Main Questions

What to tell them, when and how?

Many mothers have doubts about whether and how to explain to the child that he/she has a father. Some think that it is not necessary to explain it, and that if the children are very young they will not understand anything. Traditionally, there has even been a tendency to hide the condition of “unmarried child” because it is considered a shame or a sin, to the point that many children have grown up believing they are the children of their grandparents or other relatives.

It is in the child’s best interest to always know the truth. Sooner or later he/she will ask questions about the absence of his/her father by comparing his/her family with others around him/her. Knowing the reality will help him/her to assume it naturally. We must provide him with the information he needs, transmitting security and confidence, and this information must always be in accordance with the child’s developmental level, thus facilitating his understanding:

  • If he/she is less than five years old, he/she does not need very detailed explanations and it is likely that he/she will not fully understand at first. It will be enough to say that there are many types of families and that the father does not live in his family, even if he has one.
  • Between the ages of five and eight, he will be able to understand the implications of what is explained to him and will want to know what his father looks like and where he is. In addition, he/she will ask for information from the perspective of: “what about me?
  • Between the ages of nine and twelve, the child tends to think in terms of good/bad, right/wrong. It is important to explain to him/her that there is nothing wrong with a family like theirs, talking about other types of families and especially single-parent families. In addition, it would be advisable to answer questions about his father to the extent that we can, in a positive way.

Continuing in the line of clarity and honesty in the information (against past denial and concealment), it is advisable to leave the channels of communication open by expressing that we are willing to talk about this topic when the child wants or needs to.

What are other families like?

As we mentioned before, it is advisable to provide the children with some information about the different types of families, and in particular about single-parent families, making sure to transmit to them a total normality and the awareness of enjoying the same rights and duties as any other family.

As a guideline, we can suggest talking about the following types of families:

  1. Families in which children, father, mother and grandparents or other relatives live together (extended family).
  2. Families with father, mother and children (traditional or nuclear family).
  3. Families with two fathers or two mothers (homoparental families).
  4. Families in which the children live only with the father or mother (single-parent families) and that can be constituted from:
    • Biological or adoptive single parenthood.
    • The death of the spouse.
    • Separation, divorce or annulment of the couple’s relationship.

How to achieve independence?

The search for independence is one of the primary objectives in the adult life of all people. In the case of single mothers, it becomes a goal of primary necessity. Many of the most serious problems of single mothers are due precisely to the fact that their life develops in a situation of dependence on other people: economically, personally, affectively and socially. This situation sometimes forces them to assume situations of mistreatment, abuse and exploitation.

In our Foundation, aware of this need, we consider and promote training and the search for employment as two of the primary objectives towards economic independence. In addition, we complement this with the strengthening of different personal, affective and social resources related to the improvement of self-esteem, training in communication, social skills, problem solving techniques, etc.

Will I be able to rebuild my emotional life?

Many single mothers rush into the search for a partner to solve their emotional needs, “normalize” their situation as a family and provide their child with a father figure, as if finding a partner as quickly as possible were the solution to their problems. In addition, a high percentage of them tend to get pregnant quickly in order to give their partner a child of their own and thus ensure the bond with their partner. Unfortunately, in most cases this solution fails.

It is certainly possible to rebuild one’s emotional life after having been a single mother, but the most sensible approach to take is that relationships are a personal and free choice, never a solution to certain difficulties. Moreover, for people to be able to bond in a positive way, it is necessary for relationships to develop over time and for people to be willing to consciously make certain commitments. In any case, single mothers can raise their children on their own with totally satisfactory results.

What to do if problems arise in the couple?

Some mothers start a life as a couple, either by getting married or forming a domestic partnership, which is sometimes not without problems. As a general rule, it is advisable to keep the children out of the conflict, trying to reduce the level of tension and at least not to fight in front of them, assuring them that they are not to blame if things go wrong. Try to put the children’s welfare first and never use them in the conflict.

It is necessary to refrain from speaking ill of the father, as this will probably have the opposite effect to that expected. Most children will come to their own conclusions when they reach adulthood. Many will want to know who he/she is and may try to establish contact at some point.


  • Day Center for women.
  • Sheltered apartment for single mothers and women victims of abuse.
  • Legal and psychological counseling.
  • Attention and advice to immigrants.
  • Activities with children.
  • European programs
  • Occupational training.
  • Distance training.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Computer literacy.