Do Wisconsin Stipends Encourage Single Parenting? Dr. Bonnie Weighs in on Realistic Changes

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Wisconsin Senator Glenn Grotham has introduced a bill that has single parents upset - it aims to require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board "to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."

Wisconsin Senator Glenn Grotham has introduced a bill that has single parents upset - it aims to require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board "to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil wants to get to the bottom of the stigma surrounding single parenthood and help people understand what truly needs to change from the ground up instead of penalizing single parents. "Where is Senator Grotham coming from?" she asks. "Does he know the whole story or is reacting against what he sees as Financial Infidelity against the government? It seems that he thinks single parents are trying to steal from the government when they really don't need the money." One-third of parents in Wisconsin are single, and since many single parents are single mothers, people are seeing this as an attack against single moms but it could also be an over-correction against dead-beat dads.

Not being married isn't the point, explains Dr. Bonnie. Yes, single parents often have additional stress from being the sole breadwinner and not having a strong support system, but abuse and neglect can occur in any family - what needs to happen is more education. "Instead of government stepping in, like Grotham suggests, what we need is for schools to teach courses like my Smart Heart Tools and Dialogue to teach people communication skills from early on in life," states Dr. Bonnie.

Grotham criticized social workers for not agreeing that children should be raised by two married biological parents, but Dr. Bonnie says they shouldn't have to agree with this proposition. First, some biological parents aren't equipped to raise their children, and this mentality also rules out adoption which can also be in the child's best interest.

In some cases of abuse and neglect, observes Dr. Bonnie, only ONE parent would in fact be in the best interest of the child. "If one parent is abusive it's worse for the child to be in that environment than for the child to be in a single parent home. Studies have been done that show it's better for children to be away from that parent than in a hostile, neglectful, abusive environment," Dr. Bonnie explains. It's an old fashioned idea that it's better to have two parents at all costs. In a perfect world, children would be raised by two parents but safety has to come first.

Dr. Bonnie relates this to the story of King Soloman and the two women claiming to be mothers of the same baby. The King offered to cut the baby in half, giving one half to each woman. The impostor mother was ok with this arrangement; the real mother preferred that the impostor have the baby than that the King kill it. "What kind of parent would someone be if they chose to leave their child in harm's way just to maintain a two parent family?" asks Dr Bonnie.

On the other hand, as a marriage, family and child therapist Dr. Bonnie says society does need to work harder to prevent the issues that lead to divorce by teaching people tools of intimacy, communication, and parenting. She believes there should be courses starting in schools - teaching skills like Dr. Bonnie's Smart Heart Dialogue - to teach people from a young age how to develop these tools, including techniques that explain how to fight fair.

"It seems Grotham is saying that we don't need laws to encourage single people to have babies out of wedlock by giving them more money the more children they have. He sees it as an incentive to have more babies to get more opportunities like food, education, etc."

But before we take away these safety nets that many truly do rely on, says Dr. Bonnie, we need skills and education to support that. "We don't even know how to prevent divorce so we need to prevent that from the ground up with the tools and dialogue that I teach."

Dr. Bonnie addresses typical single parent conundrums in this video:


Text ADULTERY to 82257 to find out from Dr Bonnie if adultery or affairs may be looming in your relationship!
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Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil's best-selling book, Adultery the Forgivable Sin is being re-released under a new distributor and making its appearance available in eBook format and print on ( Adultery the Forgivable Sin was also made into a Lifetime Original Movie starring Kate Jackson.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, is also author of the 2010 New York Times Reader’s Choice Award-winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD. Dr. Bonnie is a marriage counselor treating couples, singles, and step families. She works with those considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle.

As a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with intimacy, communication, and connection tools, and counsels families and children.

Named the Best Local New York Therapist in 2011 by the US Commerce Association and known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of other books like Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity: Making Money Sexy.

Dr. Bonnie was named by Psychology Today and NY Magazine as one of America's Best Therapists and is presently featured and available now on the Discovery Health/Oprah Winfrey Network documentary titled "Unfaithful" and A&E on addictions. Find her on Good Morning America, on the Today Show's three-day series on infidelity, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, and a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN; and is often featured in USA Today and the New York Times. Visit Dr. Bonnie at

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