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Being a Model Single Parent
“Children need models more than they need critics”.--- Joseph Joubert
My Guru often says that she can tell the character of a mother by the behaviour of her children. Few single parents are aware of the life patterns they consciously or unconsciously inculcate in their children by their own example.
Irresponsible Divorced Women
I have seen divorced women intoxicated by their sudden ‘freedom’ who go all out to live the lives they have yearned for. Suddenly alone, they shut themselves in with their lovers in the presence of their baffled children. I have seen them get drunk and fall all over the men at a party in the presence of embarrassed their children. I have known single mothers who have been involved with married men to the horror of their teenaged children.
Seven Year Olds Are Old Enough To Catch Lies
Indeed, the older the child – anything from age seven upwards, the easier he or she will understand what’s going on in your life. You can no longer get away with stories about how you were just getting a bit of shut-eye behind closed doors with your ‘friend’, and how you were only drinking orange juice and that your staggering about was just dancing.
The model single parent will realise that it's no longer easy to fool kids with the advent of the MTV generation. If you don’t tell them what it’s all about, someone else will. On television they see for themselves that when a man and woman shut themselves in a room they don’t just sleep. They know that a kiss on the cheek is different from a kiss on the lips.
Mothers Play A Bigger Role Than Fathers in Parenting
“For the hand that rocks the cradle
is the hand that rules the world.”
So says William Ross Wallace. Mothers play a bigger role in shaping their children than do fathers, for the simple reason that they bear them and thus bond with them earlier and spend more time with them. You can’t do X and expect your child to become Y.
This is not to say that you cannot lead the life you want as a single parent. The important thing to keep in mind while you live it up is that you are not harming anyone (including yourself) in any way by doing so and yes, you must be discreet. The effects your behaviour will have on your children are far reaching and can affect how they will live life.
Belittling A Child Can Ruin His Future
For instance, rejection and constant belittling from a mother can lead to the child growing into a promiscuous adult. He needs to prove to himself and to the world that he is desirable. He could become a poor student and a jobless young man.
Being a Model Single Parent
I myself have noticed with delight my son pretending to write stories because I write stories all the time. If I am dishonest, he will tend to follow the pattern I’m setting as an adult who is responsible for him. His logic would be: “If she can do it, it mustn’t be all that bad.”
On the other hand, if I tell him that dishonesty is despicable, he will condemn me for being dishonest and I will cease to be his heroine. But children do need heroes and heroines if they are to become so themselves. Being a model single parent is a challenge and a worthy goal.
Oscar Wilde rightly observed: “Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.”
© 2014 Anita Saran