An Investigation into Critical Areas of Parenting Skills Needed to Empower Young Single Parents in their Role as Parents In ‘C’ Field Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana

by Paul N. Benjamin
May 10th, 2023

This project investigated the critical areas of parenting skills needed to empower young single parents in their role as parents and focused on parents in ‘C’ Field Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Using the qualitative method and the appreciative inquiry approach, data were collected from single-parent fathers and single-parent mothers between the ages of 19 and 24. The findings revealed that the close bond shared between parents and children, giving love and affection, and spending quality time with children were three convergent themes and critical areas of parenting skills accentuated to facilitate competent parenting among single parents. Challenges faced included meeting children’s daily needs, a lack of family support, and a lack of parenting skills. The lack of co-parenting was identified as the cause of these challenges faced by young single parents. As a sign of hope, participants view being a role model, mentorship, and collaborating with healthcare workers, social workers, and religious leaders as part of a holistic strategy to facilitate parenting skills among young single parents in the community and further afield. Those signs of hope were evident during the interviews and empowerment seminar, which impacted participants who expressed comfort in knowing that there were still persons and entities concerned by their situations and willing to empower them to dream again for their families. Shalom leadership and reflective leadership were transformational leadership perspectives used to strengthen the rolling out of the transformational strategy. The strategy was in the form of an empowerment seminar that focused on participants' personal growth and development. Recommendations for positive change included further studies to investigate the reasons for the lack or absence of co-parenting, organized relationship counseling to address the issues of low self-esteem, anger management, emotional healing, mental health well-being, and a comprehensive mentorship program targeting young single fathers.