Parenting is one of the most important and challenging jobs in the world. Being a single parent is even more challenging. No child comes with instructions. Every child is different. You are still going to need friends and family to support you.
You have already learned some of the styles that work for you and your children. Each of the styles I am going to mention are general. You are going to need to find what works for you.
I am using the word "styles" in its broadest sense. It is more than methods of parenting. It also includes taking care of your own psychological, physical, mental and spiritual needs. It is important for you to be healthy to parent well.
Here are nine positive parenting styles for single parents:
1. Love yourself:
First, you need to take care of yourself. You need to be at your best for yourself and your child. Make time to go out with friends. Get plenty of sleep. Make sure you and your child eat well.
Continue to nurture your adult needs through for example, work, volunteering, hobbies, joining a group, being part of a religious or spiritual community and having time to relax. This is important.
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2. Ask for help when you need it:
Raising children with a partner is tough enough, doing it alone is even harder. If you find yourself in a place where you are struggling as an individual and as a parent, there are people to help you.
There is no shame in getting assistance. Getting help is a sign of strength when you have the wisdom to reach out for help.
You might have a friend or family member you trust to help you. If you need more than what they can offer you can find a minister, priest, rabbi, mullah, or other spiritual leaders. There are counsellors, psychologist and coaches who can help you.
I urge you to get help before the issues become severe. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The important thing is that you get the help you need.
3. Your child needs you to be their parent:
You may get lonely parenting by yourself. In the early years of your child's life, you need to remember he or she is your child and not your friend. You need to go elsewhere to find friendship.
You are there to make sure your child gets everything she or he needs to grow up into a healthy adult. You need to make sure your child stays healthy through getting proper rest and good food.
It is important to make sure your child gets the education they need. You need to support them through their schooling.
It is vital for you to keep them physically and emotionally safe. Sometimes this will mean saying no to something your child wants to do that is not safe. It can mean physically stopping them from doing something dangerous; e.g. preventing your child from running across a busy road or stopping them from touching a hot burner.
Your goal as a parent is not to be popular but to be faithful to raising your child in the best way possible.
4. Make sure your children know they are loved:
The most important thing you can do is to make sure your child feels loved. The best way to do this is to spend time with them.
You need to let them know, that you love them unconditionally. This does not mean you appreciate every choice they make. The more your child can understand that there is nothing that will stop your love for them the better chance they have growing up into well-adjusted adults.
Take the time to listen to your child. Play with them, read to them and sing with them. Go on outings to parks, pools, playgrounds, museums, gardens, movies, plays, concerts and they will know they are valued. The most important thing is that you take the time to be with them.
Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that it is enough to spend money on your child without you spending time with him or her. While a child may not admit it, your time and attention are far more critical.
5. Remember that no one of us, parent or child is perfect. Make room for grace and love:
No one is an ideal parent or child. Thankfully your child is most likely resilient and will still grow up into a mature adult despite the imperfections of your parenting.
It is still essential to do your best, but don't despair if you fall short of being the perfect parent. If your child knows they are loved they will mature into beautiful women and men.
Do not compare your child to others in your family or among your friends. Each child is unique. Your goal is to help them to feel happy, loving, content, intelligent and feel capable.
You are there to help your child to discover who they are and what they are meant to do in the world. Celebrate with your child no matter what they discover their passions are even if it is not what you dreamed for her or him.
6. Know your strengths and weaknesses:
The better you know yourself the better the parent you will be. Learning about yourself is a life long journey.
When you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you can discern what help you need.
You may discover that your child has an issue that you don’t have the knowledge or resources to help them with. Thus, it is in your child’s best interest to find someone who can assist them.
Pay attention to the mirroring of your issues by your children. It may be hard to accept but, you will you become healthier if you act on these insights.
7. Give the child the type of parenting they need:
No two children are alike. One of your children might need to help to slow down and relax. Your next child might need encouragement to play with kids of his or her age. Another child might need help to overcome their anxiety.
8. Walk your talk. Don’t say one thing and do another:
Your child is observing you. Hence, it is vital that you walk your talk. If you say one thing and do another thing, your child is not going to take you seriously.
Your daughter or son needs you to be consistent in what you say. They want to trust you, but they will have a hard time when you do the opposite of what you say.
9. Enjoy every moment in life:
Your child will grow up very fast. Enjoy the wonder of the moments you have with them as they grow up. Every part of their young lives is precious and goes quickly.
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Being single and raising a kid can be a rich experience for all. Remember to take care of your own needs. Continue to discover who you are. Your child will teach you a lot about yourself.
You are not perfect. No one is! Remember children are resilient. Most children will grow into mature, responsible adults despite the imperfections of your parenting. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes.
Help your child to know they are loved unconditionally by spending quality time with them. Remember you are the parent. Your job is to help them to become adults who will help to make the world a better place.
Stay curious to discover who your child is revealing him or herself to be. Stay consistent. Walk your talk.
Enjoy the journey with your child as you watch them grow into adulthood.
I am, Roland Legge a Life Coach here to help you to be the best parent you can be. You can join my private newsletter list for Free Monthly Advice and get Your Free Enneagram Test and sign up for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call with me in my Acuity Scheduling Calendar