The reality of single parenting
We hear a lot about single parent households in the news, and how challenging a single parent home can be for children growing up. As much as single parents don’t want to hear that (especially those who didn’t choose to be a single parent), the challenges should not be ignored. However, there is research that shows that children of single parents can avoid many challenges, and thrive when they’re provided consistent love and support.
If you search online you can find many resources and organizations, both nationally and locally, that exist to help single parents succeed in raising healthy, well adjusted kids. And that’s very important, but the critical daily needs of a child, and the managing of daily responsibilities must be shouldered by the single parent. As we all know, that can be overwhelming at times.
So how do single parents succeed?
Tell your children that you love them. You’d be surprised how many parents forget to tell their kids that they love them. Show your kids that you love them. Show the kids that you love them enough to be a responsible parent. They will thank you later.
Children do best when they have consistent routines and guidelines; and your house runs smoother. Make sure your child has a consistent schedule and bedtime. Establish rules and boundaries that are consistently enforced with appropriate consequences for violations. Don’t forget to praise good behavior.
Have family meetings once a week to share the up-coming schedule and get feedback from your kids. You may not think that you need a weekly meeting because you and your child always talk; or your child’s too young, but think again. As your kids get older, family meeting time may be the only time they can re-connect with the rest of the family. The longer you wait to start this ritual, the harder it is to maintain in a single parent household.
Listen to what your kids are saying; especially when they’re not talking. Know who their friends are; and their friend’s parents. Know what they’re watching, listening to, and where they’re going online. Know where your children are at all times. Again, the older your kids get, the more important this becomes.
We all know that it’s not easy being a single parent, but we can make it easier on our kids and on ourselves if we follow some important rules.