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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Episode 51 (Epilogue): Single Parenting

Our show opened with a discussion of the cutting of funding for the postpartum lactation counseling visits, and the efforts being made in our community to bring this program back! We also discussed our cohostess’s Laura Gilkey’s recent column about this issue in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Tonight’s show focused on single parents, or the parent who children have residency with the majority of time.

We first talked to Michelle Turner, a 15 year Sarasota resident, owner of Zen Blossom Organic           Skincare and single mother of David Vishnu. We focused on the need for support, particularly in the first few weeks of a child’s life, and the importance of finding, and creating, time for yourself           in order to stay healthy.

We then talked to Karim Ghazli, who became the father or Ali after her adoptive mother, Karim’s partner, passed away. Karim discussed the challenges faced by him and Ali after her mother’s passing, resources that Karim accessed in the community, such as Jack Baker’s fathering classes at Children First, and the particular challenges of setting boundaries and creating rules as single parent.

We also talked to Alanna Swor, who just recently gave birth to her child, Beijah Zen, as a single           mother. We discussed about the trials of finding work as a pregnant single woman, the (somewhat difficult) process of  receiving benefits as a single mother, the strugles involved with time and energy management as a new and single parent. Alanna also stressed the importance of staying healthy, and talked about the importance of the birthing community in her journey of finding support as a single parent.
Finally we heard from Rebecca Lockwood from the Forty Carrots Family Center about the impact that a single parent family may have on children. She noted that some of the biggest challenges that single parent children face is a lack of support from others in their community, the greater responsibility that they may face, and increased potential for inconsistency if they move between living situations. She also discussed the important of same-gender positive role models, especially role models which aren’t romantically involved with the child parent, in children’s lives. She stressed that as long as children are provided with the emotional support that they need, particularly safe spaces, stability and the ability to express themselves, then they will be able to grow into emotionally healthy and stable adults. See resources section for more information about the resources mentioned by Rebecca.

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