Being a Single Parent
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Today’s families come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The “typical” household made up of 2 parents and 2.5 children is no longer typical. You may be raising your children on your own. Being a single parent can be challenging. It can also be very rewarding.
Path to improved well being
You may be a single parent due to divorce or death of a partner. Maybe you are parenting alone by choice. Being a single parent doesn’t mean you’re alone. You may have family members, friends, or neighbors nearby that can pitch in when you need them. You can also find a support group for single parents in your community. You’ll meet other people who are in similar situations. Participating in a support group gives you a chance to share your feelings and get advice.
Being a single parent can cause financial strain. You may have problems finding childcare. The life of a single parent can be very busy. In addition to parenting and taking care of your home, you may be working and/or going to school. It’s important to find a way to balance all of the parts of your life. The following are some tips:
- Accept help. If friends and family offer their help, take it! This can mean having someone play with your child while you run errands or having someone to call when you need to talk.
- Take advantage of local resources. Many communities offer play groups, after-school activities and parenting classes. These can give you and your child a chance to have fun, learn and make new friends.
- If you don’t get enough time with your child, look for creative solutions. For example, find out if your job lets you work flexible hours.
- Don’t forget to have fun. Take a break from your busy routine to plan something special for you and your child. For example, take a trip to the zoo or go out for ice cream together.
- Make time for yourself. You need to relax once in a while too! This can be as simple as taking 15 minutes to look at a magazine after your child goes to bed.
- Stay active. Find ways for you and your children to work exercise into your days. Staying active is good for you mentally and physically. It’s also a way for you to spend quality time with your children
Things to consider
Children benefit from good role models (adults who set an example of how to behave) of both sexes. Look for family members or friends of the opposite sex to be role models for your child. Invite a positive and responsible family member or friend to spend time with your child. If you don’t have a family member or friend available, groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters can help. Check your phone book or look online for programs in your area.
Parenting is hard work. All parents have times when they get angry or frustrated. But don’t take out your feelings on your child. If you are worried that you might hurt your child, get help right away.