Below is some of the single parenting information that we think you will find most useful as you continue through your daily life as a single parent. This is not a comprehensive account of what you need to know, but it is a good place to get started.
Information for Single Parents
There are a few important pieces of information for single parents that you should probably consider in order to ensure that you provide your children with the best chance at success possible.
The following are risks that children of single parents may face:
- lower levels of educational achievement
- twice as likely to drop out of school
- more likely to become teen parents
- more conflict with their parent(s)
- less supervised by adults
- more likely to become truants
- more frequently abuse drugs and alcohol
- more high-risk sexual behavior
- more likely to join a gang
- twice as likely to go to jail
- four times as likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems
- more likely to participate in violent crime
- more likely to commit suicide
- twice as likely to get divorced in adulthood
This is a very important piece of single parenting information to keep in your heart at all times. If you know what to look out for then you may be able to be successful in ensuring that you catch these problems when they manifest as early awarding signs rather than when it is too late to do anything about them that is meaningful.
One of the bigger concerns that raises itself when considering single parenting information is that of quality childcare. This is a problem because single parents have to work which leaves the question of who will take care of your children while you are at work. Finding quality childcare will be one of the biggest challenged that you will face and it is important that, as a new single parent, you accept this and find a way to work around it.
Establishing routine in your home is of paramount importance if you and your family are to be a successful. This is however easier said than done. A very important bit of single parenting information is that routine will help the family to run more smoothly because:
- Your children will know what is expected of them and when
- You will be able to manage time more efficiently for everyone’s benefit
Communicating with your children while drawing up the routine will make the process far easier for everyone.
Discipline is essential. A lot of single parents feel that they cannot discipline their children because they are ineffective, but a child needs discipline in order to be able to face life’s challenges. We are not saying that you should beat your child, but there do need to be consequences, such as being unable to go out with friends, should your children cross the line or break one of the previously established rules that you and your family have agreed upon.
Letting Your Child Be A Child
A very important bit of single parenting information is that you need to allow your child to be a child. This may sound obvious but what often happens is that children in single parent families are given more responsibilities than they should have to deal with at that age and this is something that you need to look out for. You can balance responsibility and play by:
- Scheduling play times
- Not expecting more of your child than you know they are capable of
Getting to Know the Important People in Their Lives
It is very important that you get to know all of the important people in your child’s life. This includes people like teachers and sports coaches, as well as their friends and the parents of their friends. In order to properly raise your child and ensure that he or she is safe at all times you need to know where they are and who they are with and you need to be a position to make a judgment call about whether or not you trust the other people who are important in your child’s life.
Talking About the Other Parent
When you talk to your child about the other parent remember to:
- Avoid being negative and judgmental
- Avoid telling lies or skirting around the truth
This is an important bit of single parenting information as clear and honest communication about your child’s other parent that is not in any way judgmental will indicate that you have respect for your child and thereby work towards helping you to solidify your relationship with him or her.
Don’t Make Them Choose
It is very important that you do not make your children choose between you and your ex-partner. This is something that you may make them do without even knowing it so be careful how you phrase questions and keep an eye on your attitude when you speak with your children about their other parent. It is not fair to make a child choose between two people that he or she may love equally and it is certainly not advised by us that you do so.
One of the biggest problems that single parents face, which is something that you will see often comes up in discussion about single parenting information, is how to explain the financial situation that you are in to your children adequately. The situation needs to be explained so that your child will not have expectations about life that you cannot meet, but it needs to explained in such a way that you do not indicate that you are blaming your child or your status as a single parent for the situation.
There is a lot of information for single parents out there about where to get help, and it is important that you find that information and read it carefully so that you can be sure that you are covering all of your options and that you are doing the best you can for your family. Below is a very brief summary of the help that single parents can expect to find in order to support themselves and their families.
Food is one of the important necessities in life that you need to provide for your children (and yourself). Some useful single parenting information is that there are structures in place in most states to help disadvantaged families, such as some families headed by single parents, to get the food that they need. The food is usually aimed at nutrition as well as simply at preventing starvation, an added bonus.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Food banks
- The Food Stamp Program
Providing your children with a safe and secure home is one of the more important things that you will have to do as a single parent. Below is some information for single parents about some of the housing subsidies offered in many different states by the government to try to ensure that single parents are able to provide homes for their children as well as being able to keep those homes.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Section 8 Housing
Some of the single parenting information that we have for you today relate to helping single parents go back to school and improve their situation for themselves as well as for their children. The best way to start your search of financial help in terms of education is by filling out the FAFSA form to see if you qualify for any government grants for single mothers. There are also a number of private sources that also offer scholarships and grants for education, and some colleges and universities will also provide financial assistance for single parents in order to encourage more students to join their school.
Making sure that your child receives and adequate level of medical care is of absolute importance. However one very well known piece of single parenting information is that medical insurance is expensive. There are some options open to you in this regard:
- Alternative state based options for single parents who do not qualify for Medicaid but who nevertheless are unable to afford privately based medical care for themselves and their children
Finding good childcare while you work is, as we have mentioned previously, very important. The kind of quality childcare that is ideal is not necessarily the kind of childcare that is the most affordable. It is therefore essential that you look into the various government subsidies offered. The government in most states is more than willing to pay for part of your childcare costs if you have enough need for the money and this will allow you to be certain that your child is in a very good facility while you are not there to care for him or her. This is very important information for single parents to have.
Important single parent statistics
One very important piece of information that you should be aware of is just what the single parenting statistics are. A few of the statistics may surprise you, but they should all help to make you feel that you are far from being alone and that it is not as bad as you think.
Firstly there is the question of gender. It probably comes as no surprise to you that 84% of custodial parents are mothers and 16% of custodial parents are fathers. It is an easily observable fact that most single parents are women. Of these single women approximately 45% are currently divorced or separated, 34.2% have never been married, 19% are married or remarried, and 1.7% are widowed. Of the small number of single fathers out there 57.8% are currently divorced or separated, 20.9% have never been married, 20% are married or remarried, and less than 1% is widowed.
Now for the bits of single parenting information that may surprise you.
- 79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed with 49.8% working full time and 29.7% working part-time or part-year, and
- 90% of custodial single fathers are gainfully employed with 71.7% working full time and 18.4% working part-time or part-year
This goes a long way to destroy the image of single parents as being unemployed and poor. It is easier for men to get jobs than women, which is why the rates are much higher for men in this regard.
Another piece of single parenting information that you may be familiar with is that single parents and their children live in poverty, right? Wrong. Only 12.9% of custodial single fathers and their children live in poverty. The rate is higher for custodial mothers at 27% but this is far from being the majority of single parents. A lot of the single parenting information that you know is not based on actual facts. In addition to this very few single parents actually receive public assistance and benefits.
Over the years very grim pictures have been painted about single parents, but these pictures may not be accurate. There is no need for you to conform to the idea that single parents struggle. You can be one of the many single parents who easily make a success of their lives and guide their children well to being successful too.
Now that you have read through this article you should have some of the basic single parenting information that you need in order to keep yourself and your family afloat. Probably the biggest thing to remember is that you are not alone. There is a lot of help out there for single parents who are willing to look for it and there is no reason why you need to struggle through this life circumstance by yourself. There are ways and means for providing for your family fairly easily and you will find that many people and organizations are more than willing to help you out.