There are so many challenges faced by single parents. Many people become single today, not by choice. There could be so many reasons. It could be because of war, natural disaster, divorce, breakup or the other partner refused to commit. And as kids who were raised by a single parent get older, they too may have a lot of unanswered questions about their background. They will also have a need to be recognized by their missing parents. All these can contribute to the challenges faced by single parents. In this article, I have written some common challenges and solutions for single parents.
4 Common Challenges And Solutions For Single Parents
1. Household chores
Household and responsibilities can be overwhelming for many who are recently divorced or widowed. The amount of tasks that they become responsible for can be shocking to them.
Furthermore, it can also be difficult for those that decide to be a single parent family. Taking care of house chores, helping out with school assignments, taking care of the kids and yourself can easily pass for a full time job. However, you can cope successfully.
Some simple solutions for single parents regarding the household chores is that; Firstly, you have to be conscientious about your domestic responsibilities and be happy to carry them out. It is essential to plan out household activities well beforehand to serve as a guide. This could save a lot of time.
Waking up early to start up your activities and being diligent at them can give you satisfaction and reduce need for repetition. Being diligent can also include delegation of chores. If you have a bit older children, they too can assist you with small chores around the house. This sense of responsibility can also add to the joy of your children.
However, you want to be careful not to overload them with too many responsibilities. Simple chores like cleaning the dishes and cleaning their rooms are good examples of where children can help out.
Single parents can also talk to knowledgeable friends for advice on handy solutions. Read how-to books or hire professional help if you can afford it.
2. Financial Burden
This challenge is most distressing for single parents who might not have had financial responsibilities. Now they have to provide for themselves and their children. Depending on your situation you might need to get a job to provide for your family or have to manage resources in a case where financial provision was made for this situation.
Whichever your situation is, it will require some skills on your part to manage. Some common solutions for single parents will be to enrol for a job training programme, skill acquisition seminars or a short term school course. These are good ways to prepare yourself to enter the job market.
Furthermore, preparing a monthly budget is a fine way to manage available resources. In a case where the money is limited it might become necessary to refrain from an expensive lifestyle as it might become really stressful to maintain. If this new adjustment cuts into some luxuries your children normally enjoy, it will be wise to sit them down and talk about it.
Overbearing financial responsibilities can be a very frustrating challenge for single parents. Having to work more hours to be able to provide might cut into valuable time that could have been spent with your kids. Try to spend as much time as your new busy schedule allows. Giving your children your love and attention can also help to reduce the impact of your financial limitations.
This might come relatively easier to a parent who the kids already see as an authority figure. Nevertheless, it might be a new terrain for many and can be really challenging mostly for women who have to raise a male child on their own. Feelings of grief, guilt or anger over a divorce or loss of a marriage mate can make it hard to find the right balance of discipline.
Furthermore, try to be reasonable, consistent and firm when applying discipline. Always remember that discipline has to match the offense and to be given not out of anger. It is important to note that discipline does not only include punishment but also involves training and instructions.
Moreover, it might be necessary for a divorced single parent to discuss with your former partner to set some ground rules and boundaries. This is essential as children sometimes might try to trick or use emotional blackmail to get things from you that you would not agree to.
Regularly communicating with your ex will help teach discipline to the children. Children will come around as they realise your discipline is out of love and you want what is best for them.
4. Emotional Care / Loneliness
After having a long day at work or being done with house chores, you might feel the need of a companion. The loss of a partner might leave both physical and emotional gaps in your life. Loneliness is often the biggest challenge many single parents face.
Spending time with your children can be emotionally satisfying for you and your kids. Remember that they look up to you for their emotional needs. It is normal for a single parent to be close with their children. However, it is important for the parent to know the boundaries and be able to keep them. Also, do not use your children to cover this space as it can be a burden on them.
For example, a single mother should not make her daughter a confidant, burdening her with intimate problems. This can be confusing for your child.
Getting a new hobby, spending time with new friends and going out on occasions are healthy ways that can help you get rid of loneliness.
Furthermore, dating is also an opportunity to keep you busy but you should only do this when you are ready and comfortable to do so. Do not rush it. Although many did not plan to have a single parent home, it can still be a success and give a lot of joy and satisfaction.
At certain points you might feel lonely or depressed looking at the challenges. During such periods, do not hesitate to talk to close friends and family members who show love to you. These ones can be a source of comfort and can even provide some assistance and relief to some challenges.
One solution for divorced single parents is to reach out to their former partner where applicable, especially in respect to the kids. It takes time and patience to master necessary skills. So do not be discouraged. Continuous effort will give you satisfaction as you will better handle the challenges and watch your kids grow to achieve their life’s dreams.
It is important to note that your child’s first feelings or impressions of love, feeling, authority, and power are shaped by the relationship the child has with you. When you and your children cooperate well together, it will contribute to a successful family. Furthermore, the challenges you faced will be reduced and your stress levels will be lessened. Above all, you will be happy. Implementing the solutions mentioned in this article can help you to overcome single parenting.