Single moms can make it as parents and they can produce healthy, happy, successful children. It is not easy being both parents for your kids, but it is possible especially when you apply these 10 Keys to success for single moms in the 21st Century.
1. Seek Support
Most single moms find that they have to seek support, and there is no shame in doing this. It might be close family, it might be close friends, or it might be a church group or single moms support group. Whatever it takes, find and use some form of support.
2. Seek Help
It is not enough to seek support, or a shoulder to cry on when things get tough, you need to also seek help. Someone to mind the kids so you can have a break, or someone to drive them to football practice. Don’t try and do everything by yourself.
3. Love your Kids
I know you feel that you love them, but true love is not just a feeling it is a life-long commitment. Tell them you love them, and also show them you love them by putting their needs before yours, and giving up what you want to serve them. Yes, this includes dating and your choice of partner. Let your kids be the hub of your existence, especially when they are young. Love is not just a feeling, it is what you say and how you treat them, so give your children unconditional love!
4. Avoid the Separation Tug-of-War
Divorce is horrible, even if it is amicable. Your children will feel that somehow they caused this. There is an inevitable tug-of-war between the estranged couples, and only you can change this. Don’t try and out buy your ex-partner’s attempts to win their love. Believe me, the kids are more than happy to play mom off against dad to get what they want! Don’t try and outbid the other party, just love them unconditionally.
5. Don’t Bad-Mouth Your Ex!
I know, this one’s hard, but criticizing your ex to your kids will only show how insecure you really are. Make it a habit to always look on what the ex does or says in the best light, at least around the children, because they are feeling torn already!
6. Set Firm Limits
Kids need boundaries, and they have to understand where these boundaries are. limits. They also need to comprehend what happens if they step out of line, so make sure they understand the consequences of their actions before they do anything.
7. Be Consistent
A classic single mom problem is giving in to the kids, especially in public, to avoid a tantrum. It is tempting, and works in the short term, but in the long run your child will learn to turn it on to get what they want, so you make a rod for your own back!
8. Listen to Your Kids
Take time out of your day to sit alone with each child and listen to them. Your ex probably doesn’t do this, so it will mean a lot to your child. I like to take each child to a local McDonalds and have an ice-cream and half an hours chat. They love it!
9. Learn to Communicate in the 21st Century
This is the modern world, and while you might want to sit and talk to your teen or preteen, the fact is that is not the main way they communicate these days. Believe it or not, texting or Facebook is the new way to speak words of encouragement into your child’s life so that they hear you! So make sure every text is a winner, and is encouraging, and never rebuke them in text, because they reread it later and read things into it you didn’t mean.
10. Don’t Give Up!
Whatever you do, however you feel, one of the best parenting techniques is to not give up! Keep going, even if things are hard, and even if your children say cruel things to you. Keep loving them, keep disciplining them, keep being strong for them and most importantly, keep learning and consistently applying new parenting techniques.