YOU MIGHT BE A SINGLE OR LONE PARENT, BUT YOU ARE NOT EVER ALONE…
The ONE issue that seems to come up most as a concern for single parent, regardless of situation, is discipline. Armin Brott (also known as ‘Mr. Mom’ offers the following advice and tips for single parents on dealing with this issue:
- Be consistent EVERDAY, even moment. This is the true key to success. They should know what is coming, why it is coming, happening. It is all about boundaries, expectations, guidelines, accountability and consequences.
- Keep doing what you were doing before (if it was working, fair and known to be effective and consistent of course) Discipline that is predictable and inescapable is best. If the other parent is still involved in some way, shape or form, and the kids moving between homes, have a consistent plan and agree upfront to back each other up on how you’ll enforce limits.
- House-rules are great. Establish and enforce reasonable limits. Everyone needs to know what exactly is expected.
- Link consequences directly to the behavior and punishment should follow, suiting the ‘crime’.
- Your child needs discipline and boundaries, they might resist or rebel, but they will not love you less for sticking to your guns and enforcing discipline.
- Also pick your battles wisely. Some require urgent and strict intervention and really matter (for example regarding health, safety and the like). Others are less important even trivial. Do not waste your time on these.
- Give limitations and choices.
- Encourage your kids to be self-sufficient and independent. They still need structure and routine.
- Understand your child’s behavior. Figure out why they do what they do. Ask yourself whether they want…
- to be in control
- to get back at you for something you did
- they’re frustrated
- ?they just want to give up?§ to be left alone
Stop treating symptoms and behavior and get to the real underlying problem and ensure your intervention does not let it linger, remain or get worse with time.
Ask and spend time with your kids, observe and show interest. Discipline does not have to create caveats and tension in and on your home-front and family life. It can be another enabler in how this new family deals with each other, copes with change and challenge and prepare for life and future… THEIR FUTURES!!
Other major areas of concern are dating and getting back in the saddle, upon which we offer the following advice:
- Allow yourself and your family the time to heal and address, cope and deal with all the new changes, challenges and rewards as you redefine yourselves, individually and collectively BEFORE introducing new factors and individuals into the equation.
- Do not let your kids control or influence you in making the decision to date or not. Their reactions, rebellion and even disapproval are all normal reactions. It should however not refrain you from exploring your options, going out and getting your life back on track.
DO REMEMBER HOWEVER TO KEEP THE CHANNELS OPEN and accept their emotions and reactions for they are real and you want them to know that you also understand how they feel.
Allowing yourself time to mend and coping with your new status and events that have transpired, like being abandoned or going through infidelity or divorce, even the loss of a spouse through death, can create real turmoil in your life and emotional well-being. Try to understand and probe your own feelings and be honest about your needs, wants and desires. Hurt, anger, not caring or obsessing about it anymore, will take you through the cycles needed to get back on your feet. IT WILL HOWEVER NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT!
Be careful not to just abandon all common sense with this new sense of ‘freedom’, as you will be allowing whomever you involve in your life, into the lives and home of your child/children and family as well. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself, your kids and others. Your emotions may be a little raw still and regaining your self-confidence is key before committing to any longer-term relationship again. Having a happy life for you and your family will come over time and taking it one-step at a time is the best remedy and strategy you can have. Arranging for the occasional night out on the town, for drinks, clubbing or a night on the town, is a great way to also got your life back in balance and back on track and when you are ready for the dating scene again, it will be there for you ready to explore at your leisure and discretion. Always bearing in mind that your family interests do come first. The reward of a new start is your silver lining. YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NEW LIFE! In your free and special moments set aside just for yourself, take the time to surround yourself with positive influences that add value to your life and whose company you enjoy.
Do things that you like and enjoy and set specific goals for yourself within certain time-periods. Do not to get things all back together instantly or even quickly. This process takes as long as it takes – DO NOT RUSH IT OR INTO ANYTHING HASTILY!
May you too desire to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children in a loving, caring NEW family environment. build healthy, mature relationships develop your child/children’s self-esteem, and relate, connect and bond with your kids, disciplining and fostering them in accordance with their unique personalities and the family ‘rules’ you all adhere to and decided on together.
A well-worth read is Single Parenting for Dummies. We would recommend you get a copy today! Whether you’re already a single parent or soon to become one, this warm, friendly guide will be a source of encouragement and ideas. Packed with proven solutions to most of the challenges single parents face, it show you how to:
- Balance work and family life
- Develop strong relationships with your kids
- Help kids adjust to the trauma of divorce
- Manage your time—and money
- Develop a successful co-parenting plan
- Deal with dating and remarriage
- Raise happy, healthy well-adjusted kids
- Know when to seek professional help and how to find it
Drawing upon their own experiences and expertise and the experiences of single parents whose stories they share throughout the book, psychotherapist Marion Peterson and bestselling self-help author Diane Warner, cover all the bases, including:
- Adjusting to single parent status
- Managing your time and sharing resources with other single parents
- Avoiding the five biggest single parent money mistakes
- Keeping close to your kids and considering their point of view
- Developing a co-parenting plan and making sure all parties stick to it
- Dealing peacefully with stepparents and former in-laws
- ?Keeping your cool when resolving parenting problems
- Staying physically and psychologically fit
Yes, you too can raise happy, healthy well-adjusted kids while keeping your sanity and your health in tact.