Raising children alone, without a co-parent can be extremely difficult. You don’t have any one to discuss major decisions with or to share concerns with. Nothing is easy when you’re raising a child alone, even if your child is financially supported by the other parent.
Our child custody attorney has worked with many families in various situations and in this article she shares her tips for raising a child as a single parent.
- Make time for you and your children to have fun together
We understand that it’s hard to juggle daily life with a child and still make time for fun things together. But this it’s extremely important to you and your child to enjoy something “out of the ordinary” and fun regularly. Whether you have movie night, play board games or even just go to the park. It’s important that you act silly and have fun together to nurture your relationship and bond!
- Make time for YOU
As trivial as this sounds to a single parent, it’s important. You can’t keep running on fumes and you truly to have to think about your mental and emotional health. Taking some “me-time” once a week doesn’t make you selfish, it helps you thrive in an otherwise stressful situation. You’ll have more energy and a better attitude after you’ve been able to relax for a while.
- Develop and enforce rules for your children
Make sure you take the time to sit down with your child and create rules that are simple to follow. Refer to these rules often in day to day situations. This will help shape your child’s decision-making skills and behaviors. This is key when teaching them to make positive choices and decisions on their own.
- Create routines
This can’t be stressed enough. As a single parent you know that the more order you can bring into your life the better. Tackle everyday things with routines from waking up on time, shower/bath time, and chores to meals and bed time. Make everything a routine and eventually your children will begin to pick up these things on their own leaving you with a less chaotic household.
- Make sure your children have a positive adult role-model
This can be a friend, neighbor or hired mentor that you trust. Having one or many adult role models in a child’s life helps to develop. It doesn’t have to be a formal mentor, but pay attention to the adults that your child favors. Having positive connections and relationships with other adults helps them form respectful behaviors and can also help develop their self-esteem and confidence.
- Know when to ask for help
This is one of the harder tips to tackle. When you’re used to doing everything on your own it can leave you feeling defeated or weak when you need to ask for help. However, it’s important that you learn how to ask for help when you need it, because doing everything by yourself can have a negative impact on your health, your mood and overall your relationship with your children.
Being a single parent is always going to be challenging, but there are ways to make day to day life a little bit easier.