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
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 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.
Single Parents Network
Single Parents Network has several options for support groups ranging from domestic violence and single parents, child protection rights, adoption, to general single parenting. They also have a ton of resources and recommended books. To join a chat, all you need to do is create a username and password. Single mothers and fathers can connect within the same support group as groups are not gender specific.
Local Support Groups
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.
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.
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.
Finding the Perfect 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.