Top 10 Tips for a Single Parent

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With the rising tide of divorces and separation in the present era as well as due to other factors, such as death of your spouse or a sudden loss, single parents are on the rise. Many newly single parents, overburdened with more work than ever or are suddenly clueless, don’t know how to go about their lives, spend time with the kids and manage the house at the same time. It becomes frustrating and can grate on the nerve of a single parent. After all, everyone has their boundaries and limits, and a single parent, with double the responsibilities and duties of a normal parent (and everyone knows how hard being a good parent is) can stretch them to a great extent. Single parents also seem to lose confidence in themselves and their situation, and in cases like these, the child suffers as much as the overburdened single parent. So how do you deal with it? If you need a few tips to help you get started, you have come to the right place!
Here are ten tips for the newly (or not) overburdened single parent –

10. Do not be negative


It is easy to feel sorry or pity yourself and sink into the depths of negativity and be pessimistic in your outlook, especially if it seems like everything in your life is going wrong at the same time. If your newly single parent status is the result of a divorce or a separation, it is even more easy to be bitter about everything including your life or even your former partner. Maybe it is a messy, painful break up which is still going on, but a very important tip you have to always remember on your new journey is to never transfer this negativity and pessimism on your child or children, especially if they are old enough to understand what you say. Do not show it by actions either and mostly, do not plant any seeds of bitterness in them for their other parent. It will harm your child in the long run.

9. Don’t feel guilty


The next tip in our list is – do not feel guilty for whatever the situation may be. Only a few people plan from the very beginning to be single parents, so it is not your fault. Do not let any guilt you may feel to distract you, and moreover remember that you should not feel guilty for situations that you can not control. Give yourself time to grieve and heal, but do not let it take over your life. Spend time with your children and participate in joint activities which will help being your family closer as well as heal you.  And remember – the happier you are, the happier you kids will be. So, smile!

8. Banish embarrassment


Becoming a single parent can be overwhelming and can give rise to emotions of fear as well as embarrassment when most think of how the society, their friends and relatives will react. So, the best thing you can do in this situation is to ban your feelings of embarrassment because they will not be helping you in this case. Getting rid of these feelings of embarrassment can help you and make you reach out and connect with other people who can help you and in fact, would be happy to help you after you break your own created boundaries and negative feelings of shame and embarrassment.

7. Ask for help


You might think you are all alone right now, which is understandable, given your circumstances. The key is to not wallow in your feelings of helplessness, but rather go out there and connect with people who will prove to be very help acquaintances and friends later on who will help weather this storm with you. Join a support group for single parents and if you don’t have one in your area, then you can start one! Go out there and join different group, especially a singles’ group so that you don’t feel lonely as most of your married friends might not be able to make time for you now that your schedules will very so vastly.

6. Expect lesser time


Now that you don’t have two parents in your household unit, you will most probably be able to spend lesser time with your child or children, whatever the reasons may be which might most probably be because you have had to take up a different job or it may be that you have begun to work overtime to support the financial pressure of a kid or kids. It can be very frustrating, but don’t give up and keep trying. Also, keep in mind that these are sacrifices you are making so that the ultimate beneficiary will be your child, and that is worth it.

5. Don’t rush into relationships


When you are newly single, especially after a considerable amount of time, single hood can be a very scary thing. Try not to rush into relationships, and allow yourself time to heal from the previous one. Take time to discover yourself and your child, as well as keep time apart for bonding since there will be a lack of this precious resource especially since you may be working a lot of the time as well. Be happy and content while single, and only when you are can the foundations of a healthy relationship be laid next.

4. Don’t be a buddy


Although circumstances may be confusing, always remember that you are a parent first, and not a buddy. Discipline them when needed, as well as love them, especially if you are not the one with primary custody. Keep up with their school progress, and if required, talk to their teachers about them. Guide them and counsel them as needed and always remember to be there for your child. Communicate frequently. If they have gotten into trouble, talk to them and also do not forget to encourage them so that they reach their highest potential. Keep your relationship alive.

3. Find resources


Being a single parent is hard, and not only for emotional reasons. Lots of financial pressures are at work as well, and during those times it is easy to feel overburdened and irritated as well as feel that what you have to offer your children will never be enough, and in general, to feel like a really horrible parent. Learn to utilise different coupons and shop when there is a sale on. Also, search for different groups that can help, such as food banks and similar minded groups who can make your life a lot easier.

2. Let children help


As your child or children grow older, don’t be afraid to let them do a few tasks or run a few errands here and there. It will be a major help to you as well as teach them how to be responsible and the value of work. It teaches them valuable life skills and makes them more independent, so no guilty feelings are required here. Some examples of chores you could assign to your kids are doing the laundry or cooking a few times a month or week, depending on your kids’ age.

1. Don’t belittle

Be Yourself

If you indulge in this practice of constantly criticising yourself or putting yourself down, stop it immediately. When you belittle yourself, your kids will learn that and do it themselves. Be a healthy role model and don’t let your insecurities put you down.

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