Support groups provide a great way to meet other single parents who may be experiencing similar stressors. From small, more intimate groups to large gatherings, these support groups can help you connect, vent and find solutions to issues you are working through.
Online Support Groups for Single Parents
If you are looking for an easy, convenient way to connect with other single parents, an online group might be best for you. They can be accessed quickly, and are typically open for chatting throughout the day and evening, unlike in-person groups which stick to a specific scheduled time. Keep in mind that these groups are not always monitored by a professional.
Single Moms and Single Dads Support Group
This free support site has around 33,500 members and offers an online forum that anyone can join. All you have to do is click join, enter a username and password as well as agree to the site's terms. You can post on someone else's thread, or begin a thread about something you'd like to discuss. This site is for women who are now single parents, and they also offer a site specifically for single fathers. The users vary from divorced parents to widowers. The site will automatically tag your post as single moms or dads, and you can add more tags to connect with others. Some common tags include loneliness, divorce and depression.
To join Daily Strength, click on the register button and enter your personal information. You can choose how much you'd like to share and if you'd like to keep your profile private. This site is open to both single mothers and fathers. Common issues discussed include child custody, relationship difficulties, and single parenting challenges. On this site, you can reply to others or post your questions and thoughts about being a single parent. They also have a blog and resource section for general parenting and self-care.
Local Support Groups for Single Parents
In-person support groups are typically led by a professional counselor or therapist and are usually scheduled at the same time each week. This creates a unified group that slowly gets to know each other. These groups may be open, meaning that anyone can join at any time, or closed which means that once the group is established, no one else can join until a new cycle begins. Depending on the counselor, the group may be more like an open forum or will have scheduled topics for each meeting.
Single and Parenting
To find a group near you, type in your ZIP code and the database will give you several local options. This program was founded to help single parents with parenting, healing and overall wellness. They also offer video seminar courses that focus on emotional intelligence, parenting and financial management. Groups are for both men and women and they meet on a weekly basis for 90 minutes to 120 minutes. Groups typically meet at a church or coffee shop.
Parents Without Partners
Parents Without Partners is an international nonprofit organization that helps support single mothers and fathers in the United States and Canada. To join, check out their local chapters and find the nearest one. If there is not one close to you, you can request to have one started in your area. Chapters are run by group members on a volunteer basis. Meetings range from support groups to guest speakers and educational programs that are led by professionals. Members also enjoy retreats, hiking and dinners.
Psychology Today allows you to search for local support groups by typing in your ZIP code, city or name of the group. You will be given a lot of options for groups led by professional counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers. Some groups require payment while some offer free or discounted services. Using this site you can find gender-specific groups and groups for both men and women to attend. Topics include dealing with divorce, parenting issues, conflict resolution skills, dating, money management, grieving your spouse and stress.
Support Groups for Single Moms
The struggles and needs of single moms can be very different from those of single dads. Finding a single moms support group can help meet your unique needs as a mother.
Life of a Single Mom
This nonprofit organization is run by a ministry of a church and helps single mothers locate support groups held all over the world. To find a group near you, type in your ZIP code, and several options will be generated for you. These groups focus on parenting, financial support, and health and wellness. They also offer resources and volunteer opportunities that help other single mothers.
Single Mothers by Choice
Women who have chosen to become single parents either through adoption, donor insemination, or an accidental pregnancy with a partner who doesn't want to parent can join Single Mothers by Choice. When you join the group, you'll get a listing of other single moms near you so you can network with them directly and maybe even form your own support group. You can also access their 24/7 online support group which is a forum filled with threads on a variety of topics. A full membership costs $55, but you can choose the forum/newsletter membership for $35 per year that gets you access to the online support group and local support contacts.
Support Groups for Single Dads
Single dads have a variety of unique needs, just as single moms do. If you'd feel more comfortable talking with only other men, a single dads support group might be your best option. Whether you're a divorced dad, widowed dad or single by choice dad, there's a support group for you.
Single Dad Support Group Meetup
Meetup offers a map of single dad support groups around the world to help you find other single dads in your area to connect with. From Dads With Diaper Bags in Charlottesville, Va to Dass in Distress in Australia, there are groups of single dads meeting up everywhere. To use Meetup, you'll need to create an account using your Google or Facebook account.
If you live near Seattle, Washington, the DADS program offers weekly support programs for all types of dads, including single dads. Groups are held at two different locations in the city with a variety of evening attendance options. Dads are invited to share any struggles they're currently dealing with and find resources on different topics of interest.
Single Parent Chat Rooms
Single parents are busy and you might not be able to make the time to get to a support group meeting. If that's the case for you, a single parent chat room offers you the support you need and the freedom to communicate whenever it's most convenient for you.
The Bump Single Parents Chat
The Bump's single parent message board features hundreds of threads about every topic single parents might want to talk about. From being a single parent by choice to the death of your child's other parent, you can chat with other single parents about anything. Join an existing chat or start a new one.
BabyCenter Single Parent Chat Rooms
If you search BabyCenter's chat rooms, you'll find more than 2,000 options dedicated to single parents. Whether you're about to be a single parent or already are one, there's an online chat forum for you. You can narrow the search down by recent activity or by chats that include photos.
Gingerbread Single Parent Chat
Gingerbread is an organization in the UK providing resources for single parents. Their online chat rooms feature a variety of topics so you can talk about what's currently on your mind with other single parents. You'll need to register for a free account to join the chat.
Finding the Perfect Support Group
When looking for an appropriate support group, it is best to search locally so you don't have to travel far in case you end up going several times a week. If you prefer to be in a gender-specific group or prefer a male or female counselor, be sure to filter your results. Joining a support group is a brave way to confront the difficulties that can accompany being a single parent.