Parenting is not an easy task. It takes certainty, strength and valor. In case you’re a single mother or father, rest guaranteed you’re not the only one. Lots of individuals out there are bringing up kids without anyone else’s input. There are numerous challenges in bringing kids up in a two-parent home too, but there are many success stories of single parenting.
1. Be Positive
As a single parent you will encounter many challenges, struggles, and joys. Facing and going through these experiences might change your outlook on life, either in a positive or a negative way. Keeping a positive attitude is key in becoming a successful single parent.
2. Develop A Support Network For Yourself
Work on building a network of caring individuals around you and your child. Encourage your children to use them as supports when necessary. Developing strong adult relationships will help prevent you from leaning too heavily on your children for emotional support, too.
3. Maintain A Mature Relationship With Your Ex
If you are separated or divorced, work at being civil with one another. Ongoing conflicts often have a negative effect on children, and can leave them feeling bitter, frustrated, withdrawn and stressed. Work to manage your communication and emotions well so your child isn’t caught in the middle of your battles.
4. Be Realistic
Your kids will do well and turn out good enough when you calm down and allow yourself to be fine enough as a parent. That means accepting your limits and imperfections so they can come to terms with their own. You don’t need to be, nor can you be, a super parent, if you try to be one, your stress will get in the way of that goal.
5. Expect Respect From Your Children
Expect your children to treat you with respect, even when they grow bigger and stronger than you. Insist from day one that they respect you. Never put up with abuse. You are their parent and they need to treat you as such. Do not allow yourself to get entangled in endless debates or arguments.
6. Make Time For Your Kids
Have time with your kids, even if it is just twenty minutes. Get to know the important people in their lives such as their teachers, coaches and friends. Create routines and rituals with your family. Whether you vacation each year in the same place, have holidays with the same extended family or have a special evening or Sunday routine, stick with it as best you can.
7. Play With Your Kids
Being in the presence of your children, playing with them, and giving them your attention doesn’t just meet their needs, it also satisfies your deep need for meaningful interaction and purpose. So the next time you come home exhausted and utterly spent, try setting everything aside for a few minutes and just enjoying your kids.
8. Schedule Time For Yourself
As a single parent, it is absolutely vital that you schedule down time in your life to rest, recuperate, and refuel. Begin by marking off just two “dates” with yourself over the next four weeks. If necessary, schedule a babysitter, or swap child care duties with a friend. Then, when the time arrives, go out and do something you enjoy: go window-shopping, or see a movie.
9. Learn To Say No
There are a lot of things you need to say “No” to in your life: Your kids’ tendency to manipulate you into giving in, the guilt that’s been weighing you down since you embarked on this single parenting journey, the expectations of others who have no idea what it’s like to walk in your shoes.
10. Live Within Your Means
One of the most challenging and powerful habits you can develop as a highly successful single parent is to live within your means. Don’t get into the practice of living on credit or relying on the promise of money you may or may not receive. Instead, learn to make wise financial decisions, like choosing a home you can truly afford to maintain, and trimming unnecessary costs out of your budget.