“Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears, but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.”
Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Families vary greatly – from the nuclear family to the single mom raising three kids on her own.
As a parent group, you have a unique opportunity to help support the single parents in your school and community by helping to provide for some of their greatest needs: connection, financial help, networking, and recognition.
Solo-parenting comes in many forms. There are moms and dads who are single due to divorce/separation, being widowed/a widower, or having never married. The challenges range from emotional distress and economic hardship to maintaining a household without the help from a partner. However, single parents are also incredibly resilient and some of the bravest, hardest working people around. Our suggestions need to be tailored to your parent group and to the single parents in your school. Take them as a starting point and develop them in conjunction single parents so you know that your support is as effective as possible.
Check out our five methods for supporting single parents and let us know if your parent group has a program for single moms and dads or if you are a solo-parent yourself!
Start a Group/Program for Single Parents
- Create a group that meets bi-weekly as a safe, kid-free space (maybe offer childcare) for single parents to connect, have fun, and get a break from the toll of solo-parenting.
- Your program could also be more developmental and follow a parenting curriculum that is tailored to single parents.
- Consider making it more of a monthly event where you host guest speakers, live musicians, or other forms of entertainment for single parents to learn from and enjoy.
- Host monthly activities for families, such as crafting gifts for mom or dad during Christmas. The kids get help making gifts and the parents can get some time to talk with other moms and dads who are on similar journeys.
Note: It is advised not to have small groups of both single moms and dads together. Keep them separate in order to avoid issues of relationships developing when people may be going through very emotional, trying issues and mistaking a connection for a feeling of intimacy.
Parents Without Partners is the largest international, nonprofit membership organization devoted to the welfare and interests of single parents and their children.
- Giveaway tickets to local sports games so single parents can enjoy them with their children.
- Contact your local movie theatres to see if you can get free ticket donated to gift to the single parents in your school.
- Give away gift cards to local restaurants so single parents can take their kids out for a meal courtesy of you parent group.
- Research other needs that single parents have in your school and develop ways to meet those needs. Consider creating a ‘give back’ fund as part of your annual budget.
Want to include a donation to single parents as part of your fundraiser? We provide a pie chart as part of our online services so you can easily illustrate where your donated funds are going and who is benefiting. Take our online tour to learn more!
Provide a Monthly Schedule of Free Local Events
- Great for all families, but especially for single parents who may be searching for ways to spend quality family time without spending money that is needed elsewhere.
- Allows the opportunity for single parent families to connect and for kids from these families to meet and have fun together.
- Perfect way to invite a new family to the school – you could include a brief “get to know you” survey so you can better identify which families have single parents.
Create a Communication Network for Services
- Provide a network for single parents to locate babysitters, pet sitters, house cleaners, mechanics, and other people who can provide needed services.
- Consider creating social media groups for single parents to connect and find friends who can relate with their circumstances.
- Be the intermediator amongst single parents that helps connect people who can be mentors to new single parents or those who have similar stories and may not meet if not for the social events provided by your parent group.
Raise $ for Scholarships
- Raising money to send single parents back to school, whether that’s to help get their GRE, a college/graduate degree or specialty job training, not only provides for the parents but also sets a great example for their children.
- Consider adding an annual scholarship to your overall budget and include it in your fundraiser. Specify the recipient and include them in your promotional material to help put a face and story to your cause.
- Not able to provide for a scholarship? Provide other career help, like workshops, career mentors, and resources this Working Mom’s Guide to Going Back to School.
How is your parent group supporting single parents? Let us know on social (@thegetmovincrew)!