New survey shows number of mid-life singles growing:comment (0)
September 29, 2003
There are currently 2.8 million children living only with their dads and that number is steady climbing. Since 1990, the number of father-only households has risen by 50 percent. If current trends continue there will be more than 5 million children living in father-only households by 2020. Meanwhile, the number of mid-life singles aged 40-69 is increasing rapidly, with 66 percent of men dating younger women.
In “The Single Dad’s Survival Guide” (WaterBrook Press), Mike Klumpp is careful to explain that kids are almost always better off in a two-parent household. “God intended for kids to be raised by two people, a man and a woman,” says Klumpp. But, he explains, divorce happens every day, even to good people. In his own marriage his wife left him with four children between the ages of five and fifteen. His survival guide is designed to help single dads who are forced to provide for the financial, spiritual, emotional and academic needs of their children alone.
Klumpp says that until single dads realize they have very little they can actually control, they will have a hard time getting on with their lives. “You don’t divorce a person,” he says, “you lose a life.” Still, he offers advice for getting on with your life: Face the facts; acknowledge your shifting roles, learn to control yourself; get the outside help you need; hold your head up and move on.
While there are many reasons a person becomes a single dad, Klumpp refers to it as absolutely insane. “Single parenthood demands selflessness and consistency,” he explains. Even when a single parent does everything he or she can do, there are still the residual effects of a breakup. For example, children often feel the responsibility to fix the brokenness. They often feel a great sense of guilt, anger and pain that doesn’t easily dissipate. The one piece of advice Klumpp pushes especially hard is that single dads must put the needs of their kids first.
To single dads who are feeling overwhelmed, Klumpp says “Much of your life is out of control right now. However, there is one area you can control: your decisions and choices about what you will devote yourself to.” In “Survival Guide,” he covers every conceivable subject for single dads -- including the issues of sex and intimacy. Other subjects include the importance of faith, meals and finances, strategies for daily success, landing on your feet and special considerations for raising daughters and raising sons.
To schedule an interview with Mike Klumpp call Creative Resources @ 800/858-9388 ISBN #1-57856-670-3
* $11.99 (192 pages trade paper, WaterBrook Press)
* For more information: www.aarpmagazine.org