Today single parent families have become even more common than the so-called ‘nuclear family’ consisting of a mother, father and children. Today, we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, fathers, and even by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.
Single parent families deal with many other pressures and potential problem areas that other families may not face.
Children raised by single parent(s) can be just as happy and mentally healthy as children living with two biological parents. Whether a child has one parent or more, children do well when they have parenting that’s nurturing, warm, sensitive, responsive and flexible.
As a single parent, your positive attitude, strength and determination can give the child an example that lasts for life. You can show your child that you keep going, even when things are difficult. But no parent is perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself when something goes wrong.
Your child is bound to see you feeling sad, angry or upset in times of stress. That’s normal for all parents in all families. It’s important to let your child know that you love them and that your negative feelings are not about them. It can also help to reassure your child that things will get better, and you’ll be there for them.
Most women experience forced separations; divorce; domestic abuse (verbal; psychological and even physical); depression and anxiety. I wouldn’t shy away to say I have been one of the victim(s) too…
Child rearing can be difficult under any circumstances. Without a partner, the stakes are higher. As a single parent, you might have sole responsibility for all aspects of day-to-day child care.
Being a single parent can result in added pressure, stress and fatigue. If you’re too tired or distracted to be emotionally supporting or consistently discipline your child, behavioral problems might arise.
Here are some positive strategies to reduce stress in your single-parenting family:
- Show your love – Remember to praise your child. Give them your unconditional love and support. Set aside time each day to play, read or simply sit with your child
- Set limits – Explain house rules and expectations to your child. Such as speaking respectfully, and enforce them. Consider re-evaluating certain limits, such as your child’s screen time, when he/she shows the ability to accept more responsibility
- Don’t feel guilty – Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to make up for being a single parent
- Take care of yourself – Include physical activity in your daily routine, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Arrange time to do activities you enjoy alone or with friends. Give yourself a “timeout”
- Lean on others – Call on family, loved ones, friends and neighbors for help. Faith communities can be helpful resources, too.
- Stay positive – It’s Ok to be honest with your child if you’re having a difficult time, but remind him or her that things will get better. Give your child an age-appropriate level of responsibility rather than expecting him or her to behave like a “little adult”. Keep your sense of humor when dealing with everyday challenges.
No matter what, you are always strong than you think you are. You will be amazed at what you can do. You certainly become a master at time management and this skill migrates to all areas of life. The motivation to work effectively skyrockets. Your self esteem goes up.
Well, I am more confident than ever before. I now know that I can accomplish anything. I can fix a leaky sink, change a car tire, but together a bike and run my own business that I never ever thought would be possible. I love that I am showing my daughter that she can do anything with confidence and grace. You will be amazing and cherish every moment.
The best part about single parenting is – you get to see how your family and friends will rally around to support you and your little one. You can live… bloom and grow anyway that you want to. There’s freedom, beauty, bravery, strength and grace.
My relationship with my daughter is AMAZING & we are extremely close & I know single parenting is to be blamed .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sapna Jadhav is everything Maya Angelou described in her poem ‘Still I Rise’, just like hopes springing high, she rise. Wearing multi-jewels on her shining tiara, she inspires everyone who comes across her path. Creative and talented professional, a dotting mother, a dancer and everything she wish to be, she rises like air.