How to Support Your School Child as a Single Parent

According to Pew Research Center, with 23% of children in the U.S. aged below 18 living with a single parent, the country leads the world in single-parenthood. Despite this fact, the traditional family setup is still dominant.

When you hear of a single parent, you’ll often think of a mother and her children, and this is considerably true going by Mental Health America’s report that in 2020, about 15.21 million children lived with a single mother in the United States compared to 3.27 million that lived with a single father. Below are measures you can adopt to support your school child as a single parent.

Get Involved

Participate in your child’s schoolwork and activities by joining PTA or PTSA. And why is this essential? The National Center for Family & Community Connections with School reports that children from families committed to schoolwork and other activities at an early age tend to score higher grades.

Get To Know Your Child’s Teacher

Interact with your child’s teacher to help them understand that your child is from a single-parent family. This gives the teacher perspectives on understanding your child so they can assist them appropriately. Children of single parents go through many challenges, and it’s important to let the teacher know so they can be well-prepared to help them.

Effective Communication

Being a single parent can be overwhelming. Balancing work and house chores isn’t easy. It’s easy to fall back on helping your child with schoolwork, among other school schedules. Communicate effectively with the school to help them understand your challenges. This involves checking and answering school emails and texts as soon as you receive them. Ensure the teacher has your personal phone contact and so they can reach you easily.

Participate in School’s Growth

A child from a stable family involved in their school activities and growth is more confident. Be actively involved in your child’s and other students’ well-being by participating in the school’s facilities and expansion projects. Thought Co. reports that most private schools have a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1. This translates into better student performance as they receive more personalized attention from the teacher.

Create Routines

Creating routines in your family helps maintain order and accomplish tasks with minimal interruption. Time management is critical, and establishing routines is a great habit. You’ll need to set routines for your children so they can be better at managing their time and completing tasks. For instance, make sure they turn in and rise at specific times and engage them with planning for each day’s tasks to help them prioritize their day.

Create a Sense of Stability

A child from a single-parent family needs stability more than anything else. They need to be sure their needs will be met. The National Institute for Mental Health reports that social anxiety disorder can affect a child’s school work and daily routine activities. It also affects their ability to make and keep friends.

Child care is expensive, especially if you’re under financial strain. While everything about the care of your child largely depends on you, try as much as possible not to allow your financial woes to affect them. All a child needs to concentrate on is their school work and playing with other kids.

Motivate Your Child

As a single parent, one of your greatest roles is encouraging your child. Applaud their achievements, however minor they are. This is effective at increasing their self-esteem and confidence. Make time to talk with them about different topics, giving them clear guidelines on what to do at different intersections of life.

School-going children from single-parent households go through a lot. For instance, according to Pennsylvania law, in PA, it’s not uncommon for one of the parents to move to an area requiring the child to commute for over an hour between parents. This is considered a relocation.

Single-parent families face many other challenges, but you should aim to support your child as best as possible. Ultimately, it’s your role to help your child grow into a responsible adult capable of caring for themselves and others.

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