Evolution of The Single Parent: From Past to the Present
A single parent refers to a person who is raising one or more children alone, and without the partnership of the other parent in the home.
In the US, mothers are commonly the single parent; however, the number of single fathers is rising dramatically.
To be included in the data for single parent families, one or more children residing in the home must be under the age of 18. Statistics also go on to say that do to struggles with finding adequate help; many single moms have a hard time managing the household.
Statistics show a wide range of ethnic diversity but the hardships are not prejudice. The struggles, and needs of these families are the same across the board.
It’s no secret that being single and raising children has gotten a bad rap over the years. Statistics indicate that problematic children are more likely to come from a one-parent home than a traditional home with two parents.
There are many reasons that contribute to the data relating to the negative aspects of single family homes, and a lot of it relates to how a parent handles stress and pressure that could ultimately trigger serious mental health issues.
- Financial Strain: Finances are important in contributing to the welfare of children and often parents struggle to make ends meet. These struggles add up to families who have to be covered by the government, and parents who work multiple jobs to cover expenses. These hardships put children at risk because there are elements of neglect that can occur when parents are out of the house.
- Emotional Stress: The added pressure of raising children alone can, at times, contribute to consuming emotional stress that can lead to other mental health issues. When a person can’t handle significant amounts of stress, the body breaks down on a physical, mental, and emotional level. With proper treatment, these stress levels can be maintained and children greatly benefit from stress-free family environments.
- Mental Illness: Financial and emotional stress have the tendency to produce different mental illnesses within a person. Common health issues include depression, and anxiety. Depression is a paralyzing disease that makes even simple situations seem unmanageable. The anxiety issues can consist of constant worry and unnecessary paranoia.
- Addiction Issues: Mental illnesses that go without treatment, can sometimes lapse into addiction. Both drugs and alcohol are recognized by many professionals in the field of psychiatry as self-medicating vices used by people who are not properly monitored or treated by a doctor. Addiction can sabotage families and ruin everything. It’s important to seek treatment when these situations occur in order to protect the family and respect the comfort of children.
The negative stigma associated with single parenting is changing as the public becomes more aware, and as more single parents become informed. Traditionally, statistics have indicated that one-parent homes contributed to the breakdown of families and resulted in other problems that come along with pressure.
Today, there are organizations and groups that feature programs and information geared toward helping parents meet a healthier way of life. More parents are recognizing their own abilities and are finding success with higher education, advancement in careers, and help regarding the raising of children.
To find help, reach out to friends, family, or people within the community that have struggled or used outlets to succeed as a single mom or dad.
The US government reported that in 2013, there were 2 million single fathers living throughout the country. Single fathers are becoming more aware of the importance of their role in the lives of children. There is a large movement of men who are redefining the roles of fatherhood and stepping up to the plate. These men have no problem assuming the position of both mother and father.
A new trend that started in the world of celebrities is the adoption of children. What makes this particular trend unique is that celebrities, who are single; therefore classifying them as single moms.
This trend is now making its way into mainstream America and more single people are adapting to life as a one-man-do-it-all in parenting. Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie are both famous actors who have adopted children as single women.
This practice is proof that stereotypes and judgment against single parenting is changing. Leave it to famous people to make something like adoption more glamorous and popular.
Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears. But it is also twice the love, twice the hugs, and twice the pride. -Unknown
Use Support Groups for Help and Encouragement
In addition to government benefits, non-profit organizations, and grants, support groups offer a much needed outlet for people who are struggling in one-parent homes. There are groups available and located in various locations that are designed to group members together who are afflicted with the same stressors.
Support systems that are mixed with peers, work to inspire single parents. When a person doesn’t feel alone, or isolated, they are able to feel a sense of relief and aspire to become greater. The overwhelming pressures become more manageable with help information and resources designed to change lives.
Housing Options for Single Family
Government assistance programs that help single parents exist in all communities. There are programs available to help with rent, and programs that work with families who are interested in home ownership. Some opportunities for help are run through individual counties, or states. There are also federal programs available to assist as well.
Parents who are interested in learning about options for housing can check with:
- Government Programs: Welfare has changed and is now a supportive network of community resources that work with families who are struggling to find ways to better their lives. There is a new way of receiving benefits that offers inspiration to parents.
- Community Organizations: Many local organizations work to find appropriate outlets for many needs of single parents. These organizations can help with childcare, food, education, and housing.
- Outside Agencies: County and State agencies that are separate from welfare programs, are also available to help those who are struggling. These services work to also help children of single parents, who may need direction, help with life planning, and motivation to succeed.
- Non-Profit Organizations: These organizations are run by individuals and churches and operate on grants and private funds to provide shelter, food, and clothing for those who are in jeopardy. Homeless shelters are available for families who need temporary help and assistance.
- Churches: Many churches offer vouchers to help with monthly expenses like gas, food, shelter, clothing, and other living expenses. They work with funds that are collected by the church members and offer assistance to many people.
Putting it all Together to Raise a Happy Family
Two-parent homes seem to be ideal when it comes to raising children but that isn’t always true. When homes are filled with chaos because of relationship troubles between parents, children can struggle more.
Being a solo breadwinner is a hard task and takes a lot out of a person on an emotional, physical, mental, and financial level. Parents who are challenged with providing for their families on one income tend to lose important time with kids.
The best news is that all of these pressures can be avoided with a simple strategy and help from agencies that specialize in the specific needs of one-parent families.
There are elements of pride that effect how people respond to accepting help. It’s important to look for services that offer a nonjudgmental approach to helping others, and who have no other agenda. Seek out legitimate establishments that offer resources and programs that are designed for individual needs.
It used to be single family homes existed in poverty. Today, there are so many options for help that families no longer have to suffer. The idea is to help future generations with “hand-ups” as opposed to handouts. Helping others learn new careers, and by offering mental health help, families are stepping out of the shadows and into the light.
Inspiration comes from those who have achieved. Helping others is a way to positively reflect on communities and individuals. Changing one person’s life will result in the changing of many others. The chain effect is one that is positive and never-ending.