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Do’s and Don’ts of Single Parenting

Becoming a single parent means learning new things and fast. In addition to reading everything you can, sometimes the best (or hardest) lesson is through good, old-fashioned experience. I know as a divorced mother of two, I had to learn some pretty tough lessons through trial and error. Although I certainly don’t have all the answers, I thought I would share a few of the do’s and don’ts I discovered during my years as a single parent.

For starters, you should never place your child in a position of being your peer. Sure, your child can be a friend but only to a point. This means not sharing intimate details with your child, even if he or she is a teenager. I remember when my daughter and her dad were having a couple of rough years. She would hang up the phone from talking to him saying, “I hate him”.

Although I was none too fond of him myself at the time, I never said a bad word against him. Eventually, the two settled their differences and my daughter told me just recently, now six years later, “Thanks mom for not putting me against my dad even when I was mad at him.”

Something you shoud do is remember that no matter what, you are the parent. You can be sure that in a single parent home, your children will try everything possible to manipulate, not because they are bad kids but because they are normal kids. You must maintain the position of being the grown up in the house, which often means making tough, grown up decisions that may not make you the popular parent.

Finally, never use your child to be your gofer. In other words, if you need to get the child support check, you get it. Do not have your ex-spouse hand it over to the child to give to you. As the parent, you need to do everything possible to keep adult business separate. You never want to put your child in between differences, as stated. Therefore, you be responsible for adult business and just allow the kids to be kids.

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