Of all the jobs in the world, nothing is more challenging, or rewarding, than raising a child. Even when an individual has to take on the task alone, single parenting today can provide intense joy and happiness. It can also be the source of frustration, depression and uncertainty. Add to that the fact that people expect imperfect beings to suddenly be able to navigate the extremely complex world of parenting flawlessly and it can come with extreme pressure, especially for singles.
The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that you are allowed to make mistakes, no matter what the world at large tells you. If you learn from them, you and your children can grow together. You will also educate yourself on how to provide the necessary tools that will enable your child to grow up strong, self sufficient and well balanced.
Playing both Mommy and Daddy
Single parenting today is especially tough when you don’t have contact with the other primary parent. This can be due to a lot of reasons, which include death, divorce and simple disappearance. Whatever the cause, the child may feel as if something is missing, especially when those important holidays roll around and that individual is not there.
One way to combat this is to try to fulfill the needs of the child that the other parent might have filled. It is easier than it sounds. For instance, if you are a mother raising a son alone, uncles and nephews may be on hand to teach the little one sports. A child who is missing a mother can get feminine guidance from a grandmother or aunt. Teachers, mentors and counselors are great resources when it comes to single parenting today as well. All have been known to provide a positive influence for kids.
Planning fun, “family time” activities with your child can also provide bonding experiences that cement feelings of love and trust. This can be important when the child feels the need to talk to you about things that upset them, like the fact the other parent is missing.
Cultivating Emotional Well-being
This leads us to another aspect of single parenting today-letting your child express himself. Sometimes, if the circumstances surrounding the other parent’s absence are painful, the primary provider may not wish to talk about it. Other well-intentioned parents believe that by keeping certain details way from their kids they are protecting them.
Depending on the child’s age, this may or may not be advisable. At any rate, if the child is asking questions, it is good to answer them as best you can. This makes them feel as if they can be open with you and you can develop a relationship with a strong communication foundation.
Single parenting today can be an extremely complex enterprise, but raising kids in any kind of home can be as well. Do not be afraid to seek advice from other parents and give yourself room to err and grow. If you combine this with giving your children plenty of love, attention and care, you will give them all the tools they need to become healthy, socially viable adults.