Parenting Articles about Single Parents

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Perfect Parents Don’t 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.”

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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.

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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?

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Summertime and the Living Aint Easy for Single Parents

Blogger Who doesn’t love summer? Well, for many reasons, single parents. First of all, it’s a financial minefield. With school out there’s full time daycare to pay for and it’s not just a tiny bump; it’s 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. If your kids are older and able to stay at home that solves the daycare issue, but then you’re presented with a whole new line of issues. What will your kids do all day, home alone? Will it be safe? Will they be getting themselves into trouble? And let’s not forget how much your grocery bill will increase as they raid the cabinets all afternoon (and late evening), as well as the rise in your utility bills from having the AC on all day (as well as electronics, sucking up electricity). As if this wasn’t enough, all around you it will feel like every other family is going on vacation – to their cabin, to visit the nation’s capital, or to see the Grand Canyon. Wanting to include you in the conversation, they will ask, “Where are you going on vacation this summer?”  To that I say, hold your head up high and declare, “We are planning an amazing staycation!” I respect and admire all of you. Your day is long, your to-do list even longer. So for today, I salute you: To all of the working single parents (I realize that’s redundant, all parents are working parents), I respect you. I know the daily grind you face – the one that never, ever lets up. I know that when you head to your car in the morning with the promise of a gorgeous day on the horizon – I know you really want to dump the kids off at camp and just goof off all day. So I say, make it happen! Schedule a day off alone.  Take the kids to daycare, or somewhere, and just enjoy sitting on a patio, sipping coffee and reveling in the quiet. At that moment, no one needs you! Can you imagine how energized you will feel from that? Schedule your day off today. To all of the work-from-home single parents: you have your own special brand of challenge, as you are likely working from a home office and maybe have the kids underfoot. There’s not a real separation of work and home life, so you need to be extra diligent to create a boundary between the two. It can be a lonely existence, working from home, so be sure to schedule in some play dates or even trade off babysitting with other parents so you can get some crucial alone time. To all of the working single parents who also attend school: can you say sleep-deprived? As if parenting and working weren’t exhausting enough, you’re also the college student, racking up credits while you write papers and complete lab reports; all in an effort to finally secure that degree that promises higher pay, better benefits and a more rewarding career. Do me a favor; pat yourself on the back with gusto. You are killing it! And you can’t see it now, but when your kids are all grown-up, they will say how incredible you are to have done all of that. I will leave you with this. Your life is really tough right now, but let’s be honest – everyone has challenges, tragedies and trials. Instead of focusing on your hardships and exhausting life, put your energy towards creating a positive attitude and being the best parent you can. Seek help from others when the going gets too rough and take some time to enjoy the journey – and your summer! 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.
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My Secret Weapon as a Single Parent: When I Changed My Viewpoint, I Changed My Life

Blogger It’s a Monday night and you’re sorting clean socks – 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 kids’ 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 tomorrow’s game. Let’s 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 don’t we try approaching the drudgery of grocery shopping, filling up the gas tank, and vacuuming with a new outlook?
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From the Single Parent Trenches: How This Divorced Mom Puts the Self in Self-Care

Blogger Does this sound familiar? It’s Sunday night, and your kids are finally, finally in bed. As you walk down the hall, you think, “Where the deuce did my weekend go?” 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 – it’s not for the weak of heart.  At the end of the day, there’s almost always nothing left for you. Or is there?
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Have I Been Replaced? Divorce and the Single Parent

Parent Blogger How do you react when you discover that your children are spending a lot of time with your ex-wife’s new boyfriend? SingleDad.com founder, RJ Jaramillo, shares his firsthand experiences. Most newly divorced men come to the realization that their new life as a divorced dad comes with a consequence: you and your ex-wife will move on and begin new relationships. In this case, I am talking about my own personal experience and how I felt like I was being replaced by my ex-wife’s boyfriend.  Learn from my experience and pick up a few tips from suggestions below on how to overcome a little anxiety and realize that your children are better off by having your love and support in their new environment.
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A Back-to-School Checklist for the Single Parent

Parent Blogger Yes, it is time to get our kids back on a school schedule. My blog post might just be a reminder for some, but it could be a very important checklist for the new single parent. With that in mind, I've gathered a lot of great suggestions from other single parents who have been there before, and know what works.
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Single Parents and the Economy: Tips on How to Help Each Other (and Stay Positive!)

Parent Blogger As single parents, we live in a  vulnerable environment. Under some circumstances, when an ex-spouse loses his/her job, it affects the other ex-spouse directly. “Emergency Funds” and reserves dry up twice as fast when one party has to pay child support or spousal support (or both.) With the loss of one income, we start feeling the heat.  So, what happens? The “Domino Effect” takes place: both sides of the single parent family suffer financial hardship. Bills get prioritized based on necessity. Parents live off of their credit cards to pay for gas and groceries.
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Valentine's Day as a Single Parent: Turn the Blues Around

Parent Blogger Certain holidays and celebrations can be a little bit more difficult than others for a single parent. Valentine’s Day used to be one of those holidays for me, but I learned some fun personal and practical family activities to celebrate without feeling the Valentine Blues as a single dad.
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Must-do for Single Parents: Create a Life Plan for 2009

Parent Blogger One of the most important things a single parent can do at the end of the year is to get your family involved in Life Planning. Life planning is more than just goal-setting and new year’s resolutions. It’s about living your life next year with purpose and passion. Its foundation is based on your discovery of your fundamental happiness, and then planning the rest of your year of activities around that happiness. My good friends, Dan Harkavy and Bill Hart at BuildingChampions.com have been teaching me how to do this, and I wanted to share it with you and make this coming year your “happiest” and most productive ever with you and your family.
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