Single parents are often working parents because someone needs to earn money to buy food, clothing, and a place to live. People work for other reasons, too. A job can let a person use his or her special talents and skills. A job can be important because it helps people in the community. Or a job can simply be exciting or interesting. Although single parenting is quite a lifetime task, there are ways to take on this responsibility.
Parenting is undoubtedly a major responsibility, more so when the mantle falls on a single parent. A single parent has to bear with added responsibilities, tensions and pressures. Either due to separation, divorce or death of a spouse, a single parent is left alone to deal with multiple tasks. But that should not make a single parent’s life very bleak. There are always meaningful ways to overcome the initial apprehensions about single parenting. Let us see what exactly a single parent must face and how.
If you are a single parent, you have to take care of all the physical and emotional needs of your child. Right from personal hygiene, dietary habits, school work, punctuality and peer group. You can partially share this responsibility with the child’s grandparents or a trusted friend or even a loyal maidservant. But you are ultimately responsible at the end of the day. Never regret this responsibility. Always take refreshing breaks from the routine and come back fresh with new ideas to groom your child better.
Confide in your trusted relatives while taking important decisions concerning your child’s future, be it education or hostel accommodation or foreign travel. You will be surprised about the fact that there are people offering unbiased advice. If you are on talking terms with your ex-spouse (now separated), consult him or her on major occasions. Let the child also meet the separated parent. But if this adds to the complications, take the decisions on your own.
A single parent has to take the place of the missing parent. You should offer a healthy wholesome human being as a parent. As far as possible, never let your bitterness, bad experiences, annoyance and anger, infect your child’s psyche. Be frank with the child. Make him or her your companion. Never ever poison the child’s mind against the separated spouse. And make the child realize the importance of friendships and lasting human relationships.
YOUR OWN HEALTH
Remember that you are not only a parent, but a human being as well. It is very easy to get carried away and try to do everything for your child yourself, without taking any outside help. But you are bound to get tired and frustrated and you may start taking out these emotions on your child. So it is equally important to look after your own needs in terms of having a healthy social life. If you are working, you must come home feeling healthy and happy. Try to spread your responsibility or else you may spend quantity time rather than quality time with your child. For example, never feel guilty while employing a housemaid or a cooking help.
PEER PRESSURE AND ITS IMPACT ON YOUR CHILD
Imagine your child on Parent’s Day at the school. Prepare yourself and your child for such situations. Talk about these problems. Never let such issues spoil you child’s fun. Give the child an added ability to cope with uncomfortable questions from his friends. Tell the child to never hide the fact that he or she has a single parent. Of course, that does not mean that the child volunteers this information. But let the issue of single parenting not be a shameful secret. Or else, the child will turn hypersensitive and withdrawn. Never let your child develop any personality disorder. You should take the initiative from the initial years. As is said, attitude is everything. Therefore, if you don’t indulge in bouts of self-pity and depression, single parenting will not unsettle your child.
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