Help for Single Parents: How to Face Single-Parent Challenges?
Raising a child on your own can become very stressful at some point. If you are a single parent, you need to learn how to face the pressure, find support elsewhere and also learn how to raise your child with one salary.
Today, single-parent families are more frequent than ever and the challenges of a single parent can vary depending on circumstances. Learn how to find help for single parents from the advices below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Which Are the Most Frequent Single-Parent Challenges?
- 2 How to Face Single-Parent Challenges?
- 3 How to Talk to the Child about a Separation or Divorce?
- 4 Can a Single Parent Go to Romantic Dates?
- 5 How to Replace the other Parent as a Parental Model?
Which Are the Most Frequent Single-Parent Challenges?
Parenting can be very difficult in any circumstance. Without a partner, challenges are even bigger. As a single parent you have the exclusive responsibility in all aspects related to the your child`s daily care. This can lead to pressure, stress and fatigue.
Single-parent families usually have lower monthly incomes and less access to health care. There may be financial difficulties or even the phenomenon of social isolation when juggling between work and childcare. Also, the lack of a male or female paternal model may be felt while the child develops.
How to Face Single-Parent Challenges?
Here`s what you can do to reduce stress which may occur in single-parent families:
Show your Love
Remind your child how much you love him and always offer him your unconditioned affection and support. Make time to play with him, read him a story or simply spend time together.
Inevitably, the child will start asking questions about the fact that he doesn`t have a mom or a dad. Answer him openly and honestly, and tell him what happened in a gently and warmer way according to his age. Make sure you are offering all the affection he needs to face any difficult emotions.
Make a Routine
How do you feel about the idea of having regular meals and a specific hour for getting to bed? Help your child to know what to expect and feel safe.
Treat your Child as a Child
Lack of having a partner to raise your child is sometimes tempting to rely too much on your child for company, support or sympathy. But most children are too young to have the emotional ability or life experience to act as a substitute.
If you notice you rely too much on your child or you express your frustrations in front of him too often, we recommend you to find an adult (close friends or other members of the family) to whom to speak. Or simply look for professional counseling.
Explain the house`s rules and expectations to your child – such as respect for you – and help him implement those expectations. Take in consideration also the revaluation of certain limitations, such as the time spend in front of the computer or the hour when he needs to go the bed, when he demonstrates the ability of accepting more responsibilities.
Don`t Feel Guilty
Don`t blame yourself and don`t spoil your kid in the attempt of compensating the fact that you are his only parent.
Take Care of Yourself
This includes daily physical activities, healthy diets and plenty of rest. Plan ahead some activities of relaxing with your friends or on your own.
Ask for Help
A parent shouldn`t do everything on his own. Make a support team which can include other parents, brothers, sisters, close friends or trustworthy neighbors, so that you can ask for help when necessary.
If you pass through a difficult period, then it`s ok to be honest with your child, but remind him that things will get better and everything will be fine eventually. Try to keep your sense of humor in every situation. Your attitude and positive mood will affect him as well.
How to Talk to the Child about a Separation or Divorce?
Lots of single-parent families are the result of a divorce or separation. If this is also the case of your family, talk to your child about the change that you`ll need to adjust from now on. Listen to your child`s feelings and try to be honest to his questions by avoiding unnecessary or negative details about the other parent.
Remind to your child that he has nothing to do with the divorce or separation from mommy/daddy and that you`ll always love him no matter what.
Can a Single Parent Go to Romantic Dates?
If you decide to continue with your life and meet other people, take into consideration the impact that a new partner will have on your child.
Look for a person who will take care and respect both you and your child. Introduce your new partner to your child only and if things get serious.
When you are ready to introduce them to each other, talk to your child about the positive qualities of your new partner. Don`t expect for them to be close immediately. Give them time to know each other.
How to Replace the other Parent as a Parental Model?
If one of the parent isn`t involved in the child`s life, it`s possible for the little one to sense the absence of a male or female model as a parental model in his life.
Still, you can send him positive messages regarding the other parent through the following steps:
- Look for opportunities which make you positive.
- Highlight achievements and positive characteristics of members of opposite gender from your family, community or even mass-media. Avoid making general or negative statements about the other gender.
- Don`t agree with negative stereotypes about the other gender.
- Offer examples of people of the opposite gender that don`t fit to the stereotype to your child.
- Include in your life people of different gender with whom you are just friends.
- Look to have positive relationships with people of different gender who can serve as a model to your child.
Being a single parent can be an experience full of satisfactions, but challenging.
Through love and respect, direct and honest communication you can reduce all that stress and pressure caused by being a single parent.