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Excerpt: Love, Magic & Mudpies by Siegel
The following is an excerpt from the book Love, Magic & Mudpies
by Bernie Siegel, MD
Published by Rodale; November 2006;$17.95US/$21.95CAN; 1-59486-554-X
Copyright © 2006 Bernie Siegel, MD
Single Parents Need Support
Responsibility is the price of greatness.
Single parents are not all teenage mothers without jobs or child support,
despite the common stereotypes presented in the media. There are many
reasons for becoming a single parent -- from divorce, desertion, or death of
a spouse to an informed choice to go it alone. All single parents face
difficulties, one way or another. The problems of an unmarried teen mother
with no support are obviously very different from those of a prosperous
35-year-old father whose wife died of cancer, yet both are forced to cope
with the emotional, psychological, and financial issues of single
Single parents have more in common than they may realize. They alone are
responsible for the lives of their children. They alone must help their
children become decent human beings capable of giving and receiving love.
They alone must encourage their children to dream big and pursue those
dreams. They alone must find a way to pay for braces, proms, school trips,
soccer equipment, piano lessons, college, and whatever else their kids need
to become well-rounded, contributing members of society. And most important,
they alone must be both mother and father to their kids.
Single parents have to learn to ask for help. Even if the practical issues
of finances, housing, childcare, and education are squared away, family
support remains crucial. Grandparents can be a vital asset. They are likely
to be loving and accepting of everyone concerned, and they can teach proper
parenting techniques. Support groups can also be extremely valuable. People
who share the same experience understand as few others can. They are often
insightful teachers because they have been there too.
Being a single parent is tough under the best of circumstances. If you are
in that situation, please do not hide your wounds. Ask for the support you
deserve. And when you feel discouraged or afraid, ask your child to hold you
and make you laugh. You'll feel better instantly.
How to Make the Magic: It's easier to take good care of your children when
you put yourself in their place. Take time to sit down and write about it.
For a moment, act as if you are not the single parent but the child of a
single parent. What do you want and need? What would you ask your parent to
do for you? When you do this exercise, don't worry about yesterday or
tomorrow; just ask yourself how you can give your children the love they
need today. Then keep at it, one day at a time. Know that a child who feels
loved does not feel deprived.
Reprinted from: Love, Magic & Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be
Kind, and Make a Difference by Bernie Siegel, MD © 2006 Bernie Siegel, MD.
Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever
books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling at (800) 848-4735.
Bernie S. Siegel, MD, was born in Brooklyn, New York. For many, Bernie needs
no introduction. In 1978, he began talking about patient empowerment and the
choice to live fully and die in peace. In 1986, his first book, Love,
Medicine & Miracles was published; the book became a worldwide bestseller
and redirected his entire life. Bernie and his wife, Bobbie, have five
children and eight grandchildren. In times past, their home outside of New
Haven, Connecticut, with its many children, pets, and interests, has
resembled a cross between a family art gallery, museum, zoo, and automobile
repair shop. It still resembles these things, although the children are
trying to improve its appearance in order to avoid embarrassment.
For more information, please visit www.berniesiegelmd.com.
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