If you have been married for a number of years and the marriage dissolves, entering into single parenthood can be a daunting experience if you as the mother don’t have a grasp on things. No doubt, single parenting is tough and no one signed up for it.
5 top single parenting tips to employ:
No matter how lonely you feel and how much you need to be understood, do not talk to your child about her father and do not discuss grievances with her. This is too much responsibility for a child and besides you will transfer your sadness to her which is grossly unfair. Your child is not your confidante. She is not your protector. You are hers and so it must remain. Your child must always feel that someone is in charge. Don’t make your child a pawn in your failed relationship. He or she looks to you for love and guidance and to feel safe and protected.
Now that there is only one parent in the home, you are both mother and father and will need all your wits about you to run the home. You need to make up a list of rules for leisure time, study, chores and so on. You have to enforce the rules right at the beginning and stick to them. If they try their luck and do not do their chores, you have to either cut television or computer time, or something that your child enjoys. As a single parent who works outside of the home you have to run your house like a well-oiled machine so that when you come home from work you are not entering a house where the dishes are stacked up in the sink and the beds are unmade. You are the new rule-setter now. This does not mean, however, that their father has no say. He has his rights too, and you should never punish your children by refusing them contact with their father albeit it by telephone or weekend outings with him.
Have a plan and stick with it. Children like order; they just do not know it. One of the most common things single parents do in a situation where there is a breakup is that they compensate with gifts. This is especially true of the single father who feels guilty that he has left or that he is not with his children. The child will start to expect it and the next time she cries and you don’t buy that new doll she wanted, she throws a tantrum.
If your young children are used to going to bed at eight at night, do not let them stay up an extra hour to watch a movie as you want to establish a regular time each day when all the children can relax in their rooms.
Don’t go completely against the above by being a hard-nosed mom and being too strict. This is a time when children need love and understanding and you have to find time in your day to spend time with them in the evenings. Take them out at least once on the weekend unless they see their father.
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By Amie Haskett