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Published on Oct 06, 2021
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Juliya Smith

Don't Be Hard on Yourself: Tips for Single Parents

Parenting is a job assigned for a lifetime once your little one enters the world. Moreover, single parenting can be even tougher and incredibly challenging. Single parents can easily become overwhelmed and feel alone when trying to raise kids all by themselves. It can be difficult for single parents to manage their personal and work life, however, if you apply some technique you can ace the game, but always remembers don't be hard on yourself.

The feeling of confusion is common among single parents but it's nothing to worry about. Every day you will figure out parenting a little more. Eventually, you and your family will be thriving, not just getting by. The most important thing a single parent needs is confidence.

One of the positive facts about single parents is that they can have a very strong bond with their kids. As a single parent, you give all your attention to your kids and try to give most of your free time to them. Also, children who are raised by a single parent tend to be more disciplined. Studies have shown that about 25% of kids in the USA live in houses with single parents.

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13 Tips for Single Parents

Raising children on your own can be very taxing. With the tips mentioned below maybe you can be a better single mom or single dad giving the best your kid deserves:

Be Confident in Your Value as a Single Parent

Whether you have been a single parent for a while or are recently separated, divorced, or widowed, you need to give your family time to adjust. Single parenting requires a skill set of adaptability, strength, vulnerability, and multitasking.

Use your adjustment period as a single parent to look into more ways to make your life as a single parent easier. This can be by gathering resources to help you in navigating parenthood alone.

Use this adjustment period as an opportunity to rediscover the relationship you want to have with your kids. Many single parents eventually see an immense value in the ability to grow closer to their kids.

To grow closer with your kids, view your family as a team. You are the captain, and your kids are your teammates. Your team is working collectively towards different goals each day. As a team captain, it is your responsibility to let your team know the strategy to achieve the day's goal.

Prioritize Emotional Recovery for the Family

After a traumatic family rift, it can be difficult for children and parents to recover emotionally. As a single parent, your kids will look to you for comfort and answers in times of distress. More than parents, children are more affected by your separation from your spouse.

Make it a priority of yours to take care of your kid's emotional and physical wellbeing. Your family may need more time than you anticipate to heal, and it's normal.

Your family, especially your kids, may feel broken, however, with time, it will grow stronger. You can teach empathy by celebrating vulnerability during the emotional recovery process. It's better for you to open up to your kids about past experiences such that they understand how good it is to let things out rather than bottling things up.

Time for Self

Management of yourself and your kids with their needs is difficult at times. Working, keeping up with household chores, and taking care of the kids 24/7 can make anyone feel suffocating and mentally exhausted. You may feel you do not have time for yourself and the whole new responsibility can overwhelm you.

To avoid extreme fatigue it is important for you to calm down and refuel yourself. This can be as simple as taking an extra thirty minutes before the kids get up or after they are in their bed. It's better if you allow yourself some me-time just to relax and calm down.

As you are a single parent you firstly need to take care of yourself then you can take care of the rest of the family members. Hence, before you can help others you should be strong at first.

Maintain a Position of Authority

One common mistake that most single parents make is by fulfilling all the demands of their kids. It is to remember that providing everything does not make them sense family completeness. Make sure you don't spoil kids by giving them everything they demand or want.

But fulfilling all the childish demands of your kids can make you malleable. Be sure not to overcompensate with your kids for being a single parent. Giving into childish demands does not make you the "cool parent."

Without any partner to play good cop vs. bad cop with, it can be disheartening always to be a serious parent. You should always have the weapon of authority by your side and guard your kids. Your child needs you to instill structure and enforce boundaries in their lives to encourage good behavior and foster healthy habits.

Create Structure

Staying organized can be one of your greatest assets as a single parent. There are many tools you can use to improve your family life and reinforce your family's schedule.

Although learning to be adaptable is important as a single parent, you can mitigate a lot of stress by setting up a daily routine. Setting a regular daily structure can help normalize and alleviate stress for you and your kids.

Daily routines allow family life to run smoothly. Establishing routines can allow children to regain control and feel safe. A structured daily routine is also a great way for your kids to develop good habits like brushing their teeth, making their bed, and reading before bed.

As a parent, having a routine can help you to optimize your time. Your children can become more self-sufficient in the morning as their routines turn into healthy habits.

As a single parent, you can also break from the routine as an easy reward or moment of fun to capture with your kids. If your family is used to a veggie-filled weeknight dinner and you order in the pizza you can easily spark some excitement, just from breaking from the norm.

Keeping Boundaries Flexible and Firm

Be aware of the rules and regulations you have set for your kids. Although transitioning to a single-parent household may cause some emotional duress manifestation, you must be firm in your rules and expectations.

Although certain expectations should remain steadfast within your household, some boundaries may be contingent upon your child's behavior.

Flexible boundaries are a great tool to reward and discipline your child. If there is a standard expectation that screen time will only be for 30 minutes a day, this limit can increase or decrease based on behavior. When you reward kids for good things they do and punish them for bad behavior they learn that one should have good mannerisms.

Firm boundaries are not subject to change, regardless of circumstance. It may be a standard expectation that your child makes their bed every morning before school. This is a firm boundary that you can monitor and is expected, regardless of your child's behavior.

Establish an Open and Honest Dialogue

Inevitably, your child may have questions about your family or the absence of one parent. It may seem like an instinct to shelter your children from the truth about a separation or divorce. Although it is important to preserve your kid's childhood as best you can, answering your child's questions honestly can help to establish a long-lasting trust between you.

Communicating with your kids about tough topics such as divorce can be difficult. Many parents dread sharing the news of a breakup with their kids. Although honesty is important, so is catering your message.

Think about your child's age and try to explain the truth in terms that make sense to them. Secrecy can be even more off-putting for kids than the truth. Through establishing an open and honest dialogue, parents can create a sense of security for their children.

Effect of Poor Communication Skills

Being honest can be simple in concept but difficult in practice. It is easy to fabricate information that will amuse or satisfy your kid's inquiry. However, you are not establishing a bridge of trust in the long run if you aren't transparent.

If you don't provide a clear outlet for your children to work through emotional trauma or stress, you may inhibit their development. Kids need to learn at home how to talk about their feelings. They also need to be able to resolve conflict through effective communication openly.

Let Your Kids Be Kids

Your kids will undoubtedly want to support you in any way they can. But, it is important to be careful about relying too heavily on the comfort of your children. However, your kids lack the emotional maturity to be a substitute for an adult support system.

For newly single parents, it can be difficult to adapt to a full house's workload. You can start with the implementation of a chore system and division of work for making kids responsible. Make sure to not burden them much as too much dependency on kids is not favorable.

Kids can easily get overwhelmed, even if they want to comfort their parents. Be understanding and make an effort to preserve your kids' childhood.

Lean on Others

Single parents may need to lean on the support of grandparents or nannies for several reasons. You may need someone to watch the kids at the spur of the moment, see if someone can pick the kids up from school if you are running late, or even have an adult to unload on emotionally.

You have to keep in mind to build a trustable support system for your child. It is great if you have family nearby that can lean on for help. Some of the best support you can get is from fellow parents; you can already seek a support system that is already intertwined in your kid's schedule.

A great way to do this is to join the PTA at your kid's school, parents in the PTA children will be in the same age range as yours and may be engaged in similar extracurricular activities. This provides a perfect opportunity for carpooling and building a community of parents who can support one another.

Release Yourself From Guilt

Single parents often hyperfocus on the things outside of their control. They feel guilty at their inability to do it all. Remember we all make mistakes and no one is a perfect parent. You are always trying your best by focusing on the betterment of your family members.

Suppose you are a newly single parent as a result of a marital rift that is okay. Kids do have a hard time managing with divorced parents but there are many kids across the country having divorced parents.

Don't feel guilty about breaking up your child's home. Focus on how you can build a constructive environment around them now that fosters positive growth.

Remain Positive

Being a single parent is tiring and hard. Sometimes you may feel discouraged or overloaded with stuff to do. Some situations or people may bring you down but nothing can upset a person with a positive attitude.

Your children take you as their role model and are looking to you for supervision. If they see you overwhelmed, they are likely to mirror that same sentiment. Radiate a positive attitude yourself, if you want your kids to reciprocate with an overall positive mood.

The thing kids care most about is love and trust and care hence show them love and they feel happy and content. Your number one superiority as being a parent is to show your children your affection for them. Every situation is not the same and even during the hard times when your mood is off you should not get angry at your kids.

By finding time to exercise regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, and finding balance in your life, you can help to reduce stress. Even if you are stressed, be sure to assure your kids that they are not as stressed as you.

Conclusion

Raising kids by yourself can be stressful. Single mothers can be emotionally and physically drained by trying to stay afloat amongst all of the chaos in comparison to single fathers. If you learn to manage single-parenthood effectively, you can drastically minimize the stress in your life.

It is important to remember that you are not alone; there is a community of people waiting to support you. All you have to do is ask. Apart from that, you can even take the help of technology if you do not have time to keep eye on your kids, set parental control apps on their devices. There are many top parenting websites that you can look up to take some parenting advice. You can even get some parenting tips from our website fenced.ai. By following our tips and taking it day by day, you look at single parenting as an opportunity to make a great influence and create a positive relationship with your child. Hence, stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy your parenthood.

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Juliya Smith

Hello, I am Juliya a mother of 2 children and a content editor at fenced.ai where I share parenting tips and guides on how to keep your child safe online.