March 1, 2002 at 7:18 PM CST - Updated July 27 at 3:40 AM
Parenting is a big job, it's even tougher for parents who raise their children alone. Like all parents, single parents shouldn't be afraid to ask for help when they need it.
Latam Green says she's been raising her eight-year-old daughter, Jacarra, on her own for around six years. She says, "There's not a handbook, so you just never know if you're doing right or wrong so you just go with the flow, you do what you have to do. I kind of braced myself for the role of mother and father." Something that most single parents see themselves doing. Taryn LeGrand-Lovett, a counselor at Bootheel Counseling Service says, "In some ways for single parents, there's not that support from another adult in the household. There's also not a bit of a break they can take if they need another parent to pitch in and help with things."
Single parents can get help, by finding a positive role model for their children. "If a father is not in the home, then it would be good for them to help the child have another role model to be the male figure, that could be an uncle, a relative, that type of thing, and likewise if the mom's not in the household," LeGrand-Lovett says. Latam's lucky because she has her parents to help her out. "My father is basically the positive male role model, and my mother is the same as her mother," Latam says. "It makes it easier but basically, the responsibility is mine." Latam admits even with her parents help, it's not always easy, but she cherishes every moment she has to spend with Jacarra. Latam says, "Whatever she wants to do we do. Time is a factor, but we do what we can."
Here are some tips for single parents. Find a positive role model for your child, to replace that male, or female role that's missing from your household. Be sure to take time for yourself, and don't be afraid to ask family members or friends for help.