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Single Dad: Raising a daughter the best way you know how.
Me and my daughter in the snow, 2013!
I just wanna express to the readers that I am not claiming to be any professional dad or claiming that I have knowledge over anyone else out there in the world. I simply wanna give you an idea of what I have learned and accomplished during my struggles as a single dad. Take what you want from this hub, I always felt it to be a comfort knowing I could always get another opinion from someone who struggles with little challenges as I do. My experience I am afraid is some what limited though to the age of a 1.6 yr old little girl. Of course like many out there I had learned many things as a child taking care of my younger siblings. You just never get quite the experience you do when you have your very own child looking up to you. I started out with my x-wife in the beginning, in fact for most of the first year of birth it was a relief to have her by my side. It seems in my life good things tend to come to an end, but not all good things.
Where to begin....
Boy or girl your little one is gonna take every day as a learning experience and as a father you play the most vital dominant role. Don't worry mommy has plenty to worry about as well, mom will be required to always be one step ahead of their child. Now lets get down to the details of how to make the time you share with your child easy and happy, for both of you. By this point you should already have a natural instinct of love and protection but at times you will get angry. I for one agree with old fashioned discipline to a certain degree, some children nowadays are whiny selfish brats. I think as parents we have gotten soft because of the degree to which an adult can get in trouble for how they raise their own child. However, you still have the right to discipline and that will be something you will need to be creative with instead of forceful. In the beginning stages of your child's life it will be some what easy for you to lose your temper, a crying child never gets easier. Just relax, and make sure your little baby is well comforted, that their needs go ahead of yours.
Enjoy the little things
Time to impact
You have a short time frame to teach your child how to be that will reflect their attitude the older they get. A lazy parent is a bratty child remember that. An abusive parent is either a violent child or a complete social wreck. The greatest value your child can learn is knowledge of everything, focus on them being smart because the better they understand the less need for whiny attitudes.
Things to entertain them:
-Playing Cards, as strange as it sounds a deck of cards can keep them entertained for a while.
-Crayons and Markers, as long as they are safe then they will have a blast as early as 9 months.
-Play Money and a Coin Jar, my daughter will spend countless hours playing with coins in a bucket (suggested age over a year.)
-Singing Toys or lots of music, from my video you can see my daughter likes to dance its because ever since she was little I let her play music from my phone and since it had a screen lock I was able to let her play with out worry of damage.
-Electronic Gadgets like a calculator, you will be surprised how long a calculator can entertain a child, even more so a computer keyboard will last for hours of play. (go to a thrift store and buy an old used keyboard and cut the cord off.)
-Blocks, are great especially for a little boy,
-Books, this is a good idea for over a year old but keep in mind the books need to be something you don't mind getting destroyed.
-The final item that I will share that is truly an amazement how long it entertains a child is the strangest thing you ever thought possible, "A RAG" that's right a simple washcloth that you use for your dishes or cleaning. The trick is get a clean rag if you don't have one then just use a wet wipe, now when you hand it to your child (age range 1-3) tell them you want them to go clean. At first you need to show them how take them to a wall or a chair and show them to wipe up and down, in no time they will want to do it to help you.
The craziest thing I realized is your child wants to help you, they want to feel like they are participating in your activity's. Why else do you think they will constantly get under your feet and hang on you and cry. Partially at times they do want your love and attention, but mostly they just don't know what to do.
Capture the Smiles
Foods that make it fun
Now obviously if you don't agree with the nutrition value of the things I give you ideas of then definitely substitute them for whatever you wish. I am giving you ideas of the foods that are fast and easy to make but more importantly that help get your child interested more in feeding themselves. Also it should be known that your child will drink formula milk mostly or baby foods until 1 yrs old so this list is beyond that.
The foods that are fun:
-Top Ramen, cheapest stuff you can buy and surprisingly the most entertaining food as well. Put down a blanket on the floor and make a plate of ramen your child will be having a blast and most often will finish the plate.
-Hot Cereal, oatmeal and cream of wheat is a kid favorite at a very young age, its also easy to make and teaches them to use their utensils better. (note it will be mess so tuck a dish towel in the neck of their shirt and let it spread over their lap.)
-Carrot Sticks and Apple Slices, these work well as a healthy quick snack, but also if your child is anything like my daughter then she will love ranch sauce.
-Cottage Cheese, this is perfect for when you want to try and ease your child into drinking more water and juice because with this they will get the calcuim they need.
-Yogurt, is very good but most kids don't like the little pieces of fruit in them so be aware.
-Mac and Cheese, get the little easy mac packets and just like the hot cereal it is a great learning food for utensils.
-Meats of all sorts need to be in small pieces you would be surprised how easily your child can choke on something small, but non the less shredded meats are a must even pieces of jerky are great at first.
-Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, this is by far the best kids meal and its really cheap to afford and easiest to make. Strangely my daughter just loves the peanut butter she would have a blast if I gave her the whole jar one day ha ha.
Don't be afraid of little snacks here and there like french fries, chicken nuggets, chips, fruit snacks, as long as your child stays active then obesity will never be your concern. But like I said before, your actions and your daily lifestyle is what makes all the difference to your child's actions. Take your child everywhere you go, be a goofball with them, let them see what you do and how you do it. The more interaction they get the faster and smarter they will get with life. I encourage everyone to just have fun with this, there is no need to listen to me if you don't want to but I think sooner or later you will find a good routine that works for the both of you. Good Luck!