Newsletter Signup

emailEnter your email address to receive our FREE weekly parenting newsletter
  View Email Archive

Latest blog Posts

Parenting Articles about Single Parents

 1 2 Next

Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Many parents are at a loss for what to do with their older children during the summer months – they may get the summer off, but you probably don’t. That leaves a whole chunk of time to fill each day. How do you know if your child is responsible enough to be left home alone? What if you know he isn’t, but he won’t stop begging to be in charge of his own schedule this summer?

Read more »

5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face: How to Handle the Most Challenging Parenting Issues

5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face: How to Handle the Most Challenging Parenting Issues

Watching my child struggle without stepping in to “fix” things for him was one of the hardest things I’ve personally experienced as a mom, even though I knew it was the best thing for him. And the truth is, from the very beginning, being a mother is a balance of taking care of your kids while letting them grow up and learn from their mistakes. Your role of simply loving and protecting your baby from pain and discomfort changes to one of accepting that your child or teen will need to experience natural consequences for his or her actions. The hard part (for them and for us!) is that these consequences almost always include some discomfort, disappointment or pain.

Read more »

Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Do your kids drive you crazy? If you were asked to describe them, after saying, He's a good kid, but... would you use words like “defiant,” “whiny,” “unmotivated,” “disrespectful,” “angry,” or “demanding,” with a few positives sprinkled in? If the negatives loom larger in your mind than the positives, the first thing to realize is that this is natural. We parents are human after all, which means we tend to look for what’s wrong with our offspring so that we can focus on what we should “fix” in them. Somehow this calms us down; we believe we are improving their chances of long-term survival in an often difficult world.

Read more »

Perfect Parents Donít Exist: Forgive Yourself For These 6 Parenting Mistakes

Perfect Parents Dont Exist: Forgive Yourself For These 6 Parenting Mistakes

Guilt and parenthood just seem to go together. Maybe you lost control and screamed at your child today, or perhaps you’re struggling to give your kids enough—or you might be worrying that you’re doing too much. Whatever the cause, most parents experience guilt regularly. I’ve talked with so many people who were beating themselves up over something they’d done, sure they’d failed as a parent. But as James Lehman said, “It’s not about blame or fault; it’s about taking responsibility.”

Read more »

The Single Parent Juggling Act: 5 Tips to Help You Manage

The Single Parent Juggling Act: 5 Tips to Help You Manage

There’s a famous quote about Ginger Rogers that says, “She did everything that Fred Astaire did, only backwards.” In some ways, being a single parent is similar, except you’re doing everything other parents do, onlysolo.

Read more »

Flying Solo: Six Ways to Soar as a Single Parent

Flying Solo: Six Ways to Soar as a Single Parent

Jill is a single mom of a nine-year-old daughter, whom she’s been raising by herself since Haley was an infant. “The hardest part about being a single parent is having no one else there when Haley acts up. It’s all me. She doesn’t listen to me, and then I just don’t know what to do. I’m really getting anxious about her teenage years. I’m not sure if I can keep her on track by myself, she’s so willful.”

Jill is far from being alone. Single parenting is one of the toughest jobs on the planet, yet more than 50 percent of households in America are headed by just one parent. Much of the time that parent is working full-time and trying to maintain the home, in addition to everything that comes with raising a child. To make matters worse, often single moms and dads, like Jill, report feeling as if their children aren’t listening to them or following family rules. Coupled with the guilt that many single parents feel, this can be a one-two punch to the faith you have in the job you’re doing as you raise your kids on your own. So what can you do to maintain confidence in yourself and peace in your home?

Read more »

Invite Gratitude into Your Life Every Day

Blogger I love November; a month filled with reminders to be thankful. Itís such a simple concept, yet we always need reminders to be grateful for what we have.† As many single parents know, me included, itís so easy to get caught up in the mantra of wanting MORE. We want MORE money because weíre exhausted from stretching that paycheck until it screams. We want MORE breaks in life because, quite honestly, sometimes just surviving the day wipes us out. We want MORE opportunities for our kids because we feel that living in a single-parent home puts them at a disadvantage. And we want MORE love in our lives because, dang it, it feels good; sometimes I feel like I can go three days just on a heartfelt compliment! At different times in my life, Iíve found that if I donít take the time to recognize and appreciate the gifts the world offers each day, I start to become insatiable: wanting bigger, better, faster, more.† I feel seemingly incapable of being grateful for the all the small things that, in actuality, are the big things. Yet how do we develop ďan attitude of gratitudeĒ that isnít limited to the month of November? I want this practice to become a part of my everyday routine, all year round. Iím a strong believer in the ďfix what you can and let go of the restĒ approach.† Yes, Iíve had to work hard and child support was sporadic, but Iíve been able to support my boys pretty wellóthatís something to be grateful for. While our home has drafty windows and tiny bedrooms, we all have our own space.† Our vehicles are over ten years old, but they deliver everyone safely to school and work. It could be so much worse. But itís even more than that.† Itís not just about appreciating that weíre not at rock bottom.† Itís about valuing what we do have.† I remind myself that I live in a neighborhood so safe that Iíve never even seen a smashed pumpkin.† That my boys were able to attend a very impressive school district filled with teachers who poured knowledge into them; that my children are witty, bright and kind.† And having kids who are healthy and thriving is something to cherish. In my bedside table is a notebook that I have used in the past to list five blessings daily. Reviewing those gems is a delightful way to see all of the riches around me, and to open my eyes to the beauty and love that is always present. I think itís time to make recording those daily blessings a habit again. When my boys were quite young we were big fans of the ďlist three good things that happened to you todayĒ ritual during dinner. I wish I had recorded those moments!† Still, itís not too late to resurrect that routine. I no longer want to take for granted that my cupboards always have enough food to keep my family vibrant and strong; that nature presents such incredible beauty, even in the midst of a snowstorm or cloudy day. I want to smile as I think of how my boys always hold a door open for someone, or ask others how their day is going. I never want to ignore that I have a job that makes me happy, with coworkers who are rooting for my success. How about the fact that we have clean drinking water coming out of every faucet in our homes! This is such a basic, simple thing, yet how many thousands of women in other countries spend their days walking for hours to get their familiesí daily supply of water? What could you do in your home, with your family, to take the focus away from wanting more and place it on learning to appreciate what you already possess? Teaching this lesson to our kids is one of the finest ways we can help them grow into the adults this world so desperately needs. Be grateful! Renee Brown is the tired yet happy mother of two young adult sons, Sam and Zachary. Almost an empty nester, she loves sharing her single parent experiences with the goal of providing hope and encouragement to those struggling on that long and winding road. Renee lives in Minneapolis, works in advertising, and also blogs for Your Teen magazine.
Read more »

Accepting the Gift of Help

Blogger When youíre raising kids on your own, you are a downright super hero. Making sure everyone gets to where they need to be, with all of their equipment and paperwork and lunches and gym shoes, is absolutely a Herculean effort. Even an average Tuesday can rock the socks right off of you at times.
Read more »

You Can Make Time for Yourself

Blogger I am the type of person that wants it all, and I want it all NOW. This mentality makes me feel like Iím perpetually chasing a bus I cannot catch, no matter how fast I sprint.† Some days, it feels like an enormous task to just get everyone fed and into bed at the end of the day!
Read more »

Does My Child Need To See A Therapist?

Blogger Your seven-year-old son, Justin, is so embarrassing.† He approaches adults and asks personal questions that seem inappropriate.† He seems to have no sense of shame, and little interest in conforming to social norms.† You cringe at the thought of taking him to family affairs and public events, where you never know what kind of catastrophe might transpire.† And when you broach the topic, he easily dismisses it and hardly makes eye contact.† You have already heard dubious murmurs regarding your parenting capabilities on several occasions, causing you to feel completely misunderstood.† All this despite the parenting lectures you invested in!
Read more »

Stop the Stereotyping

Blogger For some single parents, the weight of the world often sits squarely on our shoulders. We are responsible for an incredible amount of things, duties, and actions. Itís not enough to pay the mortgage, be smart when making a purchase and keep the floors relatively clean Ė we are also responsible for our children. Now this isnít exactly a newsflash, but letís look at it a step further. Letís say your child is in elementary school and you get a call from his teacher. Heís been acting up in class, not listening to her and disrupting the daily flow. How do you feel? I will tell you Iíve received those calls Ė more than a few times. I immediately felt like a balloon that had lost its air. My sonís misbehavior felt like my failure. Obviously I hadnít taught him proper behavior, or how to control his impulses. I would ruminate over this situation until I wore a groove of negative self-talk into my brain.
Read more »

Summertime and the Living Aint Easy for Single Parents

Blogger Who doesnít love summer? Well, for many reasons, single parents. First of all, itís a financial minefield. With school out thereís full time daycare to pay for and itís not just a tiny bump; itís a major increase in what is likely already a super tight budget. And then there are all the enriching camps and field trips.† You want your child to experience learning new skills and making friends with kids outside of the familiar zone, along with beading bracelets, singing songs and horseback riding. But wow, all of that comes with a hefty price tag.
Read more »

My Secret Weapon as a Single Parent: When I Changed My Viewpoint, I Changed My Life

Blogger Itís a Monday night and youíre sorting clean socks Ė a task that seems to have no end.† How can there be so much laundry all of the time? You're tired from a weekend that revolved around your kidsí activities, but instead of relaxing with a Netflix binge marathon and buttered popcorn, you are washing baseball jerseys so your daughter will have a clean uniform for tomorrowís game. Letís just be clear on something: chores and errands? They will never, ever end. They are embedded into our daily life whether we are happy about it or not. So why donít we try approaching the drudgery of grocery shopping, filling up the gas tank, and vacuuming with a new outlook?
Read more »

From the Single Parent Trenches: How This Divorced Mom Puts the Self in Self-Care

Blogger Does this sound familiar? Itís Sunday night, and your kids are finally, finally in bed. As you walk down the hall, you think, ďWhere the deuce did my weekend go?Ē even though you know exactly where it went: cheering on your†children in soccer, homework monitoring, grocery shopping, two Target runs, cleaning the bathroom, talking to your mother (three times), refereeing fights between your kids, mowing the lawn, monitoring baths. And that was just Saturday. Being a single parent Ė itís not for the weak of heart.† At the end of the day, thereís almost always nothing left for you. Or is there?
Read more »

 1 2 Next