You cannot deny the fact that single parenting is a very hard job. No matter how you may have gotten to be a single parent, it cannot be denied that the road you are traveling on is a very rough one.
As far as single parent statistics go, there are about 14 million single parents here in the U.S. today. They are responsible for raising 21.6 million of our nation’s children. The statistics about single parents show that most single parents are mothers. Statistics show that 83.1% of the single custodial parents are mothers as compared with 16.9% being custodial fathers.
Further single parenting statistics show that single mothers are either divorced or separated, but take a look at a breakdown of the statistics:
Single Mothers Statistics
- 45% of single mothers are either currently separated or divorced
- 34% of single mothers are not or have never been married
- 1.7% of single mothers are widows
- 80% of single mothers are employed, with 50% working full-time and 30% working part-time
- 27% of single mothers live in poverty with their children
Single Fathers Statistics
- 58% of single fathers are either separated or divorced
- 20% are currently married (or have remarried)
- 21% have never been married
- Fewer than 1% are widowed
- 90% of single fathers are employed, with 72% working full-time and 19% working part-time
There are a lot of struggles that single parents must face. It almost seems as though the deck is stacked against a single parent from the get-go! The single parent has to know how to balance work, housework, childcare, visitation schedules not to mention the children’s activities. When all is said and done, the single parent needs to set some time aside just for his or her very own.
Beyond Single Parent Statistics
One of the biggest struggles that a single parent faces is the financial one. This is true especially if you are the custodial parent. With a two-parent household, if both parents work, money is usually not such a hot topic. For more advice and information on finances, please read Grants For Single Parents. However, single parenting is not all bad. It is true that your children need guidance, attention and quality time but you can be there for them. Here are some things that you as a single parent can do with your children:
- Read to your children especially when they are very young. There is never a time when it is too early to read to your children. Even though they may not understand what they hear, your children learn to identify the tone and rhythm of your voice. Nursery rhymes are very good to read to little ones.
- It is very important that your children feel loved every day. One way of showing your love for them is by tucking little encouraging notes in their book bags so that they find it when they get to school.
- Make sure that you show your children that there is no going back to past relationships. The only way you can show your children that you are ready to move forward is to close the door on the past.
- Schedule a regular reading time either after dinner or before bedtime so you can wind down and relax with your children. This is a time to enjoy each others company and it provides a good bonding opportunity.
- Get into an exercise routine and go bicycling with your children. You should work up to about 30 minutes three times a week. This is not only good exercise but a great stress reliever.
Yes, single parenting is not such an easy thing to do, but with more and more single parents nowadays their lot in society is improving. Remember that the most important thing is your children. Make sure that they grow up in a loving and nurturing home and you will be doing an excellent job!
Need more advice on raising a teenager? While single parent statistics often focus on the parents, we need to remember that the children are even more involved than the parents, as they have no choice but to be part of a single parent household. Teenagers, especially, must have a hard time of it, as they are very much influenced by their friends and their peers, and to see other kids with both parents all the time can only be a very heartbreaking sight.
Babies and younger children, while still knowing that something has happened to their family unit, are not as affected by single parenting as their teenaged counterparts. What do you say to a teenager when they suddenly turn around and throw an accusation at the custodial parent about how it is their fault that the parent is single? The only way to deal with something like this would be to lovingly and patiently sit the teenager down and explain exactly what happened to either break up the partnership, or if there wasn’t one to begin with, to explain why there is no other parent.
The best situation would be one where both parents are still very actively involved in their children’s lives, and both would be able to offer this information.