The Disadvantages of Single-Parent Homes

The Disadvantages of Single-Parent Homes

 

The United States leads the world with nearly 10 million single-parent households, and 23% of children under the age of 18 living with a single parent. While each family’s situation is different, studies show that children raised in single-parent homes tend to face more struggles than children from homes with two parents. Here are some of the disadvantages of single-parent homes:

 

  • Less Money - Single parents often earn less money than two parents. This can lead to issues like food insecurity, not being able to provide children with necessities, not having access to the internet, and can even cause a slip into poverty. 

 

  • Lack of Quality Time, Help, and Attention - Single parents often have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and are therefore not always available to their children. These opposing schedules can create a lack of quality time spent together, can lead to the parent not being around when the child needs help, or cause the child to not receive much attention and to spend much time on their own. 

 

 

  • Health and Behavioral Issues - Single parents often have to do a lot on their own, so issues can arise with their children’s health and behavior since there is no extra support to help with parenting. Children in single-parent homes can often feel a sense of loss due to the fact that a parent is absent from their lives. These feelings can impact how the child behaves and even lead to issues like aggressive behavior.

 

 

  • Future Issues - Children of single parents are more likely to have issues that continue to affect their lives as they grow up, such as educational attainment and occupational status. While not always the case, growing up in a single-parent home is associated with socioeconomic disadvantages for the child throughout their life.

 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to serve the children in our communities, especially those suffering from poverty. Over 60% of youth in the Delta live below the poverty line, while 78% of our club members live in single-parent homes, and 98% of our members qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch at school. Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!




The Effects of Poverty on Children

The Effects of Poverty on Children

 

Poverty is a widespread issue with many damaging effects on those who experience it. In the United States, 10.5% of all citizens (34 million) suffer from poverty. Poverty is especially detrimental to children who experience it. There are over 74 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. and 14.4% of them (over 10 million kids) live below the poverty line.  Here are the effects poverty has on children:

 

  • Nutrition - Poverty often leaves families without enough food to properly feed their children. This affects the amount and quality of food that kids living in poverty receive, which can impact their physical development, ability to fight off diseases and illnesses, and their overall health. It is common for kids suffering from poverty to receive most of their food while at school.

 

  • Academics - Poverty also impacts the academic performance of children and furthers the achievement gap. This is caused by multiple factors, such as under-resourced schools in impoverished communities, high drop-out rates, and difficulty concentrating and retaining information due to stress associated with living in poverty. These academic struggles also further the cycle of poverty because kids are unable to lift themselves out of poverty due to their inadequate education.

 

  • Security - Poverty also affects the security of children, as impoverished communities tend to have higher rates of crime and violence. This can impact the experiences children have in their own neighborhoods and potentially cause them to end up in unsafe situations. 

 

  • Homelessness - Poverty can also push families into homelessness, which affects the stability a child has (and needs) in their life. This takes away a child’s opportunity to have a real childhood, and can also affect whether they stay in school, get enough food, or are able to stay safe and healthy.

 

  • Health - Poverty can have a big impact on the health of children, affecting their growth and development, their access to healthcare and medicine, their likelihood of developing chronic illnesses, and their overall mental health and stress levels.

 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to serve the children in our communities, especially those suffering from poverty. Over 60% of youth in the Delta live below the poverty line, while 78% of our club members live in single-parent homes, and 98% of our members qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch at school. Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!




What is Summer Learning Loss?

What Is Summer Learning Loss?

 

Kids look forward to summer for a number of reasons like going to the pool, playing outside, going on vacation, and, usually at the top of the list, taking a break from school. However, while breaks are sometimes good, the nearly three-month summer break from school can actually lead to something called summer learning loss. Here’s what summer learning loss is and how it can be prevented. 

 

Summer learning loss, also known as the summer slide, is when students regress while out of school in the summer and return in the fall at a lower academic level than when they left. Put simply, since they are not in school learning, they are not stimulating their minds and retaining the information they have already learned. This can lead to students falling behind and contribute to the achievement gap since summer learning loss especially affects children from low-income families.

 

Oxford Learning shares statistics on summer learning loss when no learning occurs during the summer:

 

  • 1 month of overall learning is lost
  • 2 months of reading skills are lost
  • 2 months of math skills are lost
  • It can take 2 months in the fall for students to recover from summer learning loss and re-learn what they lost

 

According to a study in the American Educational Research Journal, some students can even lose the majority of their learning gains from the previous school year. So, how can you prevent summer learning loss?

 

The first step is to make a plan for your child’s summer and stick to it. The plan should include 2-3 hours of learning every week and should incorporate reading books, activities using math, and other recreational activities that are still fun but involve critical thinking. Some examples of activities are:

 

  • A summer reading program with a certain number of books for the summer
  • Online and offline math games
  • Playing board games that use math skills
  • Going to zoos, museums, and nature experiences
  • Signing them up for camps, especially ones with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) focus
  • Letting them join a youth program in your area

You also want to let your child enjoy their summer by playing outside and interacting with other children. The learning activities should not stress them out but should be something enjoyable that will also help prevent summer learning loss.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to stimulate the minds of kids and prevent summer learning loss through our summer programs like Summer Brain Gain, Project Learn, and DIY STEM. Additionally, we offer our Summer Brain Gain: Read! literacy program to complement the larger Summer Brain Gain curriculum. We also supply Chromebooks and Amazon Fire Tablets for dedicated use by each member at their specific Club. Find out how to get involved by signing your child up, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!




Trends in Childhood Obesity

How to Prevent Childhood Obesity

 

Obesity is a disease that occurs when an individual has a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC’s growth charts. The disease is problematic because it puts people at far greater risk for other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer risk, and more. 

 

Obesity has been on the rise in the United States for decades, but it is becoming increasingly prevalent in children. According to the CDC, nearly 20% of children between the ages of 2-19 (~ 15 million) suffer from obesity, with the majority of them being Black or Hispanic. This has created an epidemic for our younger generations, but even more so for minority communities. Here’s how to prevent childhood obesity:

 

  1. Healthy Eating Habits - Teach your children healthy eating habits like portion control, only eating at set meal times, and avoiding unhealthy snack temptations. Make sure to provide them with a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

 

 

  • Plenty of Activity - It’s also important to make sure your child gets plenty of exercise. This can be done by being active together as a family, signing them up for a sports team, or letting them play outside in your neighborhood with other kids. No matter what it is, the key is to make sure they get moving.

 

 

  1. Limit Sedentary Behavior - Limit sedentary behavior like watching TV, browsing the internet, or playing video games. Each can still be enjoyed, but provide limits for your child and stick to them.

 

  1. Healthy Sleeping Routine - Getting too little sleep can cause obesity by making us tired, which contributes to us wanting to eat more and be less physically active. Help your child develop a healthy sleeping routine by going to bed at the same time every night, limiting screen time before bed, and making sure they get enough sleep each night.

 

The easiest way to keep your child healthy is to practice healthy habits as a family since parents are the main role models for children. What you do will determine what your child does now and as they grow up.

 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to combat childhood obesity and keep kids healthy with our fitness programs like Triple Play and SMARTMoves. We believe teaching kids about healthy eating and fitness habits will help them have sustained success now and in the future. Find out how to get involved by signing your child up, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!





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