In this day and age, it’s understandable that you’re looking for single parent tips online. Parenting is not easy, but single parenting is on a different level altogether. It’s like walking on a tightrope balancing between work and domestic life.
The U.S. has the highest rate of children living with single parents globally, so as a single parent, know that you’re not alone in this. There has always been a stigma surrounding single parenthood and a misconception that children raised by single parents are not as successful as those raised in two-parent homes.
However, things have changed a great deal over the years, and children raised by single parents are thriving as well. Sometimes better. Still, this doesn’t make raising the children easy, so we have some parenting tips single parents should know on how to be a great parent.
1. Never Neglect Self Care
As a single parent, juggling between work and domestic life can be hectic, and it’s easy for you to neglect self-care and your own needs as an individual. The truth is, you’ll be in the best condition to take care of your children if you’re healthy and well-rested.
If you’re like most parents, you place the needs of your children first, and there’s nothing wrong with this. However, you may also have noticed that this usually results in a vicious cycle of exhaustion and inadequacy for you as the parent.
One of the most vital single parent tips most people forget is that it’s important to make time for themselves. Eat healthy meals regularly, rest as much as you can, and get in some exercise whenever you have the chance. Given that your children depend solely on you, it’s essential to make sure you are in a good position and well-equipped to take on all the responsibilities.
2. Accept Help When Given
It’s understandable sometimes to take everything on yourself and be a superhero, and it’s alright if you have all your bases covered. However, it’s also okay to accept help when it’s offered to you. You may have people in your life who are willing to assist you with taking care of your children.
If you do, help them understand what kind of things you would appreciate. It could be anything like watching the kids for a day so you can have some time for yourself or helping drive them to school. Whatever can make your schedule or your life easier, take care if it comes from a sincere place.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your weak, incompetent, or incapable of taking care of your children. It means you’re allowing your loved ones to give you a much-needed break.
3. Plan for Emergencies and Contingencies
As a single parent, emergencies can take you off guard and take a toll on you if you’re not ready. It’s incredibly important that you have a back-up plan for any kind of emergency situation. Create a list of some of the dependable people in your life that you would call at a moment’s notice,
If you’ve just had a baby, it’s important that you watch them at all times, so get a baby monitor with 2 cameras to ensure you don’t miss anything. For older children, check out any emergency drop-in daycare or babysitting services in the area for those times when you need to dash out and leave the kids in quality care.
Additionally, it’s important for you to make a list of numbers for professional healthcare services in case of emergency situations. It’s also vital that you have arranged finances that would cover you in such situations without having to be anxious and stressed about it.
4. Join Other Single Parents
In the U.S. alone, over 15 million children live with their single mothers, and over 3 million more live with their single fathers. You may feel like you’re the only single parents who know how tough times can be. With such high numbers, you’re bound to find others in the community who understand exactly what you’re going through and would be willing to join forces with you.
It’s easy to find other parents in the community through your children’s school or extracurricular activities. You can also find them online through social media groups and other platforms. Once you form a group, you can arrange playdates, babysitting swaps, carpools, and anything else that makes life easier.
Go the extra mile to build a community with not only single parents but all kinds of families that share a common interest. Having a community with different types of people and different kinds of families will offer diversity and excitement into your lives. Create mutually beneficial relationships that will help you nurture your children to be happy and responsible adults.
5. Create Routines
Proteins are vital for children, whether in a single-family or not because then they know what to expect and get some semblance of control. When a child goes through many daycare centers or has multiple caretakers, their lives may seem a bit chaotic and completely unpredictable. This makes it vital for you as the parents to establish a routine for your children.
Have a weekday routine that includes meal times, chores, bedtime, and before or after school. A routine doesn’t necessarily mean that things should not change, but that you have a default setting that everyone understands when you have no activities or events to attend. Your days are bound to be more seamless when everybody knows what to do and when to do it.
6. Be Consistent With Your Rules
As a single parent, sometimes enforcing rules and discipline seems like the hardest task when taking care of children. This is more so when you have other caretakers such as your ex-spouse, parents, or grandparents who may not enforce the same rules. However, it’s vital that you be firm and consistent with all the rules you establish in the house and all your disciplinary action.
Talk to all other responsible parties and come to an agreement upon what approach to take when it comes to discipline. This means that your children will realize rules can’t be bent regardless of who they are with, and they will not have the opportunity to undermine you if others allow them to get their way.
7. Always Remain Positive
When all is said and done, it’s essential for you to stay positive in all this because “mind over matter.” Your mentality can change your perspective on things and make seemingly difficult situations much easier to handle. This is one of the best single parent tips on this post, so if you’re going to take anything, take it.
Beyond that, children detect shifts in parents’ attitudes, which may affect them negatively. Even when things are hard, keep a positive outlook, especially in front of your children, and try to focus more on the positive things in your lives.
The Best Single Parent Tips
Being a single parent is undoubtedly a challenge, and without a spouse to fall back on, you have a lot more on your shoulders. Still, with these single parent tips, you’re in a better position to take care of yourself and your family while still enjoying parenthood.
If you’d like to know more about personal finances and how to manage your finances as a single parent, please check our blog section for valuable posts.