Single parenting when unexpected is tough and few moms are really prepared of the responsibility that comes with it. As a single parent, it is your duty to play both the role of a father and a mother which means more responsibilities than you ever had before. To cope with this, you need to believe in yourself and your ability to get through every obstacle that will come along. Coupled with the loving support of your family and friends, you will eventually see that parenting in a one-parent family is not all difficulties and stress but joys and rewards as well. Here are some Purposeful Steps that can help you survive the life of single parenting:
Purposeful Step #1: How to get over guilt? As a single parent, it is likely for you to have moments of insecurity about your ability to raise your children alone. Feelings of guilt, regret, or even frustration are part of your unsuccessful attempt of giving your children a complete family. However, you must not let these negative emotions overpower you or else your children will also have unhealthy relationships towards you and other people.
Purposeful Step #2: How to provide make role models for your child? Experts say that it is important for single parents to expose their children to other positive men like their grandpa or their uncles. This allows children to feel that they can still receive the love and attention they would normally get from their fathers. The same is true for fathers. Expose your children to other positive women like their grandmother or their aunts.
Purposeful Step #3: How to seek child support? Your child deserves every kind of support from you and the other parent. Seeking child support is not a way to get back at the other parent, but a way to help you support your child. If a parent refuses child support, you can ask for government’s help. Many States are adopting laws to prevent delinquent parents running away from their responsibilities.
Purposeful Step #4: How to maintain a civil relationship with the other parent? Experts advise that it is your responsibility as a parent to keep the lines of communication open and maintain a civil relationship for the sake of the child. Except in the cases of life threatening conditions, you must learn to compromise to allow a good parent-child relationship.
Purposeful Step #5: How to answer when the child asks about the other parent? There will come a time when your child asks about his other parent. It is scaring but as the primary care giver, it is your responsibility to answer questions honestly and specifically as possible. You need to reassure your child that despite of the circumstances, both of his parents love him or her.
Purposeful Step #6: How to remind your child of the other parent? Even if a parent can’t play an active role in a child’s life it is still vital to keep positive memories in the child’s mind. Encourage your child to nurture his relationship by constantly remembering something good about the other parent, like a beautiful voice or a game they enjoy.
Purposeful Step #7: Ways to reach out to support networks. Swallowing a little pride and confiding some of your concerns to your family and friends will lighten your parental load. It will also help if you let your family and friends bond with your kids on special occasions or on weekends. Look for single parenting support groups within your community. Remember, you don’t have to be in this alone.
[Source: Black Life Coaches, Dr. Towanna Freeman]