Counseling is an excellent way of gaining support as a single parent. ‘Counseling. . . can help you see your single parenthood as an opportunity to grow and to resolve problems and fears’ (Atlas, 1984). Single parents who attended counseling noted that ‘one of the benefits of counseling was that it allowed them to access a less emotionally involved ‘outsider’ who could offer support and act as a ‘buffer’ against their critics’ (Webber & Boromeo, 2005). Sometimes, parents feel that they have exhausted the services of friends and family and do not want to burden them with the same old stories and problems (Webber & Boromeo, 2005). Because single parenting is always busy and stressful, a counseling session during a lunch hour or another time allows the mother or father some time to themselves and helps them get back on the right track.
A counselor is in a third party, someone that does not know either person involved and can offer objective advice to help the parent cope. Peer-based counseling is a part of the overall counseling avenue. Men or women can go for counseling from people their own age and sometimes this puts them more at ease about the counseling experience. ‘Advantages of peer-based counseling centers include availability (they are often open 24 hours a day), anonymity (you don’t have to give your name), and support (you’ll receive empathy and encouragement. . . )’ (Atlas, 1984). Single parents also noted that ‘one significant benefit of counseling. . . was that they felt empowered to join outside organizations and to move on to the next stage of their lives’ (Webber & Boromeo, 2005).
Counseling can lead single parents into different avenues of interest to continue the recovery process. The best things to get involved in, are in areas of the children’s lives. Parents can volunteer to be the homeroom mother, Girl Scout leader, choir helper, and many other things. By volunteering in their children’s world, it gives a single parent more time to spend with their children and thus helps elevate some of their children’s sadness from the loss of the presence of the other parent.
Copyright (c) 2007 Stacey Shearer
Stacey Shearer is proving that parenting can be hard, serious, rough, and even fun.
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