Tips for Successful Single Parenting
My son is now over 29 years old but I raised him on my own and I would like to give you some helpful hints that will not only make your life bearable but will make it wonderful. These suggestions will help you whether you are a single or a dual parent.
Get the book "Dare to Discipline"
The very first thing I did when I knew that I would raise my son on my own is that I read a book called “Dare to Discipline”. It was the best book on parenting I've ever read. It's been awhile since I've read it but the gist of it is to be consistent in your discipline and to make sure to discipline as well as show your child a lot of affection, too much of either one in the absence of the other will cause problems that might not be repairable if continued.
Keep a Schedule
In addition to balancing discipline and love there are other things you can do that will make your life more manageable. Make sure that you have a schedule that you keep to and that your child or children are in bed at a decent and consistent time every night. My son was in bed by 8:30 pm every night until he was about 9 years old, we got up at the same time (around 6:00 am) every morning. Having a decent schedule will help your children to know what is expected and it will also give you time to do the things you might need to do. Erratic bedtimes are a recipe for disaster whether you are a single parent or not.
What about Chores?
Also, as a single parent there is never enough time. You will be doing yourself a favor as well as your children by giving them chores to do around the house. Also give them an allowance for those chores. This will help you out as well as teach them the value of money. If I had even more to do I would offer extra chores for extra money, something my son was always keen on doing. You will be surprised at how cooperative your children can be when they learn the value of a buck. And when they grow up they will not take money or things for granted.
Find other children for your children:
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with lots of children try to include their friends on outings, this is especially important if you have an only child. If you don't live in an area with lots of kids offer to babysit. This will not only bring in a little extra money but it will also keep your child from being alone and lonely. My child was an only child yet because I chose to live in an area with lots of children he was never without a playmate. It made his childhood pleasant and took a lot of pressure off of me to entertain him all the time.
Enjoy them, they grow up fast!
Finally, make sure you do fun things with your kids, things that you enjoy as well as them. My son and I used to go on long walks by the river and we would talk about life and things that were going on with him. We also would go to the movies and out for ice-cream in a sort of date night, if you can call it that. Those outings were fun for both of us and it really helped to create a relationship of love.
Being a single parent is difficult but with a little ingenuity, education and time management it can be done and done successfully.
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