Tag Archives: life skills

Organization Tips for Single Parents

Let’s face it, life is BUSY!  And you’re a single parent so life is BUSIER!  Carving out some leisure/free/fun time for you and your kids takes some planning and organizational skills, but it’s worth it.

Who doesn’t want more free, fun time with their kids!  Let’s see how we can make more of that happen.

Daily Routines are Your Friends

Establish daily routines for your family so that everyone knows what’s expected of them. Routines won’t solve all of your battles, but there’ll be fewer surprises.  Bedtime routines as well as morning routines really help your single parent household run more efficiently.  Don’t forget homework, chores, and meal time rountines.  Get yourself a dry erase board and have your routines in a place where everyone sees them often.  Routines definitely save you time.

A Family Calendar is a Must

Along with your routines board, you need a calendar where everyone can see it.  Keep track of your special events, special school activities, and appointments, etc.  This cuts down on conflicts and lets you (and the kids) keep track of the logistics of who needs to be where at what time.  An up to date calendar will save you even more time.



Motivate your Kids to do their Chores

You’re a single parent.  You need to get household chores done on a daily basis but there’s no way you can do it alone.  You may disagree, but the fastest way to get the chores done (and with no whining) is to offer an incentive.  It could be money but it doesn’t have to be.  You can make the incentive internet access when their chores are done.  Whatever motives your child.  Chores are more likely to get done quickly and properly if there is an incentive attached.

Plan Your Meals

Obviously you’re going to take your kid’s preferences into consideration, but it is a huge TIME and MONEY saver when you plan your meals out weekly.  Planning your weekly meals out saves on trips to the grocery store – you only need to go once.  If you can pre-make meals for the week and freeze them, you save more time.  An added bonus is family fun time together in the kitchen if your kids like to cook with you.

If you follow these tips you will be able to regain some precious time that you and your kids can use for more enjoyable things, like spending some fun leisure time together.

When is it OK to Leave my Children Home Alone?

As a single parent you may be asking yourself, ‘when can I start leaving my children home alone?’ This may be out of necessity or because your children seem mature enough and don’t want to go with you everywhere you go.

Before you make the decision to leave you children home alone there are many things to consider. The following is a link to an article that covers everything that you need to think about and address before you decide to leave you children at home without you.

Children Home Alone – Decide When to Leave Them Home

Keep Your Kids Safe from Preditors

The Sad Truth

Horrific stories about children being molested are common in the new today.  With the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the alleged abuse of Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta, and the painful memories of priests abusing young boys in the Catholic Church, single parents need to be more proactive when it comes to protecting our children. It’s unfortunate that as single parents our job is made that much harder because we once looked to ‘respected’ men in the community to mentor our children, particularly boys.

Not Stranger Danger

Most children get the ‘stranger danger’ talk early and often; at home and at school.  But when the potential danger is someone who is familiar and around our children everyday, things get confusing.  Teachers, coaches, pastors, and even family members are people our children should be able to trust, but that’s not always the case.

Single moms should not give anyone too much access to their children even if they are in positions of authority. In The Myth of the Broken Home-Guidebook for Single Parents “Strangers” are obvious, but “Strange Nots” are very familiar to children. They include people who are around our children everyday including family members, teachers, preachers, friends. These are people our children should be able to trust, but as we know, it’s not always the case. Children should be taught to apply some of the same protective techniques with familiar adults as with strangers.



What Can You Do?

Child molesters have very specific predatory skills much like many offenders. Here are some tips to help you lessen the chances of your child from being a victim.

  1. Monitor your child’s interaction with strangers and use every interaction as a teaching moment. Your child needs to know what to do in situations with strangers first. Once they know how to react to ‘Stranger Danger’ you will be able to start teaching them about ‘Not-So Stranger Danger’.
  2. If you are actively dating; never invite the men you meet into your home. This is not just for your children’s safety, but your own as well. Be very causious about jumping into a relationship too fast. If you develop a friendship with a male, spend time with him outside your home. Meet at a restaurant or a local coffee shop.
  3. Know the whereabouts of your children at all times. Know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with. This is very important. Your children should also know that they need to contact you if there is any change in plans; before the change happens.
  4. Openly communicate with your child about their body and what is private. Let them know that their body is their own; and if someone is making them uncomfortable by touching them they should say so. Even if it’s just a hug. Children need to know that they have the right to say no to someone touching them. They also need to be comfortable enough to tell you, their parent, if it happens.

 

Single parents, are often exhausted and sometimes burdened, but we still must do our best to protect our children as best we can.