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Being a single parent, single parent benefits and single parent family
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Life for a single parent can be hard but can be a happy experience for children. There is no evidence that being raised by one parent has a detrimental effect on children. As a single parent you can still create the loving and stable environment that children need and thrive in.
How do you cope if you are new to being a single parent?
- Don't apologise for or hide the fact that you are a single parent. Families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays and the fact you are a single parent is not unusual.
- Remember what your kids need, it's not material things or parents at war. They need a caring, loving environment where you spend time with them and they can get their emotional needs met.
- Don't lean on your child. As a single parent you may be lacking the adult company you once had. Your child isn't your friend or your confidante, they are your child. They aren't in a position to advise you on your love life or other critical life decisions. Dont keep them up or off school because you need the company. They need a parent who deals with their own issues separately from the parent-child relationship.
- Ensure continuing contact as long as it is appropriate with the other parent. This can be face to face, over the phone or by email. Just because you have separated doesn't mean joint parenting can't continue.
- Be firm, fair and consistent in your parenting both in terms of discipline and the messages you send to your child. Do not try to compensate for the absence of one parent by over indulging your child. If you need help in getting through the tough stages of raising children you can find more help in our Raising Children section.
- Seek out local support groups. Kateandemily.com includes tools, advice and forums to help people work out the best way to bring up children as single parents and co-parent effectively
- If you are struggling with single parenthood there is help available from Gingerbread , where you can find a full range of practical and emotional help including benefits, housing, holidays and social life for single parents.
- You have needs too. Some dating agencies are set up specifically for single parents with children such as KNO (Kids no Object)
Family holidays and outings are still important. Find holidays run by non-profit making charities such as the Single Parent Travel Club as a way of managing the budget and meeting other families.
Check out our dating site Armchair Advice Dating . Registration is free and you will be able to find thousands of like minded people who are looking for friendship and romance.
For other wide ranging support for one parent families the National Council for One Parent Families runs a freephone num...
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