Keeping the Stress out of Single Parenting
By Marta Dodd
Researched through personal experience! by Marta Dodd
Budget Your Money. Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck like most of us, knowing how much money goes to where can be a big help. This gives you the relief that the bills are being paid, with a feel of how much you can spend on allowance, school photos, birthday gifts, entertainment or just You!
Keep a Daily Schedule. Time is important, so teach that to the kids by implementing a routine. Put together a schedule reflecting chore & homework time. If the kids know their daily routine then it gives them something fun to work for when the Room is clean or the garbage is taken out. Don't be afraid to make your own chores so that your children see you set a positive example.
Let Your Kids be Kids. Even though taking on Single Parenting has sometimes forced you to become serious and lacking laughter, remember those precious children never asked to be in this situation. Don't force them to grow up any faster and deal with the "Single Parent Issues" that we have to deal with. They are still kids and they shouldn't have to worry about anything other than "Kid Issues."
Stay Positive about the Other Parent. No matter the circumstances, don't down talk the other parent. If the Other Parent isn't paying child support, it's none of the kids business and shouldn't be something that is talked about if not brought up by the child. Whether the parent is around or away, it shouldn't matter. We once saw good in that person and regardless of how it is now, your child may always think the world of that Other Parent. In time the truth always comes out, and the only way a child will know is discovering for themselves.
Communicate to Your Children About the Special Circumstances of Your Family. You can keep your kids informed without telling them everything. If you talk to your kids early on, when they are ready, you can avoid having them learn from a distant relative, some other child from school or even a stranger.
Spend Quality Time with Your Children. Keeping your family going takes a lot of energy and a good amount of Quality time away from the kids. Set out a time each day to read, play a game, play on the computer or even learn something new. It could be 2 hours or 20 minutes. What matters is that your child know it's his/her time and they will look forward to each and every day.
Find Support and Use it. There is a lot of help out there, including the resources in this newsletter. Take advantage of them. They're there for you to utilize. I always keep in mind that one day soon I won't need them and I can turn around and help others in the same situation.
Take Time for Yourself. You may always have your children around, but don't forget you are still one person. Keep yourself healthy and feeling positive about being a parent. I know it gets tough and you feel like you are all alone, but you're not. Take some time out to spend with yourself or even to hang out with friends. Adult conversation and a movie is always nice after a long Saturday of nonstop giggling and cartoons!