2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Single-parent families are up by just over 6% compared to the 2001 census. A reality with which we must deal with imagination and organization!
According to Statistics Canada, the statistical portrait of families as recorded in 2006 shows that single parents now represent just over a quarter of all families. This is the highest percentage ever recorded. However, it is the number of single-parent families headed by a man that has increased the most, ie 14.6% more than in 2001. Close to 80% of single-parent families are headed by women. %. Nearly 20% of these families are therefore headed by men.
My entourage is a reflection of these statistics, several of my friends have found themselves single parents in recent years. After mourning the perfect little family, they bravely faced their new reality. I must say that they impress me a lot, I have friends around me who, despite the more difficult times (it's normal to have some), organize themselves very well. In addition, some of them have achieved a life balance that they had never been able to achieve intheir former life as a couple and family.
As I am less well placed to talk about the challenges of single parenthood, I have reached out to four of my single parent friends to share their secrets with you. Here is the testimony of one of them: I could tell you that being a part-time mother (or even a single mother) is a reality that now affects many women in Quebec. Of course, this requires a readjustment in terms of family organization! Being alone with two or three children implies that we are available and structured, for example:
- Children should participate in different chores around the house, when possible;
- It is important to plan activities on the weekend so that the children do not get bored and do bad things… Depending on the age of the children, we can draw up a list of activities to do with them and ask them what they want to do with us… It's also a good way to reward them! »
- Doing homework in the evening is also a big challenge… Once again, we have to structure the time in such a way as to divide our time between each of the children. While we are helping a child with their homework, we must think about keeping the other children busy (coloring, educational games, etc.). After 45 min, it's the next one;
- We can plan the organization of the week by writing on a magnetic board the schedule of each child (lessons, activities, etc.).
- A family diary allows a good exchange between the ex-spouses (medication, difficulties during the week, schedule, etc.).
- Meals are often planned in advance, groceries are done when the children are with their father, the same goes for housework and errands (e.g. shopping for clothes);
- It is also important that the parents (ex-partners) discuss the discipline that each imposes on the children at home. Communication is essential! A phone call (in the morning at the office) allows both parents to know what is happening while they are away. We must also use the same reinforcements or disciplinary measures otherwise the children could abuse the kindness of one of the parents!
Organization is key
My friend is a model of organization, her separation is also a model of communication. Unfortunately, not all stories unfold in harmony. It's hard to think about getting organized when anger and other negative emotions are eating away at us from the inside. Hence the importance of being supported by those around you and of asking for external support, for example, from a psychologist, if the overflow of emotions generated by poor communication prevents us from functioning normally.
As the need is great in terms of support of all kinds, since 1974, the Federation of Associations of Single-Parent and Recomposed Families of Quebec (FAFMRQ) has been an accomplice in the struggles to improve living conditionsQuebec families, particularly single-parent and blended families. It's not a weakness to ask for help, it's a sign of intelligence. Resources exist, let's take advantage of them!
- Federation of Associations of Single-Parent and Blended Families of Quebec (FAFMRQ)
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