Pennsylvania – According to the most recent census, about 21 percent of kids in the US are raised by single parents.

About 82 percent of single parents are mothers and 18 percent are fathers raising their kids alone.

Robert Beeson is a Christian music executive and author of “Going Solo: Hope and Healing for the Single Mom or Dad.”

Beeson says that when his wife left him unexpectedly and raised his three young girls by himself, he felt isolated.

Although many churches offer support groups or counseling for families going through a divorce, there can be a lack of support after the divorce is finalized or if someone comes to the church unmarried with children.

Listen to the full interview with Robert Beeson.

As he created a group specifically for single parents and began connecting with them, Beeson says he grew and became more comfortable in his new role as a single parent.

Beeson says although you want to focus on your kids, remember to also take care of yourself and try to connect with other people who are in similar situations.

Other things to talk about in counseling or within a support groups:

**  Explaining divorce or separation to a child – Make sure that they know it’s not their fault that anyone left.

**  Guilt – Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to make up for being a single parent.

**  Support system – Lean on the support and friendship of others to help you get through tough times.

**  Time for yourself – Although your focus should be on your kids, you can’t be an effective parent if you don’t take time to make sure you’re happy and healthy.

**  Showing your love – Set aside time each day to play, read, talk, or simply sit with your child.

**  Dating – When you feel you’re ready to get back into the dating world, make sure you’re dating someone who respects both you and your children.

**  Stay positive – It’s okay to be honest with your child that things are difficult, but remind them that things will get better and that you are always going to be there to love them.

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