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A Positive Approach To Single Parenting
It might not be an easy task but it is definitely not an impossible one! Look forward to the quality time you will spend with your precious one. All it takes is a little bit of time management and a whole lot of positive attitude.
Communication Is The Key
Your child is going to take considerable time to get accustomed to the change in your lives. Be patient and avoid emotional breakdowns in front of your child. He/she will derive strength from you so it is important how you conduct yourself in front of him/her.
Initially, your child might not want to talk about this change at all; don’t lose patience but keep up the communication from your end. Eventually, your child will realize it is all right to talk about it and both of you will feel relieved and lighter when he/she does.
Be gentle with your child at all times, losing your patience or showing irritability will only make the child withdraw into a shell. Children in these circumstances often have a tendency to blame themselves for the change; choose an apt time to communicate to your child that this was not his/her fault.
Being a single parent often means working harder to meet domestic demands. Ensure you don’t get carried away with that. Working hard is good but not at the cost of neglecting your child. Learn to efficiently manage your time. Ensure that you give your child quality time when you get back home from work.
Most of the times, parents get back from work and immediately get started on studies. Remember you have also had a long day at work. Tackling homework straight after getting home is likely to leave you irritated and impatient. Your child who has been waiting for you the whole day will find it difficult to understand why you are so angry.
The best way out of such a situation would be to spend at least half an hour with your child after you get back from work. Use this time to talk about how your day went and ask your child about his/her day at school. Once both of you have settled down, then deal with the homework. You will find the going smoother.
Setting Your Priorities
Now that you are single again, you would want to go out with friends, meet new people and work on creating a social life for yourself and you must. Often single parents wind up feeling guilty about working through the day and not spending enough time with the child.
This mostly ends up with the parent spending all the free time, including weekends with the child. Remember, it is equally important for you to be socially active. Manage your weekends in such a way that the days are spent with the child and the evenings are meant for you.
Try to explain to your child that it is important for you to have friends as well. This idea might not be welcomed immediately by your child but he/she will eventually realize the importance of friends and this lesson will help the child in nurturing relationships later on in life.
You Are Not Alone!
You might be a single parent, but that doesn’t mean you are alone! Remember there are two of you. So go ahead and plan weekend getaways with your child. Include your child in the planning and make it exciting for him/her. Go for long drives together, mall crawl on Sundays, watch movies; plan your days in advance so you both look forward to it through the week.
This time spent together will help in strengthening the bond between the two of you. Call family and friends over regularly. Ask your child to help you out so he/she feels an active part of the occasion. Plan surprises with your child for family and friends. Being actively involved will give your child a sense of belonging and security.
Often children spending time alone at home tend to get exposed to a lot more than the parent desires. Keep the discipline strong and ensure that rules are meant to be followed. The earlier you start with this process, the easier it becomes as the child grows up. Lay down the rules at home – TV watching time, computer time, less fast food, less binging, play time, study time – your child will learn to adhere to the rules and this will help your child become responsible as he/she grows up.
While there should be close monitoring of your child’s activities at home, you should be careful your child doesn’t think you do not trust him/her. Trust is important and your encouragement will help your child live up to that trust.
Divorce Is Not A Crime
Don’t be alarmed if you find your child lying at school about the situation at home. It is only natural as your child is still too young to handle social pressures. Your child is probably feeling singled out at school. Be patient and try to talk to your child about it.
Try assuring your child there is nothing wrong with being divorced. Be careful you don’t force your child to say things to his/her friends about the situation. Let your child tell friends only when he/she is comfortable talking about it. Don’t rush your child into the social pressures. Try having your friends talk to your child about the situation.
If your child hears it from a third person, chances are he/she will accept the situation a lot easier. On your part, you should not get disheartened if you hear about your child hiding the divorce issue from friends and teachers. See if you can speak to your child’s teachers, they will usually know how to deal with the child in such situations.
If you have decided to move on in life, ensure your optimism is passed on to your child too. Dealing with children single-handedly can be emotionally and physically exhausting but with a positive attitude, this task can surely be easier.