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Redefine the Word "Family"

Questions to Help You Rethink What Family Means to You as a Single Parent

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Who do you consider family? Is it your closest relatives, your closest friends, or both? Use the questions below to help you redefine the term "family."

As you read each question, imagine your family as a circle. It starts out with you and your kids. Who else do you include? Allow your circle to get a little wider as you answer each question. With some honesty and imagination, you'll realize that you're family circle is very wide, indeed.

1. Who Do You Call First in a Crisis?

This is a very telling question. Do you call on your parents? Your ex? Your best friend? Who is the person you can count on, no matter what, who would drop everything and help you? This is family!

2. Who Would Watch Your Kids for You in a Heartbeat?

This might be a relative, a friend, or a neighbor. Think about the person who is on your kids' emergency contact forms at school. It may not be someone you'd traditionally refer to as "family," but the fact that you trust them in an emergency should suggest that you hold them in pretty high regard. This is family!

3. Who, Besides Your Family, Has Known You the Longest?

This might be a close friend from your childhood or young adult years, who has already seen you through some tough times. The fact that you've kept up your friendship suggests that this person is important to you; and most likely, he or she is important to your kids, too. This is family!

4. Who Are You "Real" With?

Who's allowed to see you when you're not looking your best? Who loves you unconditionally and doesn't shy away from your faults? This is family!

5. Who Would You Really Love to Spend Holidays With?

If you knew you wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings, where would you really like to be for the holidays? You're probably thinking of those people you love and who you know really love and care about you and your kids. This is family!
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