3 New Beginnings1/2 of all recent marriages involve at least one previously married partner.More than 1/4 of families with children are currently single-parent families.
4 New Beginnings1/2 half of all children born in the 1990s will live in single-parent families sometime during their childhoods.Over 2.3 million households have stepchildren living in them.
5 Single Parent Families A more significant departure from the traditional nuclear family than other alternative families:Both the dual-worker family and the stepfamily are two-parent families.Single-parent families are generally headed by women and are more vulnerable to poverty.The mother may never have married.
6 Rise in Single-parent Families and Stepfamilies Result of shifting social values rather than individual shortcomings or pathologies.Single-parent families and stepfamilies have become a natural part of the contemporary American family system.Many of their problems lie in the stigma attached to them and their lack of support by the larger society.
7 Life Pattern of Women: Previous Generations MarriageMotherhoodWidowhood
8 Life Pattern of Women Today MarriageMotherhoodDivorceSingle parentingRemarriageWidowhood
9 Characteristics Of Single-parent Families Creation by widowhood, divorce, or births to unmarried womenUsually female headedSignificance of ethnicityPoverty
10 Characteristics Of Single-parent Families DiversityTransitional characterSome are created intentionally through planned pregnancy, artificial insemination, and adoption.
11 Characteristics of Successful Single Parents Acceptance of responsibilities and challenges of single parenthood.Parenting as first priority.Consistent, nonpunitive discipline.Emphasis on open communication.
12 Characteristics of Successful Single Parents Fostering individuality that is supported by the family.Recognition of the need for self-nurturance.Dedication to rituals and traditions.
13 Strengths Associated With Successful Single Parenting Parenting skills: The ability to take on both expressive and instrumental roles and traits.Personal growth: A positive attitude toward the changes in their lives and pride in overcoming obstacles.Communication: An ability to clearly convey their feelings to their children and friends.
14 Strengths Associated With Successful Single Parenting Family management: Ability to coordinate family, school, and work activities and to schedule meals, appointments, family time, and alone time.Financial support: The ability to become financially self-supporting and independent.
15 The Binuclear FamilyConsists of two nuclear families: the mother-headed family and the father- headed family.The binuclear family consists of five subsystems:former spouse, remarried couple, parent-child, sibling, and mother/stepmother-father/stepfather subsystems
17 Dating and Single Parents They may feel guilty about going out.They must look at potential partners as potential parents.They must deal with their children’s judgments or hostility.
18 Remarriage Differences from first marriage: Partners get to know each other in the midst of major changes.They remarry later in life.They have different marital expectations.Their marriage often creates a stepfamily.
19 How Stepfamilies Differ From Original Family Almost all members have lost an important primary relationship.One biological parent lives outside the current family.The relationship between a parent and child predates the new marital relationship.
20 How Stepfamilies Differ From Original Family Stepparent roles are ill defined.Children often are also members of the noncustodial parent’s household.Children have at least one extra pair of grandparents.
21 Becoming a Stepfamily Each person experiences the process differently. For family members, it involves seven stages.Early stages are fantasy, immersion, and awareness.Middle stages are mobilization and action.Later stages are contact and resolution.
22 Strengths of Stepfamilies Improved family functioning and reduced conflict between former spouses.Children may gain multiple role models, more flexibility, concerned stepparents, additional siblings, additional kin, improved economic situation, and happily married parents.