From three o’clock feedings to the time you drive them off to college, your days are constantly filled with caring for your children.
You are responsible for making sure they are healthy, happy, and well-provided for, as well as ensuring they receive the love, attention, and guidance they need to grow into stable adults.
This isn’t always the easiest task, but as a mother, it is a task you truly love. You enjoy the special moments you spend with your children, and even though it might cost you a large amount of money, sleepless nights, and a few gray hairs along the way, you wouldn’t trade it for the world.
While your children see you as a wise and wonderful woman (at least until they turn 12), you may not always have the answer for everything.
Here is a short guide to help with a few challenges you may have when raising children.
Single Parents vs. Two Parent Families
A mom is a mom, no matter whether she is married or not. However, research has shown that many single moms have a harder time raising children than those that are married.
Here are a few statistics about single moms versus married mothers from a study by the Center for Law and Social Society:
- Two parent families have a 5% poverty rate, while single parent rates were much higher at about 26%.
- Child dropout rates for Caucasian children in married households were 11%, while families with only one parent were 28%.
- For African American two-parent families, the dropout rate for children was 17%, while the dropout rate for single parent African American families was 30%.
Of course, not every single parent or married household will experience these challenges. These statistics only refer to a small percentage of families in the United States. Other statistics shine a more promising light on single parent homes.
For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau states that 79% of single mothers are employed, with 50% working full time all year. 92% of single fathers are employed and 74% work full-time all year. And, according to a recent survey by MSNBC, single parent households can sometimes be better than married ones.
Children are less likely to be raised around conflict, obtain more attention from the mother or father raising them because the parent does not have to worry about maintaining a healthy relationship with a partner, and have a better understanding of boundaries set for them, because there is no other parent to undermine.
While being a mom is hard, it may still be harder for single moms who do not have the emotional or financial support of a married partner. While this can be stressful and overwhelming, many single parents are happy with their situation and are able to provide a safe and stable home for their children to grow up in.
Raising Your Special Children
Bilingual Children – Many parents, single or married, raise their children to speak more than one language. In a bilingual household, this is often a necessity, as well as a desire, because parents want their children to know and understand their rich heritage. For other households, however, English speaking parents may introduce bilingualism to obtain the cognitive benefits often associated with children learning another language, such as improved problem solving skills, early reading, and higher test scores.
In order for true fluency of a language to occur, most child care expert recommend introducing your child to another language at age one. Immersion programs are often used for children in school to teach them another language as well.
A part time program would involve half of a child’s school day. During this time, the child would learn all of his or her subjects in a language other than English. Full immersion programs work the same way, except all subjects are learned in the second language.
Special Needs – Caring for a special needs child can make an already difficult task, even harder for mothers. If your child is special needs, know that you are not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 19% of individuals in the United States have some sort of disability. This is about 54.4 million people, or the population of both California and Florida combined. If you are raising a child with special needs, establish a support system and research all the information you can. Know the law and determine what help is available to you in the form of support, medical treatments, prescriptions, and therapy. Speak to your child’s doctor to verify any information you find and use as much as you can to your advantage.
Godly Children – For many parents, raising godly children is a number one priority. This can be quite a challenge, due to the constant flood of outside influences, such as video games, the internet, the less than positive message in mainstream music, celebrities your child may idolize, and more. Openly living out your faith each day and sharing it with them as often as possible are the best solutions to this problem. This gives them an example to live by and the knowledge they need to live their lives in a godly way.
Being a mom is difficult, and whether you are a single mother or a married mom, you will no doubt face certain challenges while you are raising your children.
However, with love, devotion, and help from this guide, you can face any challenge head-on and enjoy every precious moment you have with your children.