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MAURICE MAITLANDLAW FIRM
‘We Get Results’
Social SecurityDisability • Immigration203-751-9070 •347346-0749
Of single-mother and poverty
What I am looking for is not out there; it isin me. (Hellen Keller)
ood leaders understand themselves. Asa leader, you need to know your capa-bilities. What can you do? What are yourstrengths? What are your weaknesses? Willyour weaknesses hinder your ability to be agood leader? Or will your strengths help youto excel beyond your potential?I once meet lady by the name of Betty,an entrepreneur who wanted advice on keep-ing her small bakery business afloat. Shecontacted me after meeting me at a network-ing event in Queens, New York. Betty invit-ed me to her shop, which she shared with adeli. When I met Betty at her bakery, shewas one of the nicest people you can meet;she smiled a lot and wanted you to feel com-fortable.After greeting me, she offered me cakeand tea and told me her story. Betty is a reg-istered nurse who decided to be an entrepre-neur. After being in business for over a yearwithout profiting, she wanted to know whatshe was doing wrong. I quickly recognizedBetty’s setback.Betty was a good baker and had excel-lent customer service, but she was not goodat marketing and lacked a key skill to anysuccessful business—the ability to sell.The process and integrative approachesto the definition of leadership suggest thatindividuals can learn the skills and abilitiesnecessary for a leader. The first step indeveloping skills and abilities is to under-stand you. The importance of self-knowl-edge for leadership may seem obvious.Nonetheless, many leaders do not havesufficient knowledge about their behaviorsand the way they interact with others.Personal preferences for certain types of behaviors can also result in leaders using thesame leadership style and methods regard-less of the situation. Increasing self-knowl-edge and self-understanding can improveyour ability to interact with others, which isfundamental to effective leadership.Self-understanding is related to emo-tional intelligence, which suggest that peo-ple have different abilities to manage them-selves and their relationships with others.To manage yourself, you must have arelatively high degree of self-awareness,which includes knowledge about yourself,such as your personal preferences and reac-tions to different situations. You also have tobe aware of how you interact with others,particularly in stressful situations where youmay be emotionally upset. Self-understand-ing can be improved by reflection and objec-tive analysis of your strengths and weak-nesses.
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e are very concern about the increas-ing level of poverty in New York Citywhich remains high at 21.2 percent or 1.7million New Yorkers living below the offi-cial federal poverty line of $23,314 for afamily of four.We are also distressed to learn thatpoverty rates were the highest for singlemothers, increasing from 40.4 percent(2011) to 43 percent (2012), according to theCensus Bureau.Other studies revealed that one in fourchildren in the United States is being raisedby a single parent —a percentage that hasbeen on the rise and is higher than otherdeveloped countries. In the case of AfricanAmerican community, 72 percent of Blackchildren are raised in a single-parent house-hold headed by a female.Economically and emotionally, thechallenges are more difficult for females asthey struggle to satisfy the needs of today’schildren. Children who grow up in a single-mother household have more problems thanchildren who grow up in two-parent house-holds.The problem is not so much the lack of a father as it is the lack of a second parent.Children in single-parent homes arethree times more likely to drop out of school.In general, a single mother cannotspend a lot of time helping children withhomework, is less likely to discipline con-sistently and has less control, factors thatcould lead to lower academic success.Furthermore, without income from aspouse, single mothers are likely to haveincome problems, making life harder fortheir children. When unemployment figuresrun high, the burden on single mothers isgreat.The unemployment rate for singlemothers was almost double that of marriedwomen in most states.We are now experiencing a culturalshift toward greater acceptance of single-parent child rearing, a situation which is notbenefiting the African American communi-ties. As Christians, we should therefore pro-mote the "conjugal" family which includes ahusband, a wife and the children.At the City, State and Federal levels, weneed to put in place more policies to helpsupport families, including childcare andnational paid maternity leave, which arecommonplace in other countries.Several studies have shown that educa-tion is the most reliable institution to takepeople out of poverty. Perhaps a good edu-cation should be the starting point for all sin-gle mothers if they want to achieve prosper-ity and satisfy the needs of their children.