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The Single Parent Family
Definition of the single parent family. The single-parent family (SPF) is one parent raising one or more children. Single-parent families historically resulted from the death of a parent. In the last 50 years this has changed due to an increased divorce rate, increased female financial independence, and a greater social acceptance of unwed parents (Sailor, 2004, p. 80).
Single parents are usually women, but as legal attitudes change more fathers are becoming single parents (Sailor, 2004, p. 79-80). Single parents can be found among all ages, races, educational levels, and ethnic groups, though African American children are statistically more likely to live in a single parent household than are children of Hispanic, Asian American, or White descent (Sailor, 2004, p. 81). The single parent must be everything for his or her child: breadwinner, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, nurturer, tutor, cop, judge, nurse, councilor, story-teller, role model, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. “The parent-child relationship is at the heart of the single-parent family (Sailor, 2004, p. 81).”
Strengths of the single parent family. The intimate structure of the single parent family has its advantages. If family dissolution ends domestic violence, the (hopefully) peaceful household is healthier for both parent and child (Sailor, 2004, p. 87). The new partnership of parent and child helps both develop life skills faster, and being “Mommy’s helper” can increase a child’s self-confidence and decision-making skills (Sailor, 2004, p. 87). Planning activities together stimulates critical thinking skills. Increased negotiations between parent and child build strong communication and problem-solving skills, and both parent and child often develop strong management techniques (Sailor, 2004, p. 87). The stress that might otherwise wear out a ‘normal’ relationship instead creates stronger, more resilient people (Sailor, 2004, p. 87).
Challenges of t…


Keywords: [tag]parent[/tag], [tag]sailor[/tag], [tag]2004[/tag], [tag]family[/tag]

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