How to be a Positive Role Model as a Single Parent

Being A Single Parent

Whether it’s the result of death, divorce or by choice, the number of single parents in America today has risen exponentially in the past 30 years. Gone is the stigma of being a single parent.

Dads are raising daughters and Moms are doing the same for their sons. Is it easier to parent a child of the same sex? Absolutely.

But it isn’t impossible.

Has the American Dream Died?

In a word, no. But it has morphed since the two-parent household days of “Father Knows Best” and “Ozzie and Harriet”.

The American dream of owning your own house, feeling safe in your neighborhood and having a good family relationship is still very much alive.

The rising divorce rate in America has created an atmosphere of disposable families. While we still believe a loving two-parent household is best, we realize that kids will do better in school and in life without the tension of parents who are battling each other.

Communicate

Fear is the biggest killer of relationships because fear causes us to remain silent. You and your child need to talk all the time whether it’s about allowance, friends or starting to be more independent as a new driver.

If you talk honestly with your child and tell them what it’s like to be a single parent from your perspective, she will be more likely to talk with you about her issues as well.

Does that mean you should treat your kid like your BFF? No, not at all. But there’s no harm in saying things like needing to stick to your monthly budget when she wants to buy the latest designer wear. Explaining how budgets work, how life evolves by using open communication is a healthy way to be a positive role model.

Show Don’t Just Tell

Telling your child you love them is important to be sure. But showing them? That speaks volumes. Take time each day for you to play with your kids. Moms, throw a ball around with your sons. Time is the best gift you can give your child and that teaches them to value relationships.

This also extends to you as a parent reaching out for help when you need it. And let your child see that you’ve asked for help. It will show her not to be afraid of asking for help every now and again.

Set Boundaries

This can be as simple as speaking respectfully all the way up to making a plan with your teen when she starts getting together with friends and partying. Talk about what you will and won’t accept and make a plan together.

Opposite Sex Role Models

Avoid trashing an ex-spouse to your child and include friends of the opposite sex who aren’t romantic partners. This shows your kid that she can have male friends without it being a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship which helps her build solid relationships with both sexes when she gets older.

Single parenting is challenging but is also filled with the joy of showing your child how good life can be.

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