Many people in this world believe that single mothers cannot raise a child adequately on their own. There are stories that single mothers raise their sons to be effeminate and hate their daughters. However, over time, given the sheer number of single mothers, many of these myths are breaking. Here are 31 parenting tips for single mothers…
1. Maintain a positive attitude and let your kids know that their interests are your top priority.
2. Let your kids know you are the boss in your home. Your kids are not your peers; love them but expect them to accept your authority.
3. Be sure to ask for help when you need it. Don’t fall victim to the emotional overload syndrome.
4. Give your children predictable routines but be sure to inject plenty of activity and creativity into it.
5. Don’t hesitate to consult a psychiatrist if you find yourself unable to cope, sad and teary all the time. It’s likely you’re suffering depression.
6. Avoid becoming dependent on your ex-husband for anything other than your legal entitlements.
7. If you can pull in the help of friends, parents, relatives and other support groups, go ahead and do it.
8. Your kids are just kids; don’t turn to them for emotional support even if they seem very mature.
9. You are not superwoman; don’t expect yourself to be one. Set realistic goals as a family and work towards them together.
10. Give your children the stability and security they crave; tell them you love them and let them know you’re proud of them.
11. Know that you’re doing your best to perform two people’s jobs. Don’t allow your kids to make you feel guilty.
12. Don’t use your kids to deliver messages to your ex-husband or allow them to listen to your fights.
13. Prioritize tasks, plan vacations and allow your kids to input their thoughts without giving up your boss rights.
TIPS FOR RAISING A BOY CHILD
As a single mother, raising a boy child without the presence of a man can present a few challenges. Here are a few tips that’ll help you raise a boy child successfully.
14. Don’t expect your son to be the ‘man of the house’ the moment he turns a teenager. He is a child, not your rescuer and definitely not your confidant. Don’t let him feel that you are his responsibility, just because he’s male.
15. Check with the school if you can represent your child’s father in father-son events, unless your boy is acutely embarrassed by the thought.
16. If you feel negative about the men in your life, don’t express it in front of your son. He will feel you’re clubbing him in the same category, just because he’s male.
17. Boys tend to be more physical than girls; they need to express their feelings and excess emotions physically. Engage them in sports or set up a home gym. This will give them the healthy expression they need.
18. You are a female and your son is a male. There will be some basic differences of perception, reactions, expressions and attitudes. Accept those.
19. As he grows older, your boy may feel a certain amount of shyness around you. This is natural; don’t allow the teenage body awareness phase to drive a wedge between you both.
20. If your boy doesn’t confide in you as he grows older, it’s mostly because he feels that as a woman you won’t understand. Demonstrate your understanding without interfering.
21. Single you are the predominant influence in his life, initially your boy might show interest in your makeup and clothes. Don’t panic that he might turn out homosexual; this is a natural phase.
22. Try and get a strong man as a permanent male role model in his life, such as your father, brother or uncle.
23. Sometimes you will see your ex-husband in your son’s face, either in the features or the expression. Don’t let your negative feelings flow out to your son. This can seriously impact your son’s confidence in your love.
TIPS FOR RAISING A GIRL CHILD
Raising a girl can present some unique challenges, for which we’ve provided tips below:
24. You’re a mom, not a prison warden. If you have mistakes in your youth, that’s no reason to expect the same from her.
25. If you feel negative about the men in your life, don’t confide your thoughts in her. Her attitude towards men will reflect yours, as you are her unconscious role model.
26. Teach your daughter to value and respect herself, instead of criticizing everything she wears. Over time, she will learn how to dress.
27. Your daughter may not express it, but she needs you even as she grows older. Make sure that you’re available for her, despite any attitude she throws.
28. Your daughter doesn’t have to accomplish everything that you did when you were a girl. She can perform her own miracles.
29. Your negative fears have a tendency to turn into reality; so if you’re afraid that she’ll meet the wrong boy, get pregnant and so on, don’t express your fears.
30. If you hate certain things about yourself and notice the same flaws in your child, deal with your own negative feelings first.
31. Right from when she’s small, teach her that she’s a complete individual in herself and that she doesn’t need to run behind anyone to complete her. Build her self esteem continuously.
Marina is single mom and co-owner of 1001WallClocks.com