Dealing with it all, single-handedly

Dealing with it all, single-handedly

lone ranger

Dealing with it all, single-handedly

Parenting is quite challenging at all stages of child development. And it’s even tougher when you are a single parent.

If many struggle to deal with the constant demand for care and attention by the kids, others grapple with the innumerable choices of parenting styles available today. Some people say parenting is an art and has to be approached scientifically. But single parenting needn’t be difficult or scientific or stressful. All one needs are some  do’s and don’ts and you will be set to go.

Now there could be a variety of reasons for the need of single parenting to arise. Some could be personal and others could be professional. Single parenting also arises when one has a spouse ailing with illness. Divorcees are often found to be dabbling in single parenting.

Even a spouse who travels frequently or is out of station for long periods of time could pave the path for single parenting. If a parent is too busy with his/her professional assignments, the other parent has no choice but to deal with the child single-handedly.

While there are no instant solutions to parenting problems, here are some tips to help a single parent deal with some curveballs life throws at them. Since every child is unique, and their needs is different, there’s no guarantee that these tips will work. But they will simplify the process and lessen the stress.

Do’s

Health first: Single parents should take care of their health. Since they are the sole person involved in child upbringing, their good health is highly important. Next, pay attention to the child’s health. If you have a healthy child, managing the rest of them will be easy. So, make sure all the vaccinations are given on-time, ensure annual health check up (dental, vision and ENT). Be clear and aware of the diet the child takes. Feed the child with healthy and home-cooked food whenever possible.

Prioritise academics: Make it a point to involve yourself in children education, studies, and school or college activities, attend parent-teacher meetings and review the progress of your child in school, socially, emotionally and academically.  Parents should always connect with child on the education front. If possible, become the teacher for few subjects at home. That way, you get to know the real problems the child is facing, if there are any.

 Manage time: Time may be an issue for single parents. Use technology to make time; order online for all your home needs, pay all your bills online and so on. Such things will free up your timetable and let you tend to your child’s needs.

Freedom matters: Allow the child to explore the world. Don’t be too protective. Ensure that your limitations and concerns don’t stop them from enjoying school picnics, adventurous activities (like trekking), sports or even a simple activity like going out with friends or pursuing a hobby.

Build a support structure: Take support from extended family and from reliable sources. Have trusted family members as your back-up contacts in case you aren’t able to manage it all. Also, keep all the emergency contact numbers in an easy to access mode.

Don’ts

Yes, it is tiring to be a single parent. But don’t pass the stress on to your child.

Don’t disrespect the other parent in front of the child. It will help child to treat both parents equally. Try not to disconnect the child with other parent as much as possible.

Don’t make single parenting as an excuse. You may not be able to do everything all the time, but don’t blame your child for it. You are human, after all. Mistakes do happen and you will miss certain deadlines.

Don’t be possessive with your child, especially when the other parent wants to spend some quality time with the child. Allow them to have space to develop and nurture the relationship.

Don’t take all the blame upon you. With your best effort as parent, things can still go wrong. When things go wrong, don’t assume that you are not a good parent or you have failed. Everything will not be and cannot be in parent’s supervision in this technology world.
Parenting is a beautiful part of one’s lifetime and you should enjoy it as much as you can.

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