by Lisa Henley
I was a single parent for the first three years of my daughter’s life and what I can say from the beginning is that single parenting strategies truly helped me. The way I see it, there are two different types of single parents; on one hand, there are those who are raising their children completely alone and there are those who are co-parenting with a parent who does not live in the same home.
I was in the category, of being completely alone. Guess what? I loved it. Yes, there were times when I wanted to pull my hair out and times when I was angry because I had no one to share the good moments and the bad moments with.
For the most part, I was okay being a single mom because I did not have to compromise with anyone. I was able to raise my child the way I thought she deserved to be raised. I knew my daughter would be raised in a loving, positive environment and I knew she would be disciplined in appropriate ways. The best approach for new single parents is to learn about successful single parenting strategies.
Being a single parent who is completely alone and without a co-parent to help, can be a huge challenge. You become two people both the mom and the dad. As previously stated, if you are a new single parent, you should read up on some single parenting strategies that have worked for others who found themselves in the same shoes. Take these single parenting strategies and implement them; see how they work and make any necessary adjustments you feel are needed to pertain to your own personal situation.
Successful Single Parenting Strategies
• Create a village for your child to turn to. This one of the single parenting strategies may sound a bit cheesy, but it is true. Have you ever heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child?” While you can do the day-to-day stuff yourself, it is important for all children of single parents to have other adults that they can turn to. Most of your child’s time will be spent with you and this is okay.
Nevertheless, he or she need to know that the world is safe and that certain other people can be trusted and leaned on in a time of need. To is also important to think about gender balance. If you are a single mom, your child should be exposed to positive male role models and vice versa. This allows them to learn from others of their gender and sort of follow their lead.
• Take care of yourself. Of all the single parenting strategies, you will find shared online and in print, this is the most important. When it comes to the phrase “self-care”, most single parents just say “I don’t have the time.” Although it may seem that way, you need to make time. Have a little bit of “me time” and keep it short and simple if you must – do things that you enjoy.
Good examples include taking a bath, reading a book or watching a movie. As a single parent, you may need to do this when your child naps, but do it! While you are not likely to think about it at first, the best way to take care of your child is to take care of yourself first. This is one of the many single parenting strategies you should implement immediately.
• Don’t stop learning about being a parent. Ask most parents who did not take a parenting class or read a how-to book and they will say, “I just knew how to be a mom”, or “I just knew how to be a dad.” The thing is that you need to be both. This in itself is overwhelming and you do not have anyone to challenge your ways.
To prevent yourself from getting too overwhelmed or falling into the pattern of some not-so-good habits, always work on growing as a parent. You can join single parent support groups, read how-to guides, do your research online, talk to your friends and family, and so forth. Whatever you do, do not stop learning; always be on the lookout for new and helpful single parenting strategies.
• Take a stance on discipline. There are many single parenting strategies for child discipline made readily available from experts, but we all have different views on the subject. Let us face it, most two-family households have that good cop/bad cop thing going on. The bad cop is usually the parent who lays down the rules and enforces them; the good cop is usually the parent who encourages the child to come around from their anger by letting them out of timeout early.
You do not have this. It is best to look at your household for the last 24 hours as an outsider. Was your child or children happy and respectful? If not, it may be time for a change. Start by encouraging conversation, state the problem with their behavior and state the rule changes. Do not expect your child to change their behavior 100% right away; work with them, but do not bend the new rules you set in place.
By implementing the above-mentioned single parenting strategies, you may see some luck.