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How to Succeed as a Single Parent 

by | Parenting

Oct 25, 2021

For one individual to fill the role of two parents is a huge task. However, this article is dedicated to single parents and the ways in which they can succeed! 

For two parents, raising a family can be really challenging. For one person to be both mom and dad is even tougher.  

It is common for a parent to end up tackling the difficulties of life without a partner- just their youngsters, but it is not easy.  

As a single parent, you will face lots of challenges as you nurture your child into adulthood. But always remember that ending up with a healthy child starts with you finding a good balance between your home life and your job. And if you find yourself struggling financially, your best bet would be to make a budget.    

Read on to learn more about ways to succeed as a single parent. 

1. Embrace your new life 

Adjusting to being a single parent is daunting. Taking up the responsibilities can leave you drained—emotionally and physically. You may even start to entertain negative emotions and thoughts.  

Loneliness, envy, anger, frustration can be associated with these emotions. You should take note of this problem if you find yourself getting too tired, moody, irritable, or overworked. This is even more obvious and worse for people who are mourning a spouse or have been in a bitter divorce.   

But realize that wishing that your life was better or that you had a different one will not help you do a good job parenting that child you love with your life. Embracing your new life with gusto is the beginning of success. 

[Read: 6 Ways You Can Succeed as a Single Dad]

2. Get organized

Good organization is a key to be a successful single parent. Acting as a homemaker, nurse, father, mother, breadwinner, a teacher can pull you in many directions at the same time—the key to succeeding lies in your level of organization.   

If you have children that are old enough, let them help you with the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. This will not only help you lessen the stress, but this will also help them learn about responsibilities. It will also make them feel needed and useful.  

3. Build closeness  

Children who have lost a parent due to death or divorce, or separation can crave more attention than regular kids, especially at the earlier stage. 

Every child who has lost a parent experience a feeling of insecurity at least once in their lifetime. Some grow up with it. You will need to learn how to empathize with your child without letting your own emotions get in the way. 

By supporting them, teach them that they did nothing wrong to cause what happened. Children have been known to blame themselves for any mishaps around them.   

4. Watch your kid’s activities as much as possible

Monitor your child’s homework and help them with subjects you feel they might be lacking without pressure. Let them have remedial if it will help them improve, especially if their teacher or school administration suggested it.  

Your child will be encouraged to do better as long as they are encouraged, and one way to do that is to be involved in your child’s life as much as possible.  

Study your child’s friends. Make your home the hub for their activities. This way, you can sieve some negative influence from their life. Teach them the importance of studying people well before making them friends. 

5. Stay positive  

Yes, you have tough luck, but being negative about it will not solve anything. There are two ways to approach every situation, and staying positive is the best option. Being negative attracts all sorts of negative feelings and can destroy your good rapport with your children and sap your strength. 

No matter the cause of your single parenting status, don’t give anger, bitterness, and envy a chance. Other single parents have raised wonderful children alone. You can do the same or even better. Staying positive is essential for success. 

[Read: 6 Ways You Can Succeed as a Single Mom]

6. Seek professional help with your finances  

Everyone needs professional help once in a while. Your financial aspect is no different. The best bet when you can’t keep your account balanced is to seek professional help, especially when it is affecting your daily spending. 

Taking your kids grocery shopping is a way to teach them the idea of budgeting. Call their attention to the prices of products and why you go with a particular product above another. 

Take a critical look at your spending habit. Are you racking up too much credit debt? Do you buy things for your kids as compensation for the lack of a second parent? This way, you’ll know where to curb your spending.  

7. Be cordial with your ex  

If you are sharing custody with your spouse and there is enmity between you two, beware of the words you use when talking to your ex, especially when you have kids in the vicinity. Badmouthing them to your kid is also unhealthy for your kid’s mental health. 

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It is better to develop a working relationship with your ex when it comes to discipline or any other issue that may affect your child’s welfare.

Treat your ex as you would a co-worker; In a workspace, you do not have to get along well with your co-worker, but you would strive to be amicable with them in order to have a more effective working environment.

You and your ex may not always agree, but each misunderstanding does not need to lead to outright war. 

8. Take good care of yourself  

Exercise-like activities, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy meals will go a long way to help your physical and mental capabilities. Taking few minutes between daily routine to stretch or take leisure walks is a way to pace yourself and love your body, especially when you have a lot taking your attention. 

Remember, a car with no fuel breaks down. 

[Read: The Secret Formula to Make Your Child Study and Do Homework]

9. Consider your child’s feelings when dating  

When you start seeing someone new, it is right to think of the impact it may have on your child. Take time to study your new partner before introducing them to your child.

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Limit the number of romantic partners you introduce to your child. Bid your time to be certain your partner will treat you and your child with respect. 

When you are ready to make the introductions, tell your child about the good qualities the new person in your life has shown; and make them understand that your new partner is not in any way trying to replace the other parent. If you are a single parent—mom or dad, be rest assured that your family life can succeed

10. Schedule your work-time  

The goal is to make a suitable amount of money while also making time for your kid. You can work something out with your employer, like making a plan towards working the same hours on most days.

This creates stability for your child, and this will help them know that at the end of it all, you will be around to help them through the rest of their day. 

If your job demands you to work irregular hours, you may try to negotiate with a co-worker or your employer to ensure you are home early in the morning to help them get ready for the day or help them prepare for bedtime

If your employer is not helpful, swapping shifts with a co-worker as much as possible might be the best bet. 

11. Have bonding moments with your child.   

When home, create time to eat meals, read, play games, or help your kid with homework. Children crave attention, and the more you give, the better.

Interacting with them about the outside world and their favorite discussions can be helpful too. Praise them for little and big achievements. 

If they are not doing well in school or have lost flair for their interests, take time to talk to them, understand why this is happening, and figure out how you can be supportive and helpful. 

Remind them at every opportunity that you love them unconditionally. 

[Read: 10 Things You Do Unconsciously Without Knowing]

Bottom Line

Starting a family can be rough, but it is an exciting journey. You can succeed as a single parent if you let go of the past and focus on how to make the present and future better. 

It is easy to fall into despair and feel guilty about financial problems or a failed marriage, but dwelling on the problems will not improve the situation. Channel your energy into making your new reality productive. 

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

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By Grace Obisesan

Obisesan Grace is a freelance writer. She has worked as a reporter for a magazine firm called Ijebu Flavors and as a content creator with Jetheight Services. Obisesan is obsessed with creativity, and she likes to spend her free time learning how to improve her skills. She enjoys watching Sci-Fi and action movies, reading numerous fictional works, writing poetry, and listening to continental music. She is currently taking a creative writing course at Wesleyan University, USA.

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