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Raising a child is a lot like an ocean voyage – rough waves with occasional bursts of sunshine. With being the sole caregiver, the lone lunchbox packer, the only boo-boo fixer and tear clearer in the house; difficulty rises to a whole new level.
Yet, parents all over the world are successfully and joyfully raising children by themselves. Just because you’re steering a two-person canoe by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t navigate the tumultuous waters of parenthood!
Research has shown that the number of single parent families has doubled in the last 25 years. Some of the myths surrounding single parenting include that kids from single parent families or “blended families”, suffer emotionally, have low self-esteem, and do poorly academically and behaviourally. These beliefs are oversimplified and outdated. For kids’ happiness, being in a loving home and being protected from conflict, is more important than living with one parent or two.
What are the realities of single parenting? One glaring reality is that single parenting is a non-stop, often exhausting job. Many single parents feel the need to be “super parents”, putting their own needs on the back burner due to their sense of obligation and guilt. How do successful single parents keep it together?
A successful single parent should have:
• Wisdom. Accept that life is unpredictable and that there are some things that you simply cannot change, such as the other parent’s input.
• Wit. Research has shown that humour can heal many kinds of physical and emotional maladies. Laugh daily, both with and without your kids.
• Confidence. To make decisions on your own, you have to feel in control. Your confidence will grow by taking care of yourself through eating well, exercising and managing stress.
• Courage. Scary things confront all of us, but career changes and new relationships take on their own significance as a single-parent.
You need effective ways to find support and make life easier for you and your child. Make use of the following tips to not only survive, but to thrive as a single-parent:
• Develop a routine. Keep mealtimes, bedtime and family time consistent. A predictable structure will give your child a sense of security.
• Seek and accept support. Your support team could include friends, family, neighbours or other parents you’ve met at school. You need middle- of- the-night- friends; people you can call at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency.
• Trusts your instincts. Do what is right for you and your child.
• Try simple ways to find special time with your kids without putting extra strain on yourself. You’ll be surprised how far that “special seat” next to you at the dinner table will go.
• Don’t obsess about things you can’t control. Focus on what you can control and what kind of a parent you are.
• Count to 10. Single parents have no trade off when they’re about to lose their marbles. Don’t yell, you’ll only regret it later.
• Don’t be in competition with yourself. Ditch the morning chores and play blocks instead of rushing to clean before you leave. This laid back approach will take the pressure off.
• Always be prepared. Since it’s up to you to squelch a meltdown, never leave home without a snack or a drink.
• Multitask strategically. Try to accomplish some housework and playtime simultaneously, so you’re not up for hours after bedtime doing chores. Sit on the floor folding laundry while he or she plays with their blocks.
• Recharge your batteries by arranging for the kids to be with grandparents or a babysitter for a few hours. Do something fun!
• Join forces. Finding moms and dads in a similar situation can be a lifesaver. Consider joining a single parent support group or start your own.
Life isn’t always simple. While the state of rock-steady marital bliss in this country continues to falter, more and more parents are joining the ranks of contented, uncoupled families in raising healthy, well-adjusted children.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, www.parenting.com, www.parents.com, cpancf.com, www.dailymail.com, www.babycenter.com, www.webmd.com, www.drphil.com,www.sheknows.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.