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July's FAQ!

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Old July 1st 03, 09:43 PM
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Default July's FAQ!

If you have any additions, subtractions, or comments concerning the FAQ,
please respond back to this post or email me at pharmchic at hotmail dot

Happy July!!

Welcome all you newbies!!!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Resource Guide



Frequently asked questions
1. Are non-custodial parents welcome on this group?
2. How can I make time to care for my family while going to school or
working full time?
3. How can I feed my family nutritious meals on a limited budget?
4. What is a good way of dealing with the everyday stress of being a
single parent?
5. Is there life with teenagers or toddlers...they're one in the same,
6. Why do I seem to be working to pay the babysitter, or how do I reduce
the high cost of day care?
7. How can I negotiate the public assistance system (food stamps, AFDC
and medical care) without getting lost in the shuffle?
8. How can I get my child to mind without feeling guilty?
9. How can I help my children cope with divorce?
10. Isn't this group called alt.SUPPORT.*? Why are people so darn
*mean* here sometimes? Why doesn't everyone here love me?
11. How can I get the most bang for my buck from this group?
12. Just who, exactly, is welcome on this group?

Health and Medical References
Groups and Organizations for Single Parents
Web Sites for Parents
Recommended Reading
Other Newsgroups of Interest
Contributors to this FAQ


Welcome to alt.support.single-parents! This group was created to address
the unique problems that single parents face and to provide a forum where
single parents can support each other and help with solutions to parenting
problems. Single parenting can be a difficult job at times, and single
parents are often overworked, underpaid, exhausted and generally very busy
people, to say the least. This FAQ will attempt to address a few issues of
interest to single parents. Hopefully it will grow as people add their ideas
and comments (see "Contributors to this FAQ").

It is understood that there are many people who have not been with us very
long, so here is just a brief summary of some commonly accepted methods and
observances. Practicing these will help to ensure your acceptance and will
promote a longer stay here with your fellow single parents. And above all
else, have fun! Our lives are tough enough as it is. No need to make it any
harder on ourselves!

Punctuation and Grammar are important. Just like in the real world, first
impressions are important. However, we cannot see you, so our first
impressions are made based on your posts. We'd like to hear your ideas.
However, if you want us to take your thoughts into consideration, we need to
be able to understand them, for example:

The following post is something that most would not bother to read:

I tink tat my ex is an ass. I wants to move away buts h'es fighen me in
coart and makings it raelly hard for me and myh new loover.

If you have spell check, it is recommended that you turn it on. Capital
letters and end punctuation also help to make a post look neat and easy to

Please snip your quotes. If someone posts a long message and you want to
respond to that message, don't quote the whole thing!
Quote the sentences that are relevant to the comments that you are going to
make. After reading someone's post, most people do not want to read it again
in its entirety when reading your reply.

However, remember to quote at least some of the message that you are
replying to. Most of the time, the reader does not remember the message at
the beginning of the thread if it was read three days ago. If you choose to
reply to this message without quoting it, the reader is going to have no
idea what you are talking about.

WebTV'ers, as well as AOL'ers, have a unique problem, it appears. WebTV
does not have an "Insert Original Message" option to click on, necessitating
that the user copy and paste from the message being replied to. A
WebTV-specific cut/copy/paste and "quoting text" tutorial is found at:


Some just paste the relevant text and enclose it in angle brackets or other
marks, which is faster and works very well.

Don't post in HTML. This is not a binary newsgroup. Most of us cannot see
your pictures, and sometimes it even freezes up our systems. Also, try not
to type in CAPITAL LETTERS. This means that you are yelling.

WebTVers: Music and background pictures are lovely but take time to
download. Please be considerate of those who pay for internet access by the
minute and post only the text of your messages. Expect complaints if you
post more than just text.

Remember to attribute your quotes. Before you quote someone (briefly),
make sure to let us know whom you are quoting. It is good to spell your
names correctly. Yes, you are permitted to misspell words (don't worry- it

Make your messages short and to the point. Many people would rather read
short posts than long, drawn-out messages with no point. Also, remember to
separate the message into paragraphs if you have a lot to say. It is much
easier to read, neater looking, and less likely to be skipped over by
another reader.

Please lurk for a while to get a feel for our newsgroup. This means that
you hang around for a little while before making your first post. Lurking
for an hour and then posting probably won't give you a good feel for the
group. But don't worry! You don't have to hide in the darkness for a whole
year before you say something. Usually, it is a good idea to lurk for about
two weeks before posting.

Coming in and insulting the other posters is not a good way to start things
off. Show us your intelligence and make a name for yourself by using humor,
knowledge, and kindness, and your days here will be a lot more fun than if
you make a name for yourself through hatred, control, and rudeness.

This group is primarily about parenting. People whose main interest is in
starting a relationship with someone might have better luck in one of the
other newsgroups, for example the various singles, personals or romance
newsgroups. Those who are looking for ways to get more money via Child
Support are often pointed to a group specifically for that purpose, because
we have found that fighting can occur for several months on minor little
issues. We are here to help each other, and learn from each other, even if
we don't always like each other.

It also means we might disagree at times. Who here hasn't disagreed in some
way with their former spouse about a parenting issue? In order to avoid
long, protracted, and usually senseless in-fighting, we recommend (like any
time one posts a Usenet article) that one stop, think, count to ten and
think again before replying. Especially if one is angry or doesn't like the
response they get, or see.

Also, since this *is* a support group for single parents, many readers of
this group prefer not using phrases that have a negative connotation such as
"illegitimate children" or "broken home." All children are legitimate human
beings, and many single parent households work very well!

Note: this FAQ will be posted on the first day of each month.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are non-custodial parents welcome on this group?

Yes! If you are a parent and you are single, then you are definitely a
single parent and welcome on this group! Any insights you have to offer on
solutions to the problems of single parenting are bound to help someone

2. How can I make time to care for my family while going to school or
working full time?

Many single parents are very busy people, and finding time to fit
everything in can be a challenge. Work, school and family care are the
important things, and often other activities such as housekeeping have to be
assigned a lower priority. You don't need to be "super mom" or "super dad".
If the dirty dishes have to stay in the sink overnight or the vacuuming or
laundry or grocery shopping has to wait until the weekend, don't worry about
it. It helps to work out and stick to a regular schedule.
Children, no matter how young, can be assigned simple tasks to help out.
You may need to lower your standards a little, but be sure you never redo
what your children have done. In this way small tasks get accomplished, you
develop a sense of accomplishment in your children and increase their
self-esteem (while decreasing the overall burden for yourself). Be sure the
tasks you assign them are age appropriate and that you teach them how to do
the task before making it their permanent job. Keep organized by making
lists of things that need to be done. Post a list of grocery items on the
fridge...have everyone add to it as the week progresses. To avoid making
multiple trips, try to run as many errands as possible each time you go out.

3. How can I feed my family nutritious meals on a limited budget?

Some single parent families have tighter budgets than other families, but
nutrition doesn't have to suffer. In fact, some of the most nutritious
foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and grains (the foods at the bottom of
the "food pyramid") are among the cheapest. Frozen dinners can be
nutritious if you shop carefully, but they tend to be relatively expensive.
"Fast food" should be avoided because of high cost and poor nutritional
Investigate possible alternatives to "regular" grocery shopping such as
co-ops, food share, food banks, public assistance, etc. And don't forget to
feed yourself! Your kids are important, but remember that you need to eat
to maintain your health and energy level so you can be there for them!

SHARE is a good resource for inexpensive food. Either $13 or $14 plus
two hours of volunteerism (*very* broadly defined) you get a share package
worth approximately $30. There is no needs test- everyone is welcome, and
you may acquire as many shares as you think you can use in a month. They do
take food stamps. For more information and a list of sites near you, call

The American Red Cross WIC program provides vouchers for certain
important protein type foods to help alleviate the threat of low hematocrit
in children. Assistance is based on all children under the age of five in
the family.

Many churches will have food programs as well. One recommendation is to
check with your local Salvation Army or United Way for various avenues to

4. What is a good way of dealing with the everyday stress of being a single

The best things you can do to deal with stress are to eat healthy,
balanced meals (esp. lots of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates),
exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and caffeine as
much as possible. Try exercising with your kids, like playing or running
with them outside, skating, bicycling, going for walks, etc. This way you
can get some exercise and spend time with your family.

5. Is there life with teenagers or toddlers...they're one and the same,

Children of all ages demand a great deal of attention from their parents.
If you're a single parent, you're the one who has to provide for their
needs, and this can be difficult with everyone else demanding attention
also...work, school, ex's, bills, your child's school, etc. You still need
to have a life of your own, however. Plan relaxation time after the kids go
to bed, or rise 30 minutes before they do and enjoy a cup of coffee by
yourself before the rush of the day starts. Don't be afraid to take some
time for yourself now and then!

6. Why do I seem to be working to pay the babysitter, or how do
I reduce the high cost of day care?

If at all possible, try to work with other parents on childcare issues.
Many parents, whether single or married, are very busy and may be willing to
help each other with childcare. Talk to people and be creative!
Babysitting co-ops are flourishing everywhere these days...they work on a
barter system. We used poker chips as "payment" -- one chip for each hour.
The more you watch someone else's kids the more chips you accumulate. I
watched kids on the weekends and one evening a week. It gave my kids
something to do and I earned chips to use while I worked or attended class.
Another possibility might be to trade other skills you may have (auto
repairs, computers, etc.) for babysitting services.

7. How can I negotiate the public assistance system (food stamps, AFDC and
medical care) without getting lost in the shuffle?

Look, you're not a "bad parent" if you need help making ends meet. When
you apply for any type of public assistance remember to have *every*
possible document they ask for with you at the time. Call the local office
and ask for a list of documentation they need. Plan to spend most of the
morning at the office. Even if your appointment is for 9 AM, the case
worker probably won't get to you until 10 and the interviews can take as
long as an hour. Once you jump through their hoops you'll be expected to
show up for a case review every six months. You will probably have a new
caseworker each time also. Most of all, be patient...it's only temporary
and the help you can receive will reduce your financial stress levels by

8. How can I get my child to mind without feeling guilty?

Single parents sometimes succumb to the urge to be "friends" with their
children or worry that they are being too harsh with them. The important
thing to keep in mind is that *you* are the parent and the authority figure
in their lives. Discipline must be consistent for your child and for your
own well being. Younger children don't need "reasons" behind your rules,
but you may want to sit down with older children (school age) and make a
list of "house rules" and consequences for the entire family...this means
you too. Don't forget everyone's chores. Also include a "reward" for the
member who follows all the rules each day (for young children...under age 7
or 8) or week (for older children). Your children will have many friends in
their lives, but you have to be their parent, especially now when they are
adjusting to their lifestyle.

9. How can I help my children cope with divorce?

Divorce can be hard on adults, but it can also be devastating for
children. Some ideas for helping children cope with divorce:

- If possible, help your children maintain a stable, loving
relationship with *both* parents.

- Establish regular, dependable visiting patterns with the
non-custodial parent.

- It does help the children if you maintain a healthy and positive
outlook on life. Living in the past and holding resentments are not the
best for your children (not to mention the toll it takes on you!).

- The children need to know that they are loved by *both* parents, and
it helps to frequently reassure them of this.

- Never try to make your children take sides, and never try to use your
children to hurt your ex-spouse.

10. Isn't this group called alt.SUPPORT.*? Why are people so darn *mean*
here sometimes?
Why doesn't everyone here love me?

We are people who have nothing in common for the most part... except for
one of the most challenging jobs there is. What brings us to the same group
is one item out of a multitude of possibilities. Only one. That isn't
always going to be conducive to us all sharing, and us all playing well with
theirs, all of the time. We have found "support" on the web is most often a

Solution? Take what applies, and leave the rest behind. Participate if you
like, but not everyone is going to love you. Remember, this is the 'net, not
group therapy. Will you, or anyone, really be affected tomorrow, or in 5

Best advice we can give you? "Don't take the 'net so darn seriously!"

11. How can I get the most bang for my buck from this group?

You get what you put into things. If one doesn't participate, but just
sits there and reads, they're probably not going to stick around.
It's too bad really, because there's a *lot* of good info, and feedback,
available here. Sometimes people aren't *looking* for feedback, they're
looking for someone to cosign their BS, and there can be a tad of a rumble.
But if you're looking for a place to use, contribute, share, and receive
info on single parenting, there aren't many better places.

Most of the whining about demon-exes, child support, ad nauseum gets
squished pretty quickly, and what we end up with are mostly supportive
people sharing their experiences, and needs.

12. Just who, exactly, is welcome on this group?

If you are a parent and you are single, have experience as a single
parent, or the intricacies of being a custodial or non-custodial parent,
then you have an understanding of the complexities of being a single parent
and are welcome on this group! Any insights you have to offer on solutions
to the problems of single parenting are bound to help someone somewhere!

Health and Medical References

"The AMA Family Medical Guide" (Random House) has information on symptoms
and risks of various illnesses and injuries (and self help if any),
prescription drugs, self diagnosis symptom charts and a wealth of medical

"Gray's Anatomy" (Running Press) has detailed illustrations and
descriptions of the various body systems (skeletal, muscular, nervous,
vascular, digestive, etc.).

"The Physician's Desk Reference" is a comprehensive resource that describes
the purpose and side effects of many prescription drugs.

"The Complete Book of Food Counts" by Corinne T. Netzer is a list of over
12,000 foods, showing calories, carbohydrates, protein, cholesterol, sodium,
fat and fiber for each item.

"Smart Exercise" by Covert Bailey has some very good information on aerobic
and anaerobic exercise, diet, metabolism and related topics.

Groups and Organizations for Single Parents

Parents Without Partners
National. 500+ chapters. Founded 1957.
Educational organization of single parents (either divorced, separated,
widowed or never married). Newsletter. Online chat room. Single parent
magazine, chapter development guidelines. Membership dues $20-40.
1650 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 510
Boca Raton, FL 33432
CALL: 1-800-637-7974
FAX: (561)395-8557

Big Brothers/Big Sisters
(check your phone book for the number in your area)

National Congress for Fathers and Children
9454 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills CA 90212
URL: http://www.ncfc.net/

Single Mothers by Choice
P.O. Box 1642
New York, NY 10028
(212) 988-0993
URL: http://mattes.home.pipeline.com/

National Organization of Single Mothers
National. 3 affiliated groups. Founded 1991.
Networking system serving single mothers. Provides information and referrals
to single mothers. Dues $19. Assistance in starting new groups.
P.O. Box 68
Midland, NC 28107
CALL: (704)888-KIDS
FAX: (704)888-1752

Single Mothers By Choice
National. 20 chapters. Founded 1981.
Support and information to mature, single women who have chosen, or who are
considering, single motherhood. Services include "Thinkers" workshops,
quarterly newsletter, and membership. For a brochure and list of back issues
of newsletter
P.O. Box 1642 Gracie Square Station
New York, NY 10028
CALL: (212)988-0993

National Organization of Single Mothers
Publisher of Single MOTHER Magazine
P.O. Box 68
Midland, NC 28107-0068
(704) 888-KIDS

Phoenix Single Parents Association

Single Parent Resource Center
International. 7 affiliated groups. Founded 1975.
Network of single parent self-help groups. Information and referral,
seminars, consultation, resource library. Separate group for men and coed
groups. Working on groups for homeless single parents and mothers coming out
of prison. Newsletter. Guidelines and materials for starting parenting and
teen groups.
Single Parent Resource Center
31 E. 28th St.
New York, NY 10016
CALL: (212)951-7030
FAX: (212)951-7037

Rainbows Peer Support Group
1111 Tower Road Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 310-1880 Fax: (847) 310-0120
TOLL-FREE: 1-800-266-3206

G I N G E R B R E A D: The charitable organization for all single parents
and their children.
7 Sovereign Close,
Sovereign Court,
London E1W 3HW.
Tel: 020 7488 9300
Fax: 020 7488 9333
Advice Line... 0800 018 4318. Open Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm
Advice Email: .
Fax...0171 336 8185


Web Sites for Parents
Resourse for Single Mothers

The online resource for single parent families

The Single Parent Network

The Divorce Homepage

Fathers' Rights and Equality Exchange (F.R.E.E.)


Parents Without Partners

Welcome to Parent Soup!

Widowed Young
A discussion group for people who are (or who have been) widowed under the
age of about 45. (This is not a rigid limit.)

Safely Surfing the Internet: Guidelines for Parents and Children
and you might just wish to peruse the whole link: http://www.safekids.com

Low and no cost childrens health insurance program in the US:

US State Medicaid Toll-Free Lines

Free prescription drugs program

(US) Student Financial aid

US income tax forms and info

Know that everything you say on usenet is archived at google and so you
should watch WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!!!

For people who feel abused online

For child support, custody, and divorce help

This is a place that gives free help with budgeting

Recommended Reading
"You Are Your Child's First Teacher"
by Rahima Baldwin-Dancy
ISBN: 0890879672
Format: Paperback, 384pp
Pub. Date: May 2000

Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Edition Description: REVISED
Barnes & Noble Sales Rank: 26,212

"The Omnipotent Child" (out of print)
ISBN: 096932717x
Publisher: Palmer Press

"Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems"
Author: Richard Ferber,MD
ISBN: 0671620991 (ER163)
Format: Paperback

"Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? :
a Parent's Guide to the New Teenager."
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux; (August 1, 2002)
ISBN: 0374528535

"I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors"
by Aphrodite Matsakis
ISBN: 157224058X
Publisher: New Harbinger Pubs (2nd Edition)

"Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families"
by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
ISBN: 0316109967
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: September 1988
Recommend Age Range: 5 to 8

"How to Make Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours"
by Dr. Kevin Lehman
ISBN: 0800757319
Publisher: Revell, Fleming H. Company\
Pub. Date: September 2000
Edition Desc: 2ND

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind
Michael J. Bradley Foreword by Carroll O'Connor
ISBN: 0936197439
Publisher: Harbor Press, Inc. (Gig Harbor WA)
Pub. Date: September 2001
Recommend Age Range: 5

"How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" Faber, Adele
and Mazlish, Elaine
ISBN: 0380811960
Publisher: Morrow,William & Co
Pub. Date: July 1999

"Managing And Understanding Parental Anger"
by Harriet and I.J. Barrish
ISBN: 0933701411
Publisher: Westport Publishers
Pub. Date: April 1991
Edition Desc: REV

"Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Shared Custody Work" by Isolina Ricci,
ISBN: 0684830787
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Trade Paperbacks
Pub. Date: October 1997

Does Wednesday Mean Mom's House or Dad's?: Parenting Together while Living
Marc J. Ackerman
ISBN: 0471130486
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Pub. Date: October 1996

"Operating Instructions"
by Anne Lamott
ISBN: 044990928X
Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
Pub. Date: April 1994
Edition Desc: REPRINT

"Positive Discipline for Single Parents"
by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin and Carol Delzer
ISBN: 0761520112
Publisher: Prima Communications, Inc.
Pub. Date: July 1999
Edition Desc: 2ND, REVISED

"Redirecting Children's Behavior, Discipline That Builds
Self Esteem"
by Kathryn J. Kvols
ISBN: 1884734308
Publisher: Parenting Pr., Inc.
Pub. Date: November 1997
Edition Desc: Revised

"Siblings Without Rivalry"
Faber, Adele and Mazlish, Elaine
ISBN: 0380799006
Publisher: Morrow,William & Co
Pub. Date: January 1998

"Single Mothers by Choice"
by Jane Mattes
ISBN: 0812922468
Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
Pub. Date: April 1997
Edition Desc: 1st ed

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families"
by Covey, Stephen
ISBN: 0307440850
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, Inc.
Pub. Date: September 1998

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Single Parenting
Sara Dulaney Gilbert
ISBN: 0028624092
Publisher: Hungry Minds, Incorporated
Pub. Date: April 1998

The Single Mother's Survival Guide
Patrice Karst
ISBN: 1580910637
Publisher: Crossing Press, Inc., The
Pub. Date: March 2000

The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Single Father
Thomas Hoerner Patrick David (Illustrator
ISBN: 0967473640
Publisher: Harbinger Press
Pub. Date: May 2002

The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging
Andrea Engber Leah Lungness
ISBN: 1580623026
Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
Pub. Date: February 2000
Edition Desc: 2ND

Magazine: "Going Bonkers?"
(covers stress, weight loss, parenting, sexuality, self esteem, etc.)
$9/year ($15 for two years), published quarterly.
For information, write to: Going Bonkers
P.O. Box 189
Palm Beach, FL 33480
or call 1-800-403-8850 (in Florida 407/659-0975)

Other Newsgroups of Interest


Contributors to this FAQ

We would like this FAQ to reflect the views and experiences of the people
of alt.support.single-parents. This is our group, and we're here to help
each other. But remember, helping is not always shown by AGREEING with
everything everyone says.

If you have anything you'd like to contribute to this FAQ, please post a
follow up.


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