Category Archives: Parenting Skills for Singles

Parenting skills for singles deals with the unique challenges you face as a single mom or dad, and the parenting skills you need and can apply immediately in your family.

What are Three Areas a Single Parent Struggles With?

ssingle parent struggles around the worldAs a single parent struggles with bringing up your children are inevitable. You face the same difficulties that other families are confronted with, but you also face a unique set of circumstances because you are doing the job alone! You have no one to share the struggles with as a single, but you also have no one to fight with about how you parent your children.

Here are three of the unique struggles that parents face when they are single, and a few ideas on how to deal with them.

 

1. Applying Discipline:

Disciplining your children is one area you may find difficult, but it’s one of the single parent struggles that you cannot afford to lose! We have a lot of material on our website regarding disciplining children, and the simplest and most effective methods that can positively impact your kids for years.

One of the biggest issue for single parents is consistency, because they are often the only ones applying the discipline. It is normal to get tired and to struggle with consistency, especially if your children are strong-willed, but the best advice I can give is to stand back, view the situation without emotion, and consistently apply the right discipline.

 

2. Lack of Money:

Lack of money is a common struggle for many single parent families. Not only have you lost the income of your former partner, but you have to find a way to work or bring in income by yourself.

Many single parents are holding down several job is to try and come up with the money necessary to allow the family to function properly. Many fall victim to “make money quick” schemes because they are so desperate for money.

While there is no easy solution to this problem, you may need to rein in the type of spending you are doing, on yourself and on your children. Will the buying your kids everything is a common single parent trait, but it places an enormous financial burden especially if you are the sole breadwinner.

 

3. Lack of Time:

One of the biggest struggles you will face when you are parenting alone is time, because you cannot clone yourself! Your kids need your time, but you also have other responsibilities such as cleaning the home, educating your child, bringing an income through the door and having some sort of a social life yourself.

The best way to deal with the time struggles is to find someone who will share the load with you. It might be your mom, a close friend or an expensive day-care program, but the reality is you cannot do everything 100% of the time. In fact, don’t try to be all things to all people because you will fail and also drive yourself nuts!  You need to outsource certain things, and if you have someone close to share the load and free up your time, make sure you invest it in things that will be more profitable for both you and your children.

 

If you are wise and careful you can conquer these three common areas a single parent struggles with, and your children and family reap the rewards long into the future.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Families?

advantages and disadvantages of single parent familiesWith so many families today parented by single moms or dads, what are the advantages and disadvantages single parent families, and how can we make them better?

Single parents often worry that their children will somehow be damaged from living in a single parent family. While a single parent family may not be the ideal situation for raising children, many two-parent families are also less than desirable. Kids can actually benefit from living in a single parent family, so here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a sole parent family.

Disadvantages of Single Parent Families

Some of the key disadvantages of single parent families include…

1. Time:

Many aspects of parenting are far better if two of you were doing them, and things which are timing-based like trips to and from school, after-school sport and recreation things like dance classes or karate are much harder to do as a sole parent than in conjunction with another.

2. Discipline:

Many children are experts at wearing you down, so discipline is often more difficult because the complaints and protests of your children are unrelenting.

3. Working:

If you are working yourself, it is often more difficult to do without some sort of support, especially as you try and work your job situation into your children’s schooling or day-care.

4. Relationships:

Starting a new relationship or dating can be difficult for single moms and dads, with the need for children to be minded and the concern about how the children will bond with the prospective partner.

 

Advantages of Single Parent Families

1. Discipline

Discipline should be easier with two adults, but the reality is that it is often easier with only one especially if the other one fails to agree with the type of discipline involved.

2. Competition

Many times mom and dad are in competition for a child’s affections, but if the other partner is out of the picture or less interested in bringing up the children, a single parent can face no significant competition for their child’s affections.

3. Individual Time

Each of your children need is time alone with you because nothing says I love you like your spending time with them. When you are by yourself, it is a challenge to find time alone with each of your children sufficient to meet the needs, but it’s worth it!

4. Peaceful Atmosphere

Many single parents are in that situation because they have left a family which has looked more like a war zone! While any sort of parenting may be stressful, and may cause friction within the family, friction between mom and dad can often be the most destructive, so one advantage of parenting alone is having a peaceful atmosphere the home.

5. Money

Spending money on the children is often a source of conflict between parents, but when you are alone you do not have to ask your partner’s permission to spend money on your child.

 

The advantages and disadvantages of single parent families that I’ve spoken about here can become a real plus in raising your children if you concentrate on the positives and minimize the negatives.

How Single Parent Families Can Make It

Single parentingIn our contemporary society you can find more single parent families than before, and while it may be difficult, I feel they can do a good job of bringing up their kids.

There are many important factors which allow single parent families to have success, so if you are parenting as a single mom or dad, here are a couple ideas to help you and your loved ones.

Get Support

We’re not an island, so if you would like your family to really make it make sure that you get support from people surrounding you. It’s generally way too much to ask that your ex is going to be supportive, but you can acquire support from your parents, close friends or relatives who have an active involvement in your family, and love your kids.

Get Training

A lot of people are unaware of the unique pressures you face as a sole parent, including your ex-partner undermining your parenting skills.

Getting some training and the right advice is very important for single parents. Our website has loads of practical parenting ideas and techniques that you can employ with the family immediately.

 

Get Serious

While many single mothers and dads experience lots of drama in their families, the successful ones get seriously interested in parenting, and learn the best techniques. We want to help you to establish the right boundaries, consequences for our actions and anything else you need, so check out the free information that we offer.

With the proper help, advice, ideas and techniques, single parent families can not only make it, but can become successful, powerful and awesome families!

The Single Parent Families Lifestyle

single parent familiesThe single parent families lifestyle may be a unique and fascinating one. In shared child custody this runs specifically true, and the children may appear as if they are living a double life.  This lifestyle can be difficult for adults, never mind for a child, so the strains on single parent families and their lifestyle is most often higher than on other families, even though all sides love the kids.

The Duality of the Single Parent Families Lifestyle

Children seem to be living wholly different lives with each of the parents.  But somehow you are required to face and beat this manner of life for your children!

Here I will discuss three areas you possibly can work on to try and minimize the potentially destructive nature of the single parent families lifestyle…

Divide and Conquer

The kids specialty, and especially in messy or nasty divorces.  Youngsters are experts at dividing and conquering the mother and father even in regular families, playing mom off against dad to get what they need.  This is even more extreme for separated parents because of the fact that the parents are already divided!

The solution: You and your ex will need to start communicating on the critical issues.  If you can’t stand each other, it’s time to determine that you love the kids enough to put them first and at least start texting!  If you communicate you can make sure that the kid is not playing one of you off against the other and prevent a tragedy people and unaware couples in your situation face daily!

Disciplining verses Fun

It is possible that one parent might be fun but the other has got to discipline?  This could happen even in marriage or if couples stay together, so how much more for you.  But this method of arrangement is doomed, so again, start conversing with your ex and share both the load and the fun.  You possibly will not love them and the relationship may be over however if you love your offspring you will definitely do it for them!  And if you’re the fun one you could think you are doing well, but in the important issues your kids will turn to the other adult, so watch out for this and share the load!

 Inconsistent Consistency

Again communication is the vital thing.  You’ll want to ensure your rules are consistent between the two households.  The kid ought to know that if they do the same thing in each house the consequences are the same.  Without this the youngsters will run riot in one of the homes.

In all these, the secret is talking with your ex and being united on the larger issues.  Failure to address these will induce you seeing all the bad aspects of the single parent families lifestyle in your sons and daughters as they develop, and who needs that!

The Trials of Single Parent Fathers

Single parent fathers Single parent fathers are under a different type of pressure to the average father. Instead of being able to share the load of parenting, single parent fathers often have to stand alone, and frequently they are in conflict with the estranged mother of the children.

Most fathers have to work to earn income and support their families. If a father’s single, coordinating work time and time with the children is often a more difficult task than for a married man, because when they have the kids there is often no one to help them share responsibilities.

Yet many single dads find that they get to spend better quality time with their children, perhaps because they have limited time available and they have decided to make the most of it. Many dads take real delight in prioritizing their family time, and if they are wise they will realize that their time with their children has to take precedence over work and other social activities.

There are several difficulties faced by fathers who are Ron their own. In addition to 2 limited opportunities and time with their children, they often have a rocky or difficult relationship with the mother of the kids, and all that this entails for parenting. As the kids grow older, they learn to exploit the differences in conflict that occurs between the estranged parents, playing mom off against dad to get their own way.

Add to this the fact that a father parenting on their own also has to balance in a work schedule and some sort of a social life, and you really can begin to understand the unique difficulties faced by single parent fathers. This situation is made even more difficult if the guy has decided to start dating again, because many times their children will react to what they perceive to be a “replacement mom”.

Yet for all these trials and difficulties, there are also unique opportunities present for a dad who is prepared to look for them, and prepared to change his lifestyle and priorities. They have the opportunity to make much of the time spent with their children special, and many single dads dote on the children and delight in spoiling them!

When you are a father trying to care for your children alone either full-time or part-time, you definitely face more difficulties than does a married man. You simply cannot live your life the way other single men do, and many of the things you may want to do in business or socially you will find restricted by the presence of your children. However, you need to balance the trials of this style of parenting off against the blessings and advantages that may present .

Single parent fathers do not have an easy task, but they can have a rewarding task that will not be recognized until their children mature and become adults themselves.

Single parent fathers

Christmas and the Single Parent

Christmas as a Single ParentChristmas can be a joy is time for a single parent, but it can also be a time of loneliness and regret. If you are coming off a recent breakup, you can look back at your year with regret and honest relationship.

Christmas is traditionally a time for family, and when your family has been torn apart it can be a painful experience. However it doesn’t have to be, because there are many things even as a single parent that you can draw from Christmas that will bring joy, peace and great satisfaction.

 

How to Enjoy Your Christmas as a Single Parent

If you have young children, Christmas is always a magical time. As a single parent, you have the opportunity to share this magical time on a close, one on one relationship with your child or children. This can begin when you start decorating the tree several weeks before Christmas, and continues right up to Christmas Day, when you’re young children can get up early and begin opening presents.

The night before Christmas can be made very special, and if you do not have a partner in your relationship you can experience the joys of “being Santa Claus”. In my family, the children leave milk and cookies out for Santa, and when we get up the next morning they will find the cookies gone and the milk drunk.

Kids love presents, and the prospect of Christmas will always begin early if they get the chance. Sleep in any other day but Christmas is a day for getting up early and watching the children open their presents. If you are lucky enough to have family present, such as your parents or aunts or uncles, make sure everyone is up for the opening of the presents.

Next comes the Christmas dinner, and as a single parent you have the opportunity of involving the children as you cook turkey, stuffing, potatoes and everything else that makes a Christmas Day lunch special. Make sure you prepare the days in advance, so that as your children help you with the Christmas lunch you were not panicked and stressed.

Later in the day the children may have to go to be with the other parent, so your task as a single parent is to make sure that their time with you on Christmas Day is not only fun but is also incredibly special. Remember, you are not trying to compete with your ex for the affections, but rather you were trying to allow your children to enjoy the excitement and beauty of Christmas morning.

And when you find yourself alone, do not descend into depression and loneliness but recognise that this is a special day, especially so for single parents. If the kids are with the ex, take the opportunity to visit someone and enjoy Christmas for yourself with people you love and care for.

Most Christmas see people getting depressed and down, especially if they are single parents, but I believe as a single parent you have a great opportunity to make this Christmas and every Christmas extra special for you and your family!

Coping with Children and Divorce

Ichildren and divorcen a perfect world children and divorce would never be linked together. But we do not live in a perfect world, and with so many marriage and family breakdowns and single parent families out there, very often children and divorce are wrapped up together, to the detriment of both the parent and the child.

We would like to think that every marriage was made in heaven and never needs help, but the fact is people change, relationships change and unfortunately divorce is the by-product of this. If you have experienced this you will know the emotional trauma and drama that separation can bring, but this can be magnified when it comes to kids.

Bringing the Best Out of Parents, Children and Divorce!

It is possible to bring the best out of both the parent and the child through a marriage separation, but it often takes both parents working extra hard to make this happen. The most important thing is that, despite how nasty or difficult the separation may be, that both parties continue to communicate with each other effectively and civilly, especially with regards anything that concerns the kids.

Communication is the key! You need to communicate with your ex-about important matters like how to discipline your children, when to discipline them and the rules of the family. It is no good if they are punished for something in one family while in the other it is completely overlooked all laughed off.

It is also important with how you relate to your children. You need to sit and talk to them about the family situation and the divorce, alerting them to what to expect, what visitation rights will be involved and continually reiterating that it is not their fault. The kids need to know that the breakdown in the relationship of the parents is not there fault!

They also need to understand what is happening, so the worst thing you can do is to hide the marriage situation in an effort to protect your children. Most kids of any age understand if things are explained to them properly, so don’t be frightened to talk to your child about what is going on, what you are feeling and what they can expect from the coming weeks, months and years.

If you are going through a divorce the children need to recognise that they are a positive part of a very negative situation, that they are a jewel in your crown rather than a pain in your neck! Whatever age they are, talk to them, explain things to them and even ask their opinion on how certain aspects of the household can be managed through this experience. This makes them feel that they are an important part of the decision-making even if they cannot control the major decision of your getting divorced.

Kids can survive a marriage breakup, and while many may be adversely affected, with the right counseling and care many also grow through it to lead productive and successful lives themselves. Take a positive attitude, and keep on believing that while children and divorce may not be the ideal situation, they can survive it well with your counseling, help and support.

Being Single and Parenting Well

single and parentingBeing single and parenting well is attainable for most single parents, but it often takes more time and effort than for two parent families.  Yet being single and parenting presents some amazing and unique opportunities for single parents that, if managed correctly, can lead to incredible, productive, healthy and successful children and families.

 

Single and Parenting Can Go Together!

 

Many people automatically issue that being single and also a parent does not go together, but this is simply untrue. Granted, many single parents struggle to bring their children up effectively, and this is made worse if they are the sole breadwinner as well! Remember, bringing up kids was designed to be done by two parents, so that the load and the pressures could be shared, so doing it as a single is definitely more difficult.

 

That being said, you are better off being single and facing the stress of being a parent without help than trying to do it with a non-supportive or even disruptive partner in your life. If your partner is constantly undermining the decisions you are making or your attempts to discipline, then doing things alone and a single parent could be a better option for you and for your child.

 

However even single parents face the possibility of interference from a disruptive or non-supportive partner, even if they are divorced or separated. Many times parental decisions or moral rules are made, only to be underdone when the child visits the other parent! This is one of the aspects that make raising children as a single more difficult, so if this is the type of situation you find yourself then make sure that you are communicating well with your estranged partner, especially on matters concerning discipline and the social or moral standards you want your child to grow up with.

 

While many young single mothers or fathers struggle to come to grips with the concept of giving up their own rights and desires in life for their child, this is by no means a universally true stereotype. Many mothers and fathers who find themselves alone and bringing up their children show more dedication and more devotion to them simply because they recognise that if they don’t do it nobody else will! If they are not on welfare but also responsible for bringing money into the family, they have to have help to properly parent the kids, which can cause more stress in their life because it means that another external influence has to be dealt with.

 

Yet there is ample evidence that the children of single parents can grow up to become productive and successful members of society, despite the limited time and resources available to them in their family situation. A wise parent will realize that they do not have to compromise their morals, beliefs or style of discipline just because they are doing the job alone! They may have to dig deeper and work harder, and they may have to give up some of the pleasures they might enjoy like socializing or traveling, but they can still be effective in their parent role and bring a positive influence to their children.

 

In other words, being single and parenting well is definitely possible, it just takes more time and effort, and a dedicated mom or dad can and will succeed if they persevere.

How to Have a Good Parent-Child Relationship

a good parent-child relationshipHaving a good parent-child relationship is something everyone strives for, both on the parental side and also on the child’s side. But it involves much more than just being popular with your children, because a truly great a good parent-child relationship is like a teabag… It’s true color comes out when it’s in hot water!

Top 5 Mistakes that Stop Singles Having a Good Parent-Child Relationship

As a single mom or dad it is certainly possible to have a good parent-child relationship, but many single parents make some classic mistakes in this area.

 

1. Trying to Be Their Friend

It is great to love your child and wonderful to relate well to them. It is also great when they share even their most intimate thoughts with you because they trust you. However, your children do not need you as a friend, they need you as a parent. You can still relate well to them, love them and have them trust you, but it cannot be as a friend it needs to be someone they look up to and respect, and that’s what parenting is about.

At some point your teenage son or daughter will choose to be with their friends over you, and that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is to force your friendship on the, especially in the company of their other friends. Love them, be close to them, be absolutely trustworthy, but don’t be a friend be mom or dad.

2. Manipulating Them

Singles in general and particularly single moms are very prone to manipulating their children. In a healthy relationship, if you want them to do something you need to simply ask honestly and openly, not manipulate them or use a guilt trip to have your children obey you. You may feel like the technique works, but in the long run it will come back toward you and can potentially ruin your entire relationship with your children.

3. Giving Them Too Much Freedom

A good parent-child relationship needs to have rules, and these rules need to be enforced consistently with appropriate consequences. Giving excessive freedom to your child is not a way of showing you love them, it’s a way of giving them a licence to destroy their lives. If you truly love them, you will set clear rules in place and make sure that they are adhered to. Asking them what they want to do and giving in to them is a bit like asking an alcoholic to mind your liquor cabinet key.

4. Being Harsh About the Little Things

Single parent families, like any other family, are going to face moments of conflict which potentially can damage a good parent-child relationship. Many things are said in anger and regretted later, but you cannot take them back once they have been said! Therefore, it is wise to pick your battles, taking a positive and immovable stand on big issues like curfews, sexual behavior or respecting others, but being a lot less harsh and “letting things slide a little” when it comes to small issues like mowing the lawn or eating their vegetables.

5. Showing Conditional Love

One of the greatest things you can possibly do to promote a good parent-child relationship is to love them unconditionally. Conditional love is one of the great killers of relationship, especially in a single parent home, but unconditional love can cover a multitude of sins. Your child needs to know that you love them no matter what they do and no matter what they say. So if they are good and obedient, you love them. If they are naughty, disobedient, rude or selfish, you love them just the same… Unconditionally!

 

If you can avoid these five mistakes you will have an incredible opportunity to build a good parent-child relationship that will last a lifetime.

Top 6 Trials of Shared Parenting

Shared parentingShared parenting is a difficult thing, and especially so if you and your ex have a rocky or volatile relationship. However, if you are determined to provide the right environment for your children, and if you are prepared to work together rather than against one another, shared parenting can be a great arrangement, both for yourself and the kids.

However, it also introduces a number of issues that you need to work on collectively with your ex-partner, and failing to do this can lead to a complete breakdown in your relationship with your kids over time as you attempt to parent together.

Here are the Top 6 Shared Parenting Hurdles you need to overcome in order to Become Successful Parents your children…

1. Never Speak Negatively About the Other Parent

I know it’s tempting, but as much as you can you need to not speak ill of your ex to your child, no matter what they say or do, what arrangements they make or how much you or the children don’t think they care. Many separated couples use the children as a means to attack the other adult, and this not only alienates them, but it causes deep mistrust between you and your ex-partner.

2. Communicate about Rules

No matter how much you dislike your ex, you need to be in communication with them and present a united parenting front to the children with regards family rules or laws. Frequently in cases of shared parenting, each household develops a different set of rules after the separation, but you will be well served to change communication with each other and make sure that your arrangements like what time they go to bed or what time they have to be home by are uniform, no matter which household they are staying at.

3. Talk about Consequences

Likewise, the consequences for breaking the rules need to be uniform for the children between the two parents. The kids need to understand they cannot do something in one household and “get off lightly” while on the other household they face severe consequences. If you are involved in sharing custody, make sure that the consequences for the children’s actions are the same no matter which one of you they are involved with.

4. Don’t Grill the Kids!

If you are involved in the business of shared parenting, it’s important that you don’t grill a child about the behaviour or relationships of the other party. You may be curious but it’s none of your business, and it’s time to realize that trying to manipulate the information out of your children will destroy trust that they have in you, and can completely undermine your credibility with them after some time. Frankly, you are better off not knowing the details of the other parents activity!

5. Share the Load

We all want to have fun with each child, but in cases of shared parenting is not healthy for one parent to be the fun one while the other is to deal with the mundane issues of life. Make sure that fun things like going out to the movies or dinner with the kids are distributed between the two parents, and especially make sure that difficult tasks like discipline, homework and chores are also equally split.

6. Beware of Manipulation in Shared Parenting

Your little angels, as lovely as they, can be master manipulators! Even if a couple is together, kids are experts at playing one parent off against the other to get what they want, especially as they hit the teenage years. This effect is amplified in the case of shared parenting, so be aware of manipulation, and make sure that before you grant permission for something you check with each other party, via a phone call or a quick text.

Regardless of how you view your ex-partner, your responsibility is communicating and treating each other with respect. Set time on a calendar aside to meet, plan and make arrangements for the kids and you will find that the business of shared parenting becomes easier.