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Single Parents: Four Things I Have Learned To Do And Not Do In Reguards To Absentee Parents
I was like everyone else, I never dreamed I would be a single parent. More surprised to find out he was an absentee parent. I have learned a thing of two in the last few years. So I write this to help all those single parents that are simply angry, frustrated and fed up with the absentee parent in their life. So here is a bit of advice from single parent to another.
1. You can NEVER make them a parent, stop trying. This is not to mean if they ever have a change of heart, to not be a positive part, however stop banging your head against the wall trying to force them to be a parent. For one reason or another, they simply don’t want to deal with the child or you, so go on without them. Do your best to be the best parent you can be. You cannot be both, however sometimes you just have to do the best you can.
2. Family can make all the difference. If the father of your child will not participate and you have concluded that he or she never will, move on. Other family members can step up and help. My son sees his father once a month or so for a couple of hours, not much. But my step father has been a wonder. He teaches my four year old how to fish, boating, tools and many other things that only a man can teach a boy. Just because the other parent is not involved, surround your child with loving family that can in some ways take their place.
3. Never talk bad about the absentee parent, this will only hurt and confuse your child more. If you are directly asked, honesty should be compared with age and your child’s emotions in mind. My son is almost four and when he asked, I say that his father loves him very much, but is busy a lot. I tell him he will see him when he can. Although this may not be the full truth, I want my son to feel loved, so airing my true feelings and dirty laundry will only hurt him further. Too many times single parents take their frustration out or in front of their child, never do this. You are an adult, keep those snide and hateful comments to yourself because your words can hurt more than the absentee parents action. You are the parent so act like it. Yes it hurts, but you cannot show your pain. Your child will know the truth in the end when they are old enough to begin dealing, so they do not need to hear your negative remarks their whole life.
4. In the end, just do the best you can to give your child the love and support they need. This may mean that your life changes in many ways, however the differences are quite great. Your child can be, well the best thing that can happen to you and your attitude at doing it alone remains all in perspective. Accept the absentee parent for what and who they are because you cannot change them, but teach your child the same positive acceptance. You are not condoning their actions, but anger and resentment is basically a waste. Anger and resentment are also felt and contagious to your child, so don’t poison your family with the negativity.