Happy, healthy, fulfilled children can be raised in any home, regardless of the relationship status of their parents.
It is a myth that all children from single parent homes are doomed to a life of misery and pain. Many amazing adult children of single parent homes have proven this myth as untrue. So what can you as a single parent do to ensure that your children will be one of the success stories?
1. Surround Your Children with a Variety of Positive Role Models
No matter how wonderful of a parent you are to your children, they will thrive with a variety of adult role models in their lives. Spend time with family members and friends who can contribute in positive ways to your children’s lives. Let them see positive perspectives that differ from your own, to help them become well-rounded and confident.
2. Put on Your Oxygen Mask
One of the things we as single parents must remember is to put on our own oxygen masks before trying to help others around us. We will be of no value to our children if we do not keep ourselves healthy and sane. Make time for yourself and allow yourself to grow personally and to take regular breaks. This will translate into being a better parent, which benefits your children as well.
3. Don’t Let Bitterness Overtake You
One of the worst things you can do when your children have experienced a loss is to allow yourself to become bitter. Even if your ex has hurt your children through their actions or inactions, staying positive and free from bitterness turns you into a healthy role model for your children. Know that taking the high road will have positive effects on your children’s emotional health that last for years to come.
4. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
When you have been through big life issues that have brought your family a lot of pain, it is easy to become fearful and to begin to live in constant pain. It is important to stop and smell the roses, and take time to enjoy life. Life is serious, but it doesn’t need to be all serious. Make time for fun, and enjoy every moment possible with the children you have been blessed with.
5. Don’t Parent Out of Guilt
As a single parent, you might look at all the things your children don’t have. If this becomes your focus, though, you will begin to parent them out of guilt. This will push a victim mentality onto your children, which will not serve them well in life. Acknowledge your children’s situation and the pain they have felt, but guide your children with the positive knowledge that they have everything they need to succeed in life.
Being a single parent has many potential pitfalls. However, your children need not experience any of these pitfalls if you have planned to avoid them in advance. Take a proactive step and learn these secrets to raising happy, healthy children.