All over the world single parents are “swept under the rug” via stereotypical labels. The most common stereotype of the single parent is the stereotype that classifies them as being lazy, part-time workers or “system-suckers” with no ambition or zeal to do or want better for them-selves.
Although no stereotype is ever 100% wrong as every thought any man is capable of thinking has some existence and/or truth to it, 99% of the time the single parents biggest challenge is childcare.
There is no easy answer to the childcare challenge and it may even seem there is no shortage of childcare providers but let us keep in mind that parents seeking childcare is dominantly a qualitative process. There is no shortage of persons who provide childcare in their home but when seeking childcare, most single parents opt for childcare centers as oppose to home care.
Many single parents view home care centers as the least favorable option. They have to trust a provider to provide quality care to their children amidst a statistical known higher chance of parenting- style- clash. Single parents also feel that there is more room for error in a private childcare setting than in a center because at a home, potential dangerous people, like family members of the childcare provider, have a greater chance of being around their children than they would in a large center where all visitors are subject to some sort of screening even if minimal. Thus, despite the possibility of lower cost in a private child care setting, single parents, like all other parents want what is best for their children.
Childcare cost on average about two hundred and seventy five dollars per week, per child and the majority of single parent incomes, in the Northern California region particularly, is not sufficient to supplement that type of expense.
The key to cutting childcare expense is to get help with childcare cost through some type of subsidized childcare program. The waiting list for such programs can be up to 5 years long. The one way to fast track into the childcare system is via the welfare system. Single parents sometimes are willing to regress in their self-sufficiency as an initial measure to get ahead.
There has got to be an elevation of mindset in the parenting category overall. The single parent struggle is hard on the parent, child and community. More emphasis needs to be placed on parenting roles and responsibilities as an effort to eliminate the hardship of single parent- hood rather than focusing on promoting succession of procreation because having a child is the most natural thing for humans to do and desire.
Naturally, when in a relationship that seemingly is headed for lifetime partnership, one or both partners act on their natural biological desire to procreate; but when relationships fail, the hard struggle of single parenthood takes over.
In the African American community, the majority of single mothers interviewed had a common answer for why they had multiple children after becoming a single parent; the answer was that they thought that the new partner was sincere about having a life with them and bearing a child, as requested or even as desired, seemed like the natural thing to do.
Some mother’s felt that they were misled, used for a place to live or coherced to bare a child for paltry reasons like getting back at an ex lover or girlfriend. Some father’s felt they were misled by gold-digger type women who moved on to begin a relationship with another guy who had more money and/or status after giving birth. Men also complained about being forced into child support loop-holes finding out that the women they now share a child with had no intention on being in a relationship with them at all; merely tricking these men into parenthood solely for child support as their motivation initially.
The problem is not as obvious as it may seem. People are not just naïve; some people are trying to build families while others are using the family system to survive.
Education and counseling needs to dominate communities so that couples understand the value of self-development prior to attempting to develop a family. If more emphasis is placed on the individual things would be a lot easier.
However, the hardships of poverty, abuse and dysfunction makes kids want to establish and do their own thing as soon as possible. Children in dysfunctional families often are not as zealous for college and a career as they are about merely getting out of the dysfunction they grew up in.
Communities need to continue to dialogue about this so that the word gets out that, having children prior to having a well established career is not working; but how will we tell that to persons coming from abuse and dysfunction who want to be loved by someone more than they want to be educated?
This topic will be examined further in future articles.