Tag Archives: struggles with the single parent families

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.

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!

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.

Struggles with Single Parent Families and Shared Custody

struggles with single parent familiesThere are many struggles with single parent families which are unique, especially if the estranged mom or dad is still in the picture!

Having two parents in a family gives them the opportunity to share the load and the burden together, and when things get too much you have the opportunity to sit and talk with someone who understands your situation. For single moms or dads this is not the case.

Key Struggles with Single Parent Families and Shared Custody

 

One of the key problems has to do with shared custody, because sometimes your ex-partner is not going to share the same values and concerns that you have. In many cases, the kids are used as a pawn in an elaborate family game where parents try to use each child to attack their former partner.

This is common behavior but it is very unfair on the kids and also on the adults. If you are parenting your family and want to do a great job despite the separation, here are some key struggles with single parent families and shared custody that you need to consider…

Different values
It is common in shared custody that each of the parents have different values when it comes to bringing up the family. One might be stronger on discipline while the other is very lax, or one might prefer junk food where the other insists on eating healthy.  Financial differences can also be a source of friction. These differences can take a happy family and cause them to turn on each other, and the pressure is greater if you are estranged.  The best advice is to sit with your ex-partner, decide to help one another in the family and talk each family problem through, so that even if you don’t get on well with your ex-partner you can at least present a united front on key ethical and behavioral situations within in the family.

Fun Parents and Boring Parents
Very often in shared custody situations the adult who does not have the children (often the father) has the opportunity to make each moment count and have fun with the kids, whereas the primary care giver (often the mother) has to indulge in more mundane day to day activities with the children. Whichever category you are, it is important that you do not paint yourself as the fun one and your ex-partner as the boring or strict one! Your goal may be to earn a few brownie points by doing this in the short term, but in the long term your behavior will be exposed for what it is and the children will lose respect for.

Manipulating Behavior in your Child
Your children are born with an innate, genetic  ability to become master manipulators, and this is especially one of the key struggles with single parent families. A child is an expert at playing one of the parents off against the other in any family situation, and this is especially true when the parents are against one another. The only way to combat this behavior is to talk it out with your ex-partner and make sure that neither of the parents are manipulated by any child. Be wary of comments like, “Dad always lets me do this,” because if you have a difficult relationship your child knows that you will have difficulty testing the validity of this statement.

It is possible to have a stable, productive and successful family, even if is custody related stress involved. The key point is that, no matter what you think of your former partner, you need to open channels of the dialogue between you, for the sake of the children and especially for the sake of their character development.

You will face unique behavioral struggles with single parent families, but if you work together you will be able to overcome them, always put the child and their social or emotional development first, and bring up fantastic children, even if the parents are not together.