Support for Single Parents
Parenting is a hard job for anyone, but single parents face special challenges. Stress and fear often get the best of single parents, not to mention financial challenges. Whether you have been recently divorced or widowed, here are some tips for finding the help you need to be an effective single parent.
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Parent Education Programs
Parent education programs can be a great way to get single parenting help. Some organizations offer courses in parenting that address specific issues such as substance abuse prevention and treatment, dealing with antisocial behavior, and setting appropriate boundaries. Courses that are tailored toward single parents can address issues such as the logistics of coordinating your child’s schedule, co-parenting with an ex-spouse, and dealing with loss and grief. For more serious parenting problems, family therapists or counselors can also provide one on one parent education. Parent education courses or therapy sessions should set clear goals for what you want to accomplish, give you long-term skills, and should build upon your parenting strengths. Parent education programs can help single parents deal with stages of transition in their child’s life such as the first year of life, divorce, formation of a step family, and puberty.
The internet has made it easier than ever for parents to help other parents and find help for specific problems. Parenting websites can be a great resource for tips on single parenting. Look for parenting websites that focus on helping single parents. If you are dealing with a specific problem, a Google search will return helpful results. Blogs from other parents can give you a glimpse of real life experiences of other single parents and give you the chance to interact with the blogger. Similarly, discussion boards are a great place to get ideas from other parents and ask for help with your particular problems. As single parents are notoriously busy, online resources offer the benefit of being easily accessible from home or on the go, allowing you to improve your parenting skills in the midst of your busy life.
Other Help for Single Parents
Aside from seeking formal parenting education or classes and online resources, there are many other resources that are a great supplement to your single parenting skills. Parenting magazines or newsletters are a great place to start. These resources offer monthly advice from parents who have “been there” and have experiences to share. Many magazines also publish parenting studies or research to help you stay current on parenting trends. Having access to many voices and viewpoints like this is particularly helpful for single parents.