Raising kids on your own is a unique challenge; it’s hard work that can’t be compared to anything else, and it can’t be entirely understood by those who aren’t in the same situation. The everyday obligation, discipline issues, decisions on your child’s education – everything has to be done by you and only you.
Raising a child is difficult, even in almost perfect conditions. However, without a partner, everything is much harder and stressful. Child care is entirely in your hands, from the big decisions to the daily obligations. It can eventually result in you feeling utterly fatigued and under pressure. The problem is – if you are too distracted to deal with the emotional issues of your child or with the lack of discipline, more significant behavioral issues can occur.
To add to the issues, single-parent families often have lower income, while trying to balance work and childcare puts a lot of stress on the single parent and makes them feel isolated. Also, your child can feel the need for the parental role they don’t have in their life.
HOW TO COPE?
If you are facing the same problems, there are useful tips you can follow to improve the quality of your child’s life and yours and ease some of the difficulties.
1. LEAN ON OTHERS
Yes, you are perfectly capable of raising your child alone, but here’s the thing – you don’t have to. You have people in your life who care about your child and you, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help. Also, you can reach out to other single parents to make a carpool schedule, join a single parent’s support group, and seek aid from social services. Your friends and neighbors can also be of significant help in times of emergencies.
2. SET LIMITS AND RULES
It’s necessary to set up some ground rules that both you and your child will stick to. It’s essential that they are simple and with a positive connotation. Your child needs to be aware of what you expect of them. From time to time, consider changing certain limits, for example, time that your child can spend watching TV if they show a willingness to take on more responsibility. Refer to the rules as often as you can so that your child’s behavior is appropriately shaped, and in time, it will lead them to their own positive-choice making.
3. HAVE A ROUTINE
Of course, we all already have a routine, but try to pinpoint where it is possible to develop more routine when it comes to daily activities – it can be getting your kid ready for the new day preparing for the evening meal and bath time. The more structure you provide to your kid, the more you will help them in knowing what to expect.
4. BUILD A STABLE RELATIONSHIP AND SHOW LOVE
The link that you build with your child will be one of the strongest influences on their behavior and attitude, as well as their choices. Kids are always trying to please you and to create a bond with you, even if they don’t show it. So, you are the one to try your best to make the relationship strong – don’t try to be their best friend, but nurture your relationship with respect. Praise your child any chance you get, give them your unconditional love, always find time to play with them at the end of the day, or at least read to them before bedtime.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
To be able to take care of your child, you need to take of yourself, too. Try to have plenty of sleep, eat healthily, and be physically active at least twice a week. Also, it’s crucial you have some time for yourself, away from the role of the parent. You need to recharge your batteries. You will be refreshed and at your best for your child.
It’s no secret – being a single parent is going to be very hard, often challenging, and exhausting, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done and done right. Where there is love between the child and the parent – there is also a way to make it work.