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WSU reaches out to single mothers

(Photo by Raychel Johnson) Julee Smith discusses parenting tips with single moms on Tuesday.
(Photo by Raychel Johnson) Julee Smith discusses parenting tips with single mothers on Tuesday.

Every Tuesday, the Women’s Center hosts a single mothers’ support group at noon. Julee Smith hosts the discussion between mothers about new, practical ways to raise responsible children on their own. The discussion leaders explained that this support group is not so much a counseling group as a meeting to teach better ways to parent.

The mothers’ support group is designed to give each mother a chance to be open about her life and to be unafraid to share her situation with other mothers who can relate. The theme of this week’s discussion was effective parenting styles. Smith put on a slideshow of different examples of situations for the mothers to try to help their children learn right from wrong from the issue at hand.

“I am raising my child all by myself,” said Kelsie Ashley, a student at Weber State University. “I base all of my parenting skills off of this group, and it helps me be the best parent I can be. I am really sad if I miss a discussion because I feel as if I am missing out on a way to better my child. This support group helps me in so many ways I never thought possible.”

The Women’s Center provides many different opportunities for single mothers seeking help, such as scholarships, financial aid, advising and child care. The staff encourages single mothers to use their center as a resource.

Parenting pointers are dealt out in each discussion for mothers to interpret what is best for each of their scenarios.

“With our support group, we invite everybody on campus and even in the community to gain access to some great tools to empower them to become better parents and feel more confident about raising children,” said Natalie Laramie, an associate at the Women’s Center.

At the meeting this week, the mothers agreed it would be fun to have a group session that included their children. Laramie told the mothers about a Halloween event still being planned that will extend an invitation to children.

“This support group for single mothers or even single parents is to help those who are in need,” Smith said. She reminded those at the meeting that there are many great attributes people could take away from it. “It is a great tool to be a great parent. Why not take advantage of the allotted time we have been given to discuss the most important thing in the world? Our children are our future.”

The Single Mothers’ Support Group will meet in Room 316 of the Shepherd Union Building on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 to discuss financial strategies for single parents. On Oct. 22, single parents will be able to learn organization for success and stress relief, and how to give their children a “nutritious and healthy Halloween” on Oct. 29. On Nov. 5, single parents can go to the discussion titled “Pamper Yourself.”

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