Almost one third of children in the United States live in a single-parent household, and those parents want you to know their families are striving and thriving as they head into the future.

Whether a single parent is divorced, never married, or widowed, the fact is that these households are on the rise — having more than doubled in the past 50 years. No single parent will tell you it’s a cakewalk, but they do see benefits to their family situation.

Upstate Parent spoke with some area single parents to get the heart of the matter. Here’s what we took away from our conversations.

One thing that’s easier on single parents — their word is law. With nobody else to instruct their children, there also isn’t another authority figure who might allow a child a later bedtime or extra sweets. This can also apply to more serious topics like having a cell phone.

Krystal Peppers is a single mother of two. Her children are 12 and 5. While she readily admits that single parenting is difficult, she likes that decisions about how to raise the children are hers alone to make.

“I can guide in their future endeavors without having to meet in the middle with anyone,” she said.

Alyssa Alicki agrees. She’s also a single mother with two children and she feels relief about being able to make decisions on her own without having to consult a partner. She said she can raise her children as she sees fit, and she loves being the one to encourage them as they grow.

Single parents bring an amazing worth ethic into everything they do. Peppers holds down two jobs, goes to college, and finds time to take her children to activities. Alicki also goes to school and has found that maintaining a strict schedule is key to keeping things orderly in her life.

“Making sure we stick to this routine is key to make sure that I am spending time with them that we both need. Then every other weekend, they are with their father, so I am able to focus solely on my homework and self-care during that time,” Alicki said.

A wonderful support system is key for any family raising children, but is especially vital in single-parent homes. Peppers depends on her grandparents for support. They keep her children after school while she works and give her emotional and moral support as well. Alicki, however, does not have family locally, so she has a few close friends she can rely on.

All the love the children receive and the support the parents receive mean the kids truly are fine. Children from single-parent homes are smart, witty, socially engaged and more - just like a child from a two-parent household.

And the parents? Well, Peppers and Alicki report they have the better end of the deal there.

“There are times where I realize how truly blessed I am to be the one raising my kids,” Alicki said.

Peppers agrees. “I receive double the love,” she said.

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