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Becoming a Single Parent

Parenting and Child Care

Becoming a single parent means entering a different phase of your life, but change can be healthy. Adopting the following strategies can help you grow as a parent and as a person.

Single Parent Strategies

Take time for yourself. You'll be a better parent, companion, and citizen if you consistently carve out some time for yourself. From taking a long bath once in a while to making time for a quiet cup of coffee, avoid resentment and anger by putting your needs on the to-do list.

Start planning now. To face the future, you need a strategy, so start now by getting the facts about your situation and discovering ways to deal with it. Be honest with your children, but don't tell them more than they need to know.

Don’t trash your ex. This can be hard to do depending on the circumstances, but taking the high road definitely has advantages. Children see more than you may give them credit for, and taking a neutral stand about the changes in your life will help maintain stability and save your children from having to take sides or see the people they love at odds with one another. They'll learn the truth eventually, and then your restraint will have given them an excellent example of character under pressure.

Get help. It may not take a village, but you'll have a much easier time of it, and your children will probably be happier and more fulfilled, if you get some help. Parents, neighbors, friends, support groups and community resources can all help you create a strong foundation for your family. You aren't alone, so take a moment to write a list of people you can count on and resources you can explore to fill any gaps. From after school programs to a helpful grandparent that can drive your child to soccer practice while you're at work, support is important and may not be as hard to find as you think.

Take mistakes in stride. There will be problems, and the first solution you try might not be the one that works. Having the confidence to weather this period of adjustment with good grace will save you some gray hairs.

These tips will help you make the transition to being a single parent easier. Take the time to interact with your children daily too. If you start now asking about their day and expecting more than a one word answer, you'll be in a better position to anticipate and deal with problems before they become serious.

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