Are you a single parent?
Are you in a situation where you will soon become a single parent?
According to a 2008 US Census Bureau report, more than 40% of all children born in the US are born to single mothers. Additionally, roughly 30% of all households in America are single parent homes. These numbers have increased dramatically in the last 30 years as births to single parent births just 18% in 1980 and single parent homes were at roughly 20%. So what exactly constitutes a singe parent home and what difference does it make?
First, single parent homes consist of the following types:
- Unwed parent
- Divorced parent
- Separated parent
- Widowed parent
- Single adopted parent
Second, aside from the type, single parent households carry their own unique set of challenges. Most importantly, the sole parent must perform the roles of both mother and father. This is a daunting challenge in that the parent is typically ill equipped to know how to successfully perform the role required of the other parent.
Third, as the sole provider of household income, the stress and strain on the parent is magnified. According to the Mayo Clinic, these strains include additional fatigue, disillusionment, and disconnect which can cause emotional and disciplinary inconsistencies. Each of these can be a harbinger of greater potential behavioral and emotional problems in the child; Issues that may either be apparent currently or come out in future years.
Finally, the effects on children can be dramatic. For example, 60% of children living in a single mother household live at or below the poverty level. Additionally, children born and raised in single parent households are more likely to commit suicide, do drugs, and commit crimes.
However, despite the statistical disadvantages and parental challenges faced, there is hope. The Center for Family & Crisis Counseling is here to assist single parents in developing the skills necessary to handle the emotional and psychological challenges the parent faces. Our approach is to work with the family unit, parent, and child(ren), to develop the skills necessary in adjusting to and handling the emotional and psychological challenges they face individually and as a family.
One of the most common questions we receive regarding children is “what is the minimum age limit is that we will assist?” The answer is simple; we will assist children of any age. Our staff has received extensive training in therapeutic play techniques in order to meet children at their developmental level, assist them with the challenges they are facing, help them adjust to transitions, and work along side parents (through filial therapy) to improve the health and unity of the family.