From discussion groups to potluck dinners, single parent support groups offer many different types of activities for solo moms and dads. If you're thinking of joining a single parent support group yourself, you'll make new friends, get your thoughts off of personal pressures, and be able to express your feelings in constructive ways.
Those actively involved in a support group already may want to try something different this year with their group.
Whether it's creating events for subgroups of the main group, or hosting large annual celebrations, there's something for everyone.
Single Parent Support Group Activities
If you have a large-sized group, you can have a guest speaker talk with your group about issues related to parenting, managing money, or dealing with the challenges of divorce. You can make it a "bagged lunch" meeting for parents who are looking to save money or only have a short amount of time to meet. Alternatively, you can designate a group member or committee to finding a sponsor for each event.
Another helpful exercise for parents is talking through common issues that may be causing problems in the home, or that may be an important topic to get on your radar. Consider subjects like how to talk to kids about sex, drugs, and alcohol. You can plan to rotate different discussion topics for the large group, or have a smaller breakout group to discuss a particular topic.
Finally, you can also work together for a common cause. If you volunteer to do a community service project, it teaches children the important lesson of volunteerism. Plus, it's a good community and support group-building exercise.
Small Break-Out Group Ideas
Sometimes, it might be appropriate to have smaller breakout meetings with three to five people.
You can always meet for coffee to address a specific topic, talk about day-to-day challenges, and acknowledge accomplishments.
Smaller groups are also great for particular interests, like having a book discussion group, a knitting circle, a meal-exchange night, or a family game night. You can either have a small group with the same members or create a weekly or monthly rotation so the group doesn't get overwhelmingly large.
Either way, your support group will evolve. When this happens, you may eventually want to welcome new members. You can find members of your group who might serve best as the "welcoming committee" which could be used to host an orientation meeting for newbies. There are additional roles one could take on as well. For example, you might want to start up a babysitting co-op, which is a system of rotating babysitting volunteers. That way, at some point, all members are able to attend the support group.
Big Annual Activities
A few times a year, you can plan to have big group activities so that everyone is involved. However, when large groups are involved, it usually takes a little more planning and advance notice.
One big annual event can be as simple as going on a hayride together in autumn or planning a park playdate in spring.
You could also make a more elaborate annual event like investing in a big vacation together, hosting an annual picnic for your group, or having a fundraiser for your charity.
Whatever you choose, you can decide on an outdoor or indoor activity. Outdoor activities may include:
- Going to the zoo
- Going horseback riding
- Going out for ice cream
- Having a yard sale
- Playing volleyball at a local beach or park
- Flying kites
- Hiking or camping
On the other hand, you might want to keep some events indoors, such as:
- Going out to dinner or hosting a potluck dinner
- Hosting a cookie exchange near the holidays
- Having a holiday craft night
- Going to the movies
- Visiting a museum or science center