Taking My Hat Off To Single Parents 2-4----- Tips For Single Parents

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Networking

7. They say it takes a village to raise a child. You need to establish a network system to help you in achieving the balance discussed above and maintaining good mental health. Such a network should be made up of tried and tested relatives and friends. By tried and tested, I mean that they should not end up being the sources of any kind of abuse for the children, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually. So, do what I did, like dropping in when I was least expected to see what kind of care my child was getting.

Your network should never be a total substitute for you. This means that, the children should not end up spending more time with these people, collectively, than they spend with you. Do not use the same people all the time so they do not get fed up. People who have raised their children or do not have children with them all the time can only take children in doses no matter how much they love them.

If it was not for the network that I set up, I would not have achieved what I had to date.

8. As a single-parent, while raising your children, always remember to keep the boundaries defined. It is so easy to lean on the child and discuss all your fears, problems and history. Remember that they are your children and not your friends. They may not always understand the circumstances and the significance of actions and the associated feelings. For this reason, you need to strike a balance between your parental relationship and viewing your child as a friend. Until they get to an age of understanding such as 25, you need to be cautious so they do not take advantage of the facts that they have about you or use the facts against you.

Get counselling or identify somebody in your network that you could confide in instead. Some children do not know where to draw the line and as such once the point of respect is passed, it cannot be regained. For instance it is difficult to tell a child of 14 not to smoke marijuana, if you have already told them that in your youth you used to smoke it. That is too much information at that point.


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