Being a parent is never easy. Being a single parent is even more difficult. It’s a situation where you have to combine mom and dad into one well-rounded human being. A single parent basically has to roll two sets of hands, two pairs of ears and two sets of information and advice into one single person. Sounds impossible, but yet there are so many highly functional and successful single parent families across the globe raising children who are well adjusted, responsible little people.
The key to victory here must surely lie with setting strong ground rules and limits or boundaries that cannot be waived no matter what is happening in your personal life.
Set the boundaries
At the risk of sounding regimental, children thrive on routine and discipline, and without these two fundamental aspects you could be creating a rod for your own back. Of course, different ethnic groups, nationalities and religious groups all seem to conform to set standards to some extent or another as far as drawing boundaries goes with their children. But you can use your own discretion and set these boundaries within your ideal boundaries.
Mostly there isn’t any love lost between two partners of a broken marriage or relationship but set aside your personal differences with your ex-partner when it comes to the sake of your child. Remember, children are always the innocent sufferers in the aftermath of their parents’ messy break up, so do your best to shield your child from any possible disputes between the two of you.
If you play your cards straight up, you will more than likely be simultaneously cultivating an exceptionally close relationship with your child.
Incredibly special friendship
-My daughter and I were on our own from when she was just two years old, said Jean, a Durban single mum. -Lee and I formed the closest connection imaginable during those early years so when she diversed a little during her late teens, it was just temporary as she soon settled down and we were able to resume our wonderful connection. She is now a young woman and our bond, which is now stronger than ever, constitutes more than just a parent-child relationship, but an incredibly special friendship, too.
It is important that the child of a single parent family understands, without any measure of a doubt, who the -boss’ of the household is! Many children adopt this hierarchy if the rules set for them are constantly changing, depending on his parent’s mood. But it is actually very simple to define if you cautiously consider the rules you make and then stand fast, regardless of extenuating circumstances. Children learn how to manipulate in a manner impressive to professional con artists and they will, if allowed to, feel they rule the roost, manipulating both parents by playing one against the other. They virtually always achieve success this way if both parents are constantly fighting in front of the child or trying to win the child over by degrading the other parent. Don’t play games with your child’s emotions! It just isn’t cool!
It is vital that as a single parent you keep your senses well tuned in so as not to allow your young chancer to gain the upper hand or life could become a misery for you both!
Time for you
If you’re just embarking on single parenthood, be prepared. It’s difficult and often exhausting, but the joy of creating such a finely tuned relationship with your child is priceless. However, although -you’ time will be severely sabotaged, insist on some time and pleasures that are just for you whether they be walking alone on the beach in the drizzling rain, a night on the town with friends or indulging in a deep bubble bath with a good book and a glass of your favourite wine. Set this time aside, plan it, call a friend to babysit – just do it!