parent family and what does this type of family look like?

-A person who cares for a child on his or her own without a partner.

-One out of every two children in the United States will live in a single parent household some time before the age of 18.

What are some struggles of being a single parent?

  • Financial Stability: single parents are expected to provide for expenses that are often carried out by two instead of one. It makes it difficult to pay for a child if you are only getting half of what a family with both a mother and father take in together.
  • Social Isolation: Single parents often say they feel trapped underneath a mountain of responsibilities that don't allow them to have time for friends or social events.
  • Fatigue: lets face it, a mother or father who is doing a job designed for two alone is tiring and makes them feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually worn out.
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In what way can this be beneficial?

There are a lot of negative factors in being a single parent but there is always some good with the bad. Being a single parent can be beneficial to the mother or father because it teaches them responsibility and how to prioritize things. The person may even have some friends or family members who help them out so they don't have to do everything alone. This can build on family or friend relationships. This can also be good for the child to have extra support from family and friends and to have more people to look up to and go to in times of need.

Single parent family characteristics...

  • The child and their mother/father get enough quality time together and are typically close to each other.
  • As the child grows and becomes more independent the parent and child are able to help each other out.

Responsibilities of family members and its affect on the children...

Single parents have many responsibilities in order to provide for them and their child such as working a full time job to make enough money, cleaning, shopping, and making sure the child has everything needed. It can get very stressful for them to do so on their own and this could have a big affect on the child. The parent may get too caught up in work or other things and not have as much time for their child and this could upset the child and make them feel neglected.

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How can this type of family affect a child?

There are many different ways living in a single parent household can affect a child, both positively and negatively. Some may include:

-lower levels of educational achievements

-they are twice as likely to drop out of school
-more conflicts with their parents

-more frequently abuse drugs and alcohol

-higher risk of sexual behavior

-four times as likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems

-more likely to commit suicide

What are some helpful resources available for single parent families?

http://www.singleandparenting.org/helpcenter

This website is available for single parents who are overwhelmed, have questions or concerns regarding their children, money, parenting goals, emotional situations, talking to their children, dating, and much more.

http://www.spaoa.org/

The SPAOA (Single Parents Alliance of America) is an organization holding information, resources, and offers benefits for single parents.