How to be a single parent
Being a single parent is like walking on a tightrope. You need to learn how to have a perfect balance between your domestic life, your career and the needs of your children when you are not at home. To raise a child on your own is definitely far from being easy but many single parents who were able to do it successfully stated that nothing is impossible, especially if you have it in your heart and mind to do everything in your power just to see your kids grow happy and contented despite the absence of one parent. To help all the single parents out there, here are several simple yet proven ways on how you can become the best single parent in your own unique way.
The Need for House Rules
When raising your kids on your own, you have to remember that there is no one who will back you up if they will not play nicely. This is why you have to make sure that they will act good and proper by ensuring that expectations are clear as far as behavior is concerned. To do this, see to it that you will come up with a clear set of House rules for you and your kids to have a definite agreement on the possible consequences should they fail to stick to the said rules.
- Establish some ground rules. You can have about 3 to 5 sets before your children start misbehaving.
- Use a serious and firm tone of voice. One of the best ways for ensuring an effective communication between parent and child is by using a low voice.
- Say praises when applicable. Misbehavior is sometimes disguised as a search for the much needed approval. Every day, try to find the best chances for praising the good behavior of your child.
- If your child misbehaves because he or she only wants to draw attention, ensure that this will not succeed.
- Learn to set boundaries. It is important that your kids understand when their behavior is already crossing the line. With House Rules intact, it will be easier for them to remember those behaviors considered and agreed as unacceptable.
- When your child displays a bad behavior persistently, you can redirect it. For instance, if the problem is about the TV, turn it off. If it is about toys, you can take them away.
- At an early age, kids should already learn the cost of behaving inappropriately. You can temporarily hinder them from enjoying certain privileges as the consequence of their bad actions.
- Choose a spot in your house, like a corner or a chair, where your child will be challenged to reflect on his or her bad behavior. The basic rule of thumb is to make them spend on that spot for a minute for every year of age. If your child is 6 years old, he or she will have to stay on the corner or chair for 6 minutes.
The Importance of Spending and Sharing Time Together
It is all too easy for a single parent to be overwhelmed with the behavior of a child or children. But you have to avoid this and instead, you have to stay organized and assert your role as the household head. One of the best ways to make sure that your kids’ behavior will not spin out of your control, spending and sharing time with them becomes of great importance. Here are some tips that will help you establish a better connection with your kid.
- Plan a structured time where you will personally help your kid with doing his or her homework.
- Come up with a family routine and follow this through. Allocate time for specific chores and time for spending together as a family.
- Mealtimes should be considered as “Us Time.”
- In the evenings, instead of watching TV, get into the routine of having some fun family games or reading stories before going to bed for the younger children. Games and stories can be a great way for re-forging any broken bond and pulling the family together all over again.
- Whether you have one or more kids, you have to make sure that you will spend alone time with them individually. A one to one bonding with your kids can help both young and old kids to feel secure and loved. Make this as a part of your routine and follow this regularly.
- Make Sundays as Family Day. Spend the whole day together with your kids.
Based on studies, children from families that eat their meals together have lesser chances of developing behavioral issues, which included experiments on the use of alcohol and drugs. Aside from that, these children are also less likely to show some symptoms of depression, not to mention that they also tend to showcase excellence in terms of academics.
As a single parent, you have to remember that spending time together is a big help for shaping and reinforcing the behaviors of children.
Other Useful Tips for Connecting With Your Child When You are a Single Parent
- Listen actively to your child. This way, your child will be more open to you when you show them your interest in their world.
- Play reporter. Interview your kids and let them interview you in return. Try to understand their needs, wants as well as their personal goals.
- Understand the feelings of your children. In the world of children, what seems to be small things to you can mean big thing to them and big things may actually seem small. When you validate and understand their feelings, it will be easier for you as a parent to guide your child in better understanding the complex situations.
- Ask questions. Making decisions as a family will be better understood and received if your children feel that their point of view has been considered.
While it is true that being a single parent is not something that you can master overnight, these tips can help you become the best single parent, maybe not to the whole world, but to your child or children because at the end of the day, they are the ones that matter the most.