By Dr. Iris Delgado
Most people living in America today have no clue about the scope and depth of this problem in the United States. So many of the younger single moms are overloaded with responsibilities and increasing debt. Some have no jobs, yet they are left with the task of training their children and providing for all of their needs.
This generation is producing an alarming number of unprepared single moms and dads who desperately need help, encouragement, and training.
I’m becoming more aware of the plight of single parents through the e-mails I get as well as a close friend who works as an administrator at a public school. Discipline problems and attention disorders are prevalent. Children from broken homes may experience trauma from the separation and in many cases from the abusive situations that led up to the breakup. There is also another group of single moms who never married but have children from a partner who never made the commitment to be a husband and father. A smaller group has well-adjusted children, but the breakup is causing worry and anxiety that spills over into all of their relationships.
Many children have to learn to fend for themselves by staying home alone after school and preparing their own food, much of which is frozen and microwaved. No time for real bonding, sitting around the table, or discussing important things. Television, Facebook, and video games have become the nanny and caregiver of too many children.
What are the consequences? Violence, disobedience, anger, and disrespect. Parents take the child’s disruptive behavior personally and try to punish the child by administering restrictions–screaming, yelling, and making empty promises of the consequences that will follow the repeated offenses.
The children’s behavior is often modeled by the caregiver. Whatever is permitted and allowed from the day a child is born will become a habit and a lifestyle. Sadly, some young mothers are also victims in the hands of an abusive mate who has taken her for granted and sown seeds of disrespect, fear, and anger into a child’s heart, leaving her destitute and having to cope with the results of his behavior. Too many cases have the same roots and the same results–broken single parents and broken children.
My counsel: Read my book, Satan, You Can’t Have My Children!, and apply the principles and prayers that will help you come out of despair and give you hope and a plan. This is not a commercial to sell my book. I know what it feels like living in a divided, dysfunctional home. Don’t wait until things get impossible. Spiritual guidance, a good church, and a good prayer partner will be necessary to begin the process of restoration. If you are desperate, you will find help.
Dr. Iris Delgado is the founder and president of Crowned With Purpose Ministries. An author and speaker, Delgado travels and ministers with her husband, Dr. John Delgado.