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Jennifer Maggio

Author/Speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is considered one of the nation's leading experts on single parent issues. Her new book, Overwhelmed, is selling out in bookstores across the nation. She is a featured expert with Single Parents Town. Her story of abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy leaves aud...

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Personal Finance

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03/08/2011 09:28am
Powerful Single Parenting

Single parenting! With more than 17 million single parents in the country, it sure has become a common term! But, if you are a single parent, are you aware of what some of the statistics are? Let me share a few here.

* Almost 30% of single parents live in poverty.
* 78% of our current prison population came from a single parent home.
* Abuse is twice as likely in a single parent home.
* The child of a single parent is 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
* The child of a single parent is 10 times more likely to drop out of high school.

Lower income rates, higher crime rates, and lower education levels -- that's what the stats say for the single parent home. Scary, huh? Bottom line is this! Although it is admittedly more difficult to parent alone, it is not impossible. Statistics do not imply certainty. So.....get active, effectively parenting your children.

Here are a few basic tips for the single parent home:

1. Do not play the victim role. This is the one topic I have spoken most often throughout the country. It is vastly important to realize that everyone has a story. If you have lived life more than ten seconds, you have been wronged or hurt. You may have experienced death or tragedy, disappointment or malice. How you handle your hurt is key. If your entire world has been consumed by how your child's father didn't treat you right or how he does not pay child support or how you were beaten as a child, then your children surely see that and will duplicate it.

2. Manage your finances effectively. Sounds simple enough, right? Whether you have recently undergone a lifechange through divorce or an unplanned pregnancy or lost a spouse to death, it is inevitable that your financial situation will need to be evaluated. Many churches and nonprofits offer free financial advice. In addition, we recommend taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Seminar that is offered in different venues across the country.

3. Assess your emotional and spiritual health. In working with hundreds of single parent homes over the last several years, most of the initial contact has been to retrieve financial assistance or parenting advice. It is rare that I get phone calls regarding emotional and spiritual issues, such as loneliness, bitterness, understanding who Christ is, etc. However, within only a few moments of conversation, it is usually easy to discern that many of the parenting and financial needs would be rectified, if the single parent's emotional and spiritual life were whole. This is perhaps the most important tip!

There is no denying that single parenting offes challenges that two parent homes may never face. But coming from a single parent of 7 years and one who has worked with thousands across the world, I want you to know that YOU CAN NOT ONLY SURVIVE, BUT THRIVE!


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