Children in Single Parent Families — Single Parents Support

Posted on March 11, 2011

Raising children in single parent families is a daily struggle.  As any busy single parent can attest to, it is sometimes difficult to juggle all of our daily demands and still have energy and time left over to for our children.  When this happens, emotional connection with our children begins to suffer and feelings of guilt, sadness, anger, and resentment can quickly set it.  Here are five ways to offer single parents support to be a stronger family unit. 

  • Maintain a structured (routine) home – Children who have set routines in their home (set homework times, play times, meal times, and bed/bath times) do much better than those who do not.  Children need and thrive in a structured setting, where they know what to expect.  As an added bonus, structured settings minimize meltdowns and power struggles because the children know what to expect each day.
  • Share family meals together – Families who regularly eat dinner together feel closer together are closer emotionally than those who do not.  Spending time together around the family dinner table (with the TV off) increases opportunities for conversations and a chance to “catch up” with each other’s daily activities.
  • Play with your children — Turn off the TV, computer, and cell phone and focus your attention on your children.  If weather permits, go outside and ride bikes, find a playground, play hopscotch, use sidewalk chalk, the opportunities are almost endless.  If indoors; play a board game, card game, play with army men, stuffed animal, or have a tea party.   As long as you are focusing your attention on your children, you both win.
  • Read to your children – study after study has shown that when parents routinely read to their young children; those children learn to read at a younger age, and do much better in school than those children whose parents did not.  For school age children, share the reading time by taking turns reading each page.  Have a collection of age appropriate books for your children to pick from, or borrow some from a local library.
  • Talk to your children – This sounds simple, but many parents find it difficult to carry on a conversation with their children, especially teenagers.  Start by asking simple questions about their day, their favorite activities, likes & dislikes.  If your children do not feel like talking with you at the moment, don’t force them.  Simply let your children know that you are available for them, and then be there for them when they are receptive to talking, or when they come to you.  Do not shut them out or be “too busy” for them when they come to you.  This is one of the biggest mistakes parents can make.  If you are right in the middle of something that must be taken care of, lovingly tell them that you need to finish what you are doing so that you can give your full attention to them……and then follow though.

Children in single parent families need the same time and attention as two-parent families.  However, finding single parents support is not easy.  Making more time for your children by incorporating these five suggestions into your family life may require you to re-adjust your priorities a bit, however; the rewards you and your children will soon experience by doing so will lead to a much happier and healthier family.  After your children have grown and left the comfort of your nest, will you look back at their childhood and wish you would have spent more time at work, or more time cultivating your relationship with your children? 

Written by:  James Vastag, MA, LMFTA

James Vastag is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Associate with Groff & Associates Professional Counseling.  His passion is to help couples and families navigate life’s rough waters by helping them learn how to meet their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs in a positive and healthy manner.  James may be contacted at: james@groffandassociates.com.

Tags: , , ,


Contact Us | About | Privacy | Sitemap | Terms of Use
Copyright © 2012 Groff & Associates.
All Rights Reserved. Indianapolis Counseling

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