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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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November 2006

In my last column I gave advice to a woman who was considering having a child even though she was single. I had a gentleman call me very upset and leave a message that I had not thought about the child in this scenario. What was even more confusing was that he was a single father.

It is very difficult to raise a child with the myriad of challenges that are presented to the parents on a daily basis. It is even more difficult to do this if you are raising that child on your own. My hat is off to all single parents. But, as many people that I know and have worked with can attest, it is not unachievable. It is quite possible to raise a healthy, happy, well-adjusted child as a single parent. It does take support, which is why if you are considering this route, it is so important, to be sure that you have a healthy support network in place.

If my caller was upset because this woman was considering having a child without the benefit of marriage, that is another issue. People have many reasons why they feel that marriage needs to come before babies. Many of these reasons I agree with; however, one thing that I have learned over the years is that very few things are black and white. There are people who would make phenomenal parents who, for a variety of reasons have never married. Why should these adults and possible future children be denied each other? We all know of people who are very properly married before having children, who are devastatingly bad parents, who inflict unspeakably horrible damage to their offspring. Marriage in and of itself is not always a precursor to being able to raise children in a healthy manner.

The paper also received a call from a woman, who after reading my column, has decided to help her granddaughter who was in a similar situation as the woman I wrote about. Isn’t it interesting how the same column can impact people in such different ways?

Enjoy your journey.

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