2 Cheryl, 39, is the single mother of two boys aged 12 and 14. Two nights each week she is at an ice hockey rink where she is the head coach of her older son’s hockey team. “While I expected I would be doing more and different things as a single parent, coaching hockey was not on my list,” she says. “However, when my son signed up, there were not enough coaches for the teams. So, having had a background in skating, I volunteered to help out.” Census clearly show that single parent households are increasing dramatically, while the “traditional” mother and father couple raising children is on the decline. Consider these census facts: • The number of single mothers has increased 25 percent since 1990 to more than 7.5 million households. • For most of the last ten years, approximately one third of all babies were born to unmarried women compared with 3.8 percent in 1940.
• Demographers now predict that more than half of the children born in the 2000s will spend at least part of their childhood in a single parent home. • The number of single fathers is also rising, with just over 2 million families headed by a single father. 1 Build on the Fact that You Are a Family Do not let negative attitudes from other individuals diminish the understanding that you and your child or children are a family, even though headed by a single adult. Don’t buy into the falsehood that as a single parent you are different or not the norm. Doing so will make you feel isolated, different and alone. Take heart from these words of wisdom written by Marge Kennedy in The Single Parent Family: “Yes, single parent families are different from two parent families. And urban families are different from rural ones, and families with six kids and a dog are different 3