Being a single parent isn’t easy at all. All the everyday obligations and expenses fall on your shoulders, so it’s very important to be able to withstand the pressure. Your children need you to be strong and positive, and here’s how you can achieve that and fight the stress.
Single parents often have a lot of support from the side that comes either from members of the extended family or even community groups like churches and single parent support groups. Don’t be shy to ask for help – it’s perfectly understandable. The help can also come from civic groups that will include you into your local community or even the school your kids go to. Just make yourself a part of something.
There’s nothing worse than parents undermining each other when it comes to their kids’ discipline. It’s the same with divorced parents – children need consistency and clear rules to thrive. It will be much more stressful for you and your kids to stick to the rules and don’t bend them when you feel too tired or angry – it will pay off in the long run.
You children should do chores around the house not just to earn their pocket money but to help you out, too. It will also make them feel proud of their contribution but it’s important for you to praise their efforts and recognize their help every time they do a chore. You are a team so you need to function like one. You can’t do everything on your own.
Yes, you have tons of laundry to take care of and a dinner to make but every once in a while know that you need to change your priorities from time to time. Leave all your work and simply be a parent – play with them, watch a movie together or take a walk to the park together. A functional family is the one where all the members feel the love of the others and their appreciation.
It’s possible to raise happy kids in single-parent families. The key is to make it clear for your kids that they are your main priority but don’t go overboard and make them feel like they are the sun around which everything revolves. This will help them get prepared for the real world. Children need to be learned how to balance between their own wishes and wishes of other family members. The needs of others in their family are as equally as important as theirs, so teach them to take that into consideration.
It’s easier said than done, especially if you have experienced a painful divorce or the death of your spouse. Still, a positive attitude will bring you a lot of benefits. Children can sense your general mood, so try to make it a positive one. The best way to fight stress is to get enough rest, exercise on a daily basis and have balance in your life, meaning finding some time for yourself. It’s ok to be sad sometimes -share it with your kids but let them know they are not the cause of your sadness.
Sooner or later different questions will pop up and answering them might not be easy – questions regarding the changes in the family or the absence of one parent. As unpleasant as it may be, your kid has the right to know the truth and it is up to you to find the right manner to convey the facts to them. You should answer in an honest, straight-forward and age-appropriate manner. Divorce isn’t an easy process and even though you’re going through some turbulent times, bare in mind that your kid also needs love, support and help to navigate through this emotional rollercoaster.
Raising a family just on one income or getting child support from your ex-spouse is a very challenging thing. Many single parents in Australia choose to deal with this aspect with the help of professional to guide them through this difficult situation. Doolan Wagner family law experts and others that provide advice to single parents know how challenging it will be to plan for your kids’ college or to budget your money every month. You need to make a long-term plan that could also include your retirement plan and even going back to school or attending a course.
When not having your life partner around, the trap many single parents fall into is relying too much on their kids – mostly emotionally, for companionship, support and comfort. As much as your kids are willing to offer these things to you, you should bear in mind that they have neither the capacity nor the life experience enough to fulfill this role. As challenging as this may be, you should pay attention not to depend on them too much, and not express frustration their direction too often. Instead, you should turn to the adult friends or to a counselor to help you re-build your safety net.
Try your best to schedule your chores, meals and bedtimes at more or less same hours – your children need consistency in their lives, It’s important for them to know what to expect and when. It will make them feel more secure while you will be far more organized. It will hugely reduce your level of daily stress.
Like everything else in life, adapting to a single parent life takes time. Both you and your kids will face challenges from time to time but you will be able to remain positive and calm and transform this new situation to a more enjoyable one for the whole family despite the obstacles if you stick to this list.