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.