Single parenting is so much more common these days, than it was even ten years ago. Parents wind up as single parents in a variety of ways, but once common thing remains the same – often a single parent feels as if they need to be both parents at once. So how do you go about being both parents at the same time, especially if the other parent isn’t involved or has limited involvement?
First of all, you don’t try to be two people at once. You need to focus on being the best mom or dad that you can be, and hope that it is enough.
Children from single parent households are not any more likely to turn out one way over the other, than those children who grew up in two parent households. In fact, it is more about effective parenting than it is about the number of parents in a child’s life.
Don’t sell yourself short. Often single parents over compensate for the missing parent, and this isn’t necessary. Most children thrive with love and attention and all it takes is one individual to provide that.
Even two parent households are sometimes one parent short because one might work strange hours or different schedules and might not be around as much. This doesn’t mean anything in the big scheme of things. It is about loving our children and showing them they matter, by one parent or with the help of another.
If your child asks question about a missing parent, it might be helpful to explain as much of the situation as you can, without divulging more information than they are ready to handle, but without telling lies either. In fact, open communication is fantastic for children to have with their parent, and there is nothing wrong with a little honesty or truth, if it isn’t too much for them to handle. This does not include speaking badly about a missing parent. There is a different between explaining a situation and simply saying “because he/she doesn’t care”.
Overall it is not your job as a single parent to be two parents at once, period. It is job enough to be a single parent without adding on an additional responsibility that isn’t even needed.
Do you find yourself over compensating as a single parent? How do you help to taper that natural urge to be both parents to your children?
Nicole Humphrey writes about the creative and memory preserving side of life and families in the Scrapbooking Blog and Fun Blog, provides helpful hints to blended families and single parents on the Parents Blog, and provides informative tips and advice for students, teachers and parents on the Education Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.