Many single parents unwittingly use their children as pawns in a tug-or-war between the two parents, and this causes a lot of friction not only between the adults, but also among the children. Often the relationship between family members is tense and trust is reduced because of this, but it does not have to be this way.
Single Parent Families can be fun, and here’s our Top Ten Ways to Achieve This…
1. Don’t Attack your Ex
Attacking your ex actually hurts your children, so try to speak well of the ex-partner as much as you can. If they speak ill of you, then try to refrain from telling your kids horrible things about the ex, because over time they will figure out who is the honest one and who is throwing mud!
2. Make Time for your Children
Spending time with them at whatever is important to them is the ultimate act of love that they will understand. Make time to spend with them, even if it costs you time and money, because it says “I love you and you are important to me!”
3. Be Slow to Start Dating Again
Dating after a break up is tricky enough, let alone if children are involved. Your children feel isolated and threatened by another person coming on the scene, especially if they have kids too. Be slow to start dating again, and make wise decision with regards who is coming into your life, and your children’s lives!
4. Do Something Crazy!
Why be the boring parent? Your single parent family should be a place of love, peace and fun, so do something crazy. Make cupcakes, have a mud fight, grab some popcorn and have a movie night. Be a little more relaxed and a little bit crazier and your kids will love it!
5. Have a Games Night
Games nights are not only fun but they build relationship. In times past we might have suggested playing Monopoly or Twister (and they are still great), but in the 21st century, why not ask your kids to set up a family LAN party, or play the X-Box or Wii together?
6. Keep Your Place the Fun One
If your children go between your home and your ex’s, make sure yours is the fun one, and it can be fun even with chores, rules and consequences. Minimize screaming, and try fun things like letting them decorate their room
7. Apply Rules and Consequences without Emotions
If you lose your temper, you lose! Never yell, scream or emotionally attack your children. You have rules, you have consequences, and one follows the other without yelling, debates or arguments. Stick to the consequences but do so without the drama!
8. Hit You Tube!
One really great night you can have with your kids is sharing videos you have found on You Tube. Funny ads, crazy clips, music videos, whatever you like. The night will go quickly and the fun will flow!
9. Jammin’ in the Car
You have to drive places together, so why not put the radio or CD on and sing all trip. Even if your voice is terrible, it is especially fun with young kids. My kids were convinced that my car ran on music when they were young!
10. No One Else Has to Understand
Don’t worry about what others may think. The most important thing is that single parent families like yours are loving and safe, not tense and dramatic. Others may think you have lost your mind doing crazy things with the kids, but you know your family is worth it!
So make yours one of the most loving, most fun and safest single parent families on earth by applying these tips and other ideas.