Tag Archives: being a good parent

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.

Good Parenting Techniques You Can Use Immediately!

Parenting techniquesWhile there are quite a few good parenting techniques that you can learn, the most necessary thing is to start employing them. You most likely are overwhelmed with many other philosophies and ideas, but being a good parent concerns actually utilizing those tips, and that’s what I want to consider now.

Good parenting takes not simply techniques and theories, so here are three practical tasks you can start doing now that will improve the way you parent your son or daughter.

1.    Spend Time with Your Kids

If you would like to show your kids that you love them, spending time is one of the most important things you can do. Good parenting is about making time for your kids, on their terms instead of yours. So forcing them to go with you shopping is not exactly quality time, but taking them to the movies or their favourite restaurant is.

2.    Know Where They Are

While we’re not promoting stalking your child, as a responsible parent you have to know where your children are, what they are doing and who they are doing it with. Letting your children get out of control is not good parenting.

3.    Screen Their Screens!

Keeping tab on your child screen activity is part of modern parenting. Whether it is the web, on-line games, take sting or DVDs, guarantee that what they are watching and playing fits with your view of life, and limit them to around a couple of hours a day of screen based recreation.

Learning any strategy is useless unless you applied, and in the case of your children it is more significant than ever. We have many methods to give out on our website, and it’s all free, so drop by for good parenting techniques you may apply right now.

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

It is critical that every family has a good parent-child relationship. But having this relationship involves way more than just being liked by your kids… You ought to be like a teabag, where hot water brings your true color out.

good parent-child relationshipTop 5 Mistakes that Stop Singles Having a Good Parent-Child Relationship

Single mothers and dads produce some classic mistakes in this area, but if you are serious and avoid these pitfalls you could have a good parent-child relationship.

1. Hoping to Be Their Friend

Relating well to your child and staying close to them is brilliant! Having them trust you and share their personal hopes and dreams can also be great. But you must remember, your children need you being a parent not as a friend. They need to admire and respect you, and while you may still relate to them it can’t be as just a friend.

If your youngster decides to spend time with their friends as opposed to you, don’t be hurt. Forcing your friendship on them in the company of their friends won’t be productive. Instead, be trustworthy, close to them and love them, or to put it differently, be a mom or dad not just a friend.

2. Manipulating Them

Singles as a rule especially single mothers are extremely prone to manipulating their children. In a healthy relationship, if you want to have them to do something you simply need to ask truthfully and openly, not manipulate them or use a guilt trip to have the children obey you. You may feel like the process works, but in the grand scheme of things it will return to haunt you and may ruin your entire relationship with your children.

3. Providing Far too much Freedom

A good relationship between a parent and a child needs rules, and these rules will have to be enforced consistently with appropriate outcomes. Giving too much freedom to your child isn’t a way of demonstrating that you care for them, it’s a way of giving them a license to destroy their lives! If you truly love them, you will set clear rules in place and ensure that they’re followed. Giving in to your child’s demands is like asking a drug addict to safeguard a pharmacy.

4. Being Harsh When it Comes to the Minor points

Single parent families, like every other family, will face times of conflict which potentially damage parent-child relationships. Many things are said in anger and regretted later, but you cannot take them back once they have been said! You need to pick your battles, being strong on big issues like sexual behavior and curfews, letting little things like eating vegetables or watching TV slide by.

5. Showing Conditional Love

Giving unconditional love is amongst the greatest things you can offer children. Conditional love is one of the huge killers of relationship, particularly in a single parent home where you might be “in competition” with the Ex for their affections.  However, unconditional love can cover a multitude of sins. The child should be told that you just love them no matter what they do and no matter what they say. So if they’re good and obedient, you love them. If they are naughty, insubordinate, rude or self-centered, you love them just the same… Unconditionally!  You might punish them, but you also need to tell them you love them!
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.

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

I want to be a good parent, and I’m sure you do too, but what does this actually mean?  Looking around in a public place you will see many people who are examples of bad parenting, so like you I know what I don’t want it to look like, but I also recognize that there is far more to being a good parent than simply having a well behaved child in public.

 

good parentHere’s 10 Practical things you can do to become a Good Parent

1. Be Consistent.

This is one of the biggest things in becoming a good parent… consistency!  Whatever you promise a child as a consequence of their actions, always follow through with it, whether a reward or something they do not like.  Don’t modify the consequences to avoid a fight or make your life more comfortable or easier.

2. Screaming is Losing! 

That’s right, if you reach a point of screaming, yelling or any other display of anger, you lose… immediately!  You lose your child’s respect, and the ability to positively influence your child.  Discipline should be applied without emotion, and without fear, because the consequences must be established before the offence is committed.  Then if they do the act, the consequences happen, it’s that simple!

3. Listen to your Kids. 

You can ask questions of your child and their behaviour, but you also need to listen.  They often don’t need a lecture from you, especially if they know they have messed up, but you are far better asking why they did something, then listening to their answer.  Turn the TV off, close the lap top, put the magazine down and give your child your undivided attention.  They will love the fact you prioritized them over whatever you were doing, and you will learn about them and what they are doing and thinking!

4. Spend Quality Time.

Spending quality time with your child helps you to get to know them, their fears and their concerns, their hopes and dreams.  Don’t take over their lives, but learn about them.  Sit and talk, or text if they prefer, but communicate with them in their language!

5. Technology is Cool, but it’s a Killer.

Computers, TV, DVDs, and mobile devices can take over your child’s life, and your life for that matter, and you have to place limits on these. They might be cool, but they can kill quality time with your children.  Sure they are fun, but for both of you make sure you take 5 minutes every half an hour for a proper break.  A get up, walk, go outside and talk together break.  And overall limit the time to 2-3 hours a day.

6. Look at Yourself.

Because believe me, your children will be looking at you.  Being a good parent is about being a good example to them, and live a life that you want them to emulate, even if things you have done so far in life are what you do not want for your kids.  Be who you want them to be, not who you once were, and start making changes to become the type of person you want your kids to become.

7. Feed Them Well. 

Simply this… watch their diet.  Don’t feed them junk food and soda, you can actually affect how their brain develops, so give them lots of outdoors and sunshine, and feed them healthy food.  Vitamins are also a good idea, and especially fish oil.

8. Know Where They Are.

Make sure you know where they are and who they are with, and also what they are doing. Establish a curfew and stick to it, especially with teenagers.

9. Know Their Friends, and their Friend’s Parents.

Who do they value in their lives?  Make sure you know their friends, and the parents of their friends.  Do the friend’s families have the same morals and standards that you do?

10. Teach Them Respect.

Being a good parent is teaching your kids respect, for themselves, for you and for others.  If they are angry, teach them coping strategies, and make sure respect for others becomes ingrained in them.  This will help stop behaviors like stealing, taking advantage of others sexually and even bullying.

 

Apply these strategies if you want to be a good parent and you will see positive and important changes in your kids which will last a lifetime.

What Does it Mean to be a Good Parent? 10 Practical Things to Do!

Top Ten Tips on How to Parent after a Breakup

how to parentIf you have children and have experienced a break up you may be wondering how to parent after the event.  Breakups are frequently messy and emotional affairs, and it is often hard to be there for your kids in their hour of need, especially when you are hurting so badly yourself.

Learning how to parent through a breakup can soften the blow of the separation for your children, and surprisingly even for yourself.

So here’s out Top Ten of coping with your breakup, and how to parent your children through it!

1. Speak to Each Child Individually

While you can talk to all of them together, put some special time aside for each one individually.

2. Take into Account their Ages

Obviously younger children will have less of an understanding of what a breakup is about compared to teenagers.  Try to convey the truth of what has happening in the simplest way possible, and ensure they understand.

3. Let the Know the Breakup is Not Their Fault

Kids naturally blame themselves for a breakdown in the family and wonder what they could have done to prevent it.  Make sure they understand that this is between you and your ex, and they may have had a bearing on your decision, but certainly were not the root cause of the breakup.

4. Tell Them they are Unconditionally Loved by Both Parents

Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved, no matter what they do, what they say and no matter what the state of the relationship between the parents.  Convey that your love for them and your partner’s love for them is not dependent on the parental relationship, and although clearly this will affect the way the parent child relationship works, it does not change how much they are loved.

5. Tell Them that They will be Informed of All Important Decisions

Kids need to know that they are in the loop, so don’t try and hide things thinking that you are protecting them.  Keep them informed, even of the tough things, but do it gently and respectfully.

6. Remind Them that they are Your Joy, and You are Listening

Tell them how much you delight in them, and that you are willing to listen to them.  Learning how to parent through a breakup is going to be something that develops, so listen and care for them, and even if their opinions cannot change anything, at least they feel heard.

7. Never Bad-mouth the Ex to the Kids

It is so tempting in the heat of the moment to say bad things about your ex-partner in an effort to blame them for the relationship breakdown.  Avoid this at all costs, because mud thrown is ground lost.  If you think they are a jerk, tell your closest friend maybe, but speaking badly of the ex places the child in a horrible position, a pawn between two fighting parents.

8. Let them Know they Can’t Change your Decision and Bring the Relationship Back

As much as you love your children, you are still responsible for making decisions about your life and your relationships. Kids may think that if they change the relationship could be restored, so make it clear that your decision is independent to anything a child might say or do.

9. Try to Keep Parenting with the Ex-partner

Breakups are never pretty, but try to keep civility and an open channel in the relationship for the children.  Share your concerns and the needs of the children, and encourage your ex to learn how to parent with you, not undermine everything you do.  Explain to them that the kids come first, and they should not be used as a pawn in an adult relationship game.

10. Tell Them you Need their Courage and Help

Let your children know that in this difficult time you need their help and support as much as they need yours, and that together you can work to create a new life.  Encourage your children’s courage to help and face the future.

Learning how to parent during and after a breakup is a process, and every situation is individual.  Despite your pain or anger at the breakup, you can still learn how to parent effectively and create a new life for yourself and your children without your former partner.

Parenting Techniques for Single Moms

Parenting techniquesParenting techniques are an important part of effectively bringing up your child, and this is especially true for the single mom. 

Without a partner to help share the load, make the decisions and set out the boundaries for the children, you need to make sure that you are employing the right parenting techniques in the right way, and that you stand firm on these even if your ex is undermining your parenting techniques.

Here’s some practical parenting techniques you can start using today

1.    Love your Kids Unconditionally

They need to know that their position in your affections is unchanged by any disobedience or disappointments.  They are the center of your world no matter what, and even as you discipline them they need to have total confidence that you love them unconditionally, no matter what!

2.    Ask for Help

In poor countries a whole village bring up a child, and so it is with us.  Don’t be so proud as to not ask for help, especially from close family members or close friends.  If none will help you, make sure you enroll your kids in day care or after school to give you a much needed break.

3.    Don’t Play the Bribery Game

Divorce usually leads to the ex trying to buy the love of your kids, and you must not be drawn into a bribery match.  You might feel like the bad cop, but giving the child more and more will undermine their moral development.  Talk to your ex and see if they will listen and help parent the children.  If they won’t, ask your support to help and make sure even if you are not the Santa Clause, that your child still feels loved.

4.    Set Firm Boundaries

Kids need limits.  They need to know where these limits are, and what happens if they step over them.  Boundaries provide security within which kids experience peace and freedom, so don’t be afraid to set reasonable boundaries.  Make sure they are on important things, not trivial ones.

5.    Follow Through with Consequences

A classic single mom mistake is to threaten consequences and not follow through, especially in public where fear of criticism governs our response to disobedience.  If you set a penalty and the children commit the offense, do what you have promised!

6.    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!

7.    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. I know it hurts, but they sometimes lash out when they are mad, just like you sometimes do.  the problem is, you cannot take the words back once you have said them!

So keep loving them, keep disciplining them, keep being strong for them and most importantly, keep learning and consistently applying new parenting techniques.

Being a Good Parent as a Single

 

Being a good parent as a single mom or dad is possible and achievable.  It is certainly a harder ask than attempting this as part of a couple, but many would argue rightly that parenting alone is better than parenting with the wrong partner, or in an abusive relationship.

 

Being a Good Parent takes more than Just Love!

 

As a single parent I am sure that you love your children, but being a good parent is far more than that. In my charity running a home for young mothers, I have seen loads of girls who love their kids but cannot parent them properly, even to the point where the government removes them and places them in foster care.  Lots of love, sure, but no parenting skills!

 

Beyond loving your children being a good parent means making some tough choices and providing real leadership in the home, even as a single parent.  It means learning our Top 10 parenting skills, and applying them consistently. And consistently is the key word!

 

As a single parent you may not have someone with which to share the parenting load, discuss the situations you face or be there for you when you need help or a break.  If you lack a partner, I urge you to find someone else who can help, such as your mother, a close friend or an organization like the one I run, which is called Lily House.

 

You may feel that you would like to stand on your own, but trust me, even if you don’t work full or part time, you still can benefit from support.  If you don’t have someone close to you, you can pay for things like child care or after school support.

 

Sometimes being a good parent is about asking for help rather than continuing to do what you are doing and facing failure or collapse. It’s about being strong for your children and being a leader, rather than having them control you and your reactions.  It’s about acting with your kids instead of reacting. Good parenting is about good decisions you can make in the easy times that you stick to when the pressure is on.

 

Learning how to parent is very achievable for single moms and dads.  The pressure may be on to compromise, especially if you share custody, because chances are your ex is not going to parent in the same style as you do.  Nevertheless, if you do the right things in the long run your children will thank you for it.

 

Is Being a Good Parent about Being a Policeman?

 

Sometimes yes, you will have to make unpopular decision, and when your ex gets to have the fun times and you get to do the disciplining, is can be a difficult position.

 

That’s when you need to show unconditional love, as well as firm rules, and it may be the right time to talk to your ex about coordinating your efforts for the good of your child.  If bringing up your child degrades into a game of ‘who can give the biggest bribe’, then your child might think they are winning, but they will ultimately lose.

 

Read our Top 10 parenting skills and apply them with genuine love.  You will discover than being a good parent is more than just love, and that even as a single parent, you can do this successfully for your child.

Being a Good Parent as a Single

being a good parentBeing a good parent as a single mom or dad is possible and achievable.  It is certainly a harder ask than attempting this as part of a couple, but many would argue rightly that parenting alone is better than parenting with the wrong partner, or in an abusive relationship.

Being a Good Parent takes more than Just Love!

As a single parent I am sure that you love your children, but being a good parent is far more than that. In my charity running a home for young mothers, I have seen loads of girls who love their kids but cannot parent them properly, even to the point where the government removes them and places them in foster care.  Lots of love, sure, but no parenting skills!

Beyond loving your children being a good parent means making some tough choices and providing real leadership in the home, even as a single parent.  It means learning our Top 10 parenting skills, and applying them consistently. And consistently is the key word!

As a single parent you may not have someone with which to share the parenting load, discuss the situations you face or be there for you when you need help or a break.  If you lack a partner, I urge you to find someone else who can help, such as your mother, a close friend or an organization like the one I run, which is called Lily House.

You may feel that you would like to stand on your own, but trust me, even if you don’t work full or part time, you still can benefit from support.  If you don’t have someone close to you, you can pay for things like child care or after school support.

Sometimes being a good parent is about asking for help rather than continuing to do what you are doing and facing failure or collapse. It’s about being strong for your children and being a leader, rather than having them control you and your reactions.  It’s about acting with your kids instead of reacting. Good parenting is about good decisions you can make in the easy times that you stick to when the pressure is on.

Learning how to parent is very achievable for single moms and dads.  The pressure may be on to compromise, especially if you share custody, because chances are your ex is not going to parent in the same style as you do.  Nevertheless, if you do the right things in the long run your children will thank you for it.

Is Being a Good Parent about Being a Policeman?

Sometimes yes, you will have to make unpopular decision, and when your ex gets to have the fun times and you get to do the disciplining, is can be a difficult position.

That’s when you need to show unconditional love, as well as firm rules, and it may be the right time to talk to your ex about coordinating your efforts for the good of your child.  If bringing up your child degrades into a game of ‘who can give the biggest bribe’, then your child might think they are winning, but they will ultimately lose.

Read our Top 10 parenting skills and apply them with genuine love.  You will discover than being a good parent is more than just love, and that even as a single parent, you can do this successfully for your child.