Super Single Families Facing Tough Changes in Australia

When you’re walking down the street and see an adult with a child; do you ever wonder if it’s a single parent family, single mum, single dad, maybe two dads or even another alternate family situation? It can be very easy to assume that the large majority of families in Australia are the typical statistic that springs to most people’s minds; two working parents with 2.5 children.

Did you know (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics as of June 2011 Australia) single parent families account for 950,000 homes in Australia with single mums making up the majority! Staggering isn’t it? Considering that we are a population of 12 million this is nearly 1 million homes in Australia with only 1 parent.

As you are probably aware, key to the My Super Family children’s book series (My Super Single Mum, My Two Super Dads, and My Super Groovy Gran) is communicating the values of love, safety and security. We care about promoting healthy relationships in single parent families, blended families, and all other types of families hence why we decided to produce the series of books. We just love it when we get feedback from mums and dads who have bought our books, just like this;

Hi Bronny & Muntsa, 

Just wanted to send a big thank you for writing such a beautiful book! So many children’s books out there are aimed at the more typical family unit, it’s nice to know that someone is out there thinking about the less ordinary. 

I admit I actually cried reading it, and even though it’s just me and my son (rather than Mother and daughter) I think my son will get a lot out of reading it with me (he’s 4), especially as his Father unfortunately has had no part of his life and has never met his son. As well, my family do not have a big part in our lives so it really is just me and him. I can’t wait to show him it, so much so I won’t be waiting for Xmas, but look forward to reading it to him tonight.

Thanks,
Nyssa

Parents in nuclear families find it tricky to juggle work commitments and quality time with their kids, but imagine how much harder this is for single parent families! Many single parent families in Australia are struggling with the new laws about family benefits. Basically, when your youngest child turns 8, single parents are no longer eligible for the Single Parent Pension, this means they must transfer to New Start and start looking for work. This sounds great in theory, but with only one person sharing the care and still with young children (imagine if it’s only 1 child) most of the money earned goes towards childcare anyway, and all of a sudden someone else (not the best option) is raising your child. Yes, we hear you now! What about a nanny? What about relatives? It can be tricky finding a good nanny – not to mention expensive! Do you really think a single parent can afford one? Most can’t! And, after all, you’re putting your child’s welfare into their hands, and entrusting them with what is most important in your life; it’s a BIG burden of trust to hand over, and it’s difficult to do willingly. Also, not everyone has got relatives that live nearby, so taking your child over to Gran or Pop’s is often out of the question.

This doesn’t cut a fair deal for single parent families, who giving up precious time with their child/ren to earn money to pay another person to do what they’d willingly do if only they could, while instead they’re trying to make money to support them. In this, the importance of government support for single families can be seen. As a result, a stable future for many single families lies in the hands of Australia’s future policy makers. The take home message from the family behind My Super Family children’s book series is that parenting, regardless of your family make up, is not always easy; it has its ups and downs just like life, and that making some decisions carefully can help smooth out some of the bigger bumps in the road, and help other families as well as your own keep on being super! And remember, the most important family values you can ever promote, whatever your makeup is that of love, safety and security.

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One Response to Super Single Families Facing Tough Changes in Australia

  1. Linda Pitts says:

    Too often children living in single parent households have to contend with negative stereotypes and hurtful remarks made by insensitive adults. Regardless of whether the single parent family exists as result of divorce or death of the other parent, or the parent choosing not to marry, the child is clearly not responsible for the circumstances. However, it is often the child who pays the price. On the other hand, single families often have less tension compared to the tension in families before divorce. With reduced tension, the single parent can focus more clearly on the child’s needs. Usually parents and children are more willing to co-operate with each other to find solutions to solve household problems in single parent families.

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