Single Parenting for Mum and Dad
Bringing up a child is no easy task. You have to be physically, mentally, and emotionally available, you have to put their needs in front of yours; you have to be less selfish and more selfless. Single Parenting requires a lot of effort, but it is equally rewarding too when you see your little baby grow up into a competent adult.
Having a caring, supportive partner is one of the biggest blessings especially when it comes to raising kids. Two are better than one, the responsibilities can be divided and all the load of bringing up a family does not have to depend on just one person’s shoulders. It gives both the parents some breathing room.
However, you may not always be having another person to share the burden with. As we see the divorce rates climbing up and up, single parenting is becoming a relatively common phenomenon. While there may be other reasons too for why the other parent is out of the picture, most instances of single parenting are a result of a divorce or separation.
After a divorce happens, either parent may get the custody of the child or children. Therefore, it is only important that both the parents prepare in advance and know their respective responsibilities and roles which they will now have to play.
Single parenting is hard, no doubt about that, but the number of myths attached to this concept make it even more intimidating for the people in question. Some people believe that a child who is brought up by a single parent ends up having more behavioral problems than those who live with both their parents.
There is no proof that a child being brought up by a single parent is more or less likely to, let’s say, abuse drugs or behave more aggressively in school than a child who lives with both the parents. In other words, we can say that just because a single parent is bringing up his or her child, it does not make the child a disciplinary challenge for them.
In an ideal world, every child should be brought by both the parents; however, being brought up in a single parent home does not limit the opportunities of growth and success for the child, either. A child living with only one parent is not doomed to have a maladjusted life. Single parents by adopting the right mindsets and the right attitude can establish an equally healthy support system for their children as anybody else.
Tips for both the parents:
Whether you are a single mom or a single dad who has now all the responsibility of bringing up the children, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to make the job a tad bit easier. First off, you need to remember that the children were used to being taken care of by two parents and now you are just one. It is going to take some time for the child / children to adjust to this new change. Be patient and try to look at things from the children’s point of view.
You do not always have to team up with a wife or a husband to have a team; once your child / children have settled into their new lifestyle you can form a team comprising yourself and the child /children This will make the child / children feel as if they are still together as a family, even though one parent is not there.
Try to spend as much as time together as you possibly can. Plan picnics, fun trips to the museum things like that. Remind your child / children that while it is just you and them now, the love and importance you have for them has not lessened to any extent.
Putting the children’s needs first:
Being a parent requires you to keep your needs second and your children’s needs first. Being a single parent reinforces the same rule twice. You do not have a partner to split the responsibilities with.
The best thing for you to do in a situation like this is to get your life more organized. When you know what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, you will get around to doing those things much sooner as compared to when you have no plan of action.
Being on your own with your child / children can be intimidating for the parents, too. It is important to remember that you go easy on yourself. There is going to be extra work and extra load to take care of now, but remember to not burn yourself out in the process. While being there for the child / children is important, you need to have a support system of your own too. Keep in touch with friends and family so that you can sustain your peace of mind too.
Your children and you will not always see eye to eye on everything so arguments are inevitable. They are twice as likely to happen if you are a parent of adolescents for that is a time where kids are transitioning the most. They have all these ideas, views and opinions which are very likely to be different than yours. So arguments cannot be avoided, but they can be handled properly by trying to develop good communication skills.
Good communication skills:
Being able to communicate effectively with others is something which we all should work for. Good communication skills do not just involve speaking the right way, but listening is as important a deal as talking. You need to be careful in selecting your words and adopting the right tone. Likewise you need to attentively listen to what the other person has to say as well.
When you are trying to explain your side of the picture to your children, do not come across as somebody who is trying to impose things on them. Try to be more of a friend than a preacher. This does not only increase your chances of your children actually listening to you, but will also benefit your overall relationship with your children.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.
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