To all my single parents, you got this!
My mother was a single parent of three girls, I don’t know how she did it but she pulled through. We saw her struggle and felt her pain for the most part of our childhood and now that we are mothers, “single mothers” to be exact, we want to express our greatest appreciation to her. It’s her strength and strong will that brought us this far. I do understand that being a single parent can result in added pressure, stress and fatigue that in turn affect your child/children.
Single parent families also generally have lower incomes and less access to health care. Juggling work and childcare can be financially difficult and socially isolating. You might as well worry about the lack of a male or female parental role model for your child.
Here are some positive ways to reduce stress in your single parent family:
1. Show your love
Remember to praise your child. Give him or her your unconditional love and support. Set aside time each day to play, read or simply sit with your child.
2. Create a routine
Structure — such as regularly scheduled meals and bedtimes — helps your child know what to expect.
3. Find quality child care
If you need regular child care, look for a qualified caregiver who can provide stimulation in a safe environment. Don’t rely on an older child as your only babysitter. Be careful about asking a new friend or partner to watch your child.
4. Set limits
Explain house rules and expectations to your child; such as speaking respectfully and enforce them. Work with other caregivers in your child’s life to provide consistent discipline. Consider re-evaluating certain limits, such as your child’s screen time, when he or she shows the ability to accept more responsibility.
5. Don’t feel guilty
Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to make up for being a single parent.
6. 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” by arranging for child care at least a few hours a week.
7. Lean on others
Work out a carpool schedule with other parents. Join a support group for single parents in the church or community reach. Call on loved ones, friends and neighbors for help.
8. 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.
Being a single parent can be a challenge but rewarding experience. By showing your child love and respect, talking honestly and staying positive, you can lessen your stress and help your child thrive.