In the last 4 years, India’s single parent households almost doubled from 4% in 2015 to 7.5% in 2020. The United Nations report on ‘The Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World’ stated that 7.5% of Indian households are headed by single parents, of whom the majority is managed by single mothers.
One can only imagine the kind of pressure and baggage these parents have on their shoulders while bringing up their children without the help of a partner. And to help them in their endeavours, the parenting experts at Ahmedabad’s We Positive Parenting, have some tips for single parents, pre-occupied by social, economic and emotional distress. These tips will help them to try and stop these problems from snowballing into mental health issues.
Let go of the guilt & feel more confident
A single parent will always have a sense of guilt in their hearts; the feeling of being unable to do the right thing for your children or of failing to give them the perfect life they deserve. Our advice is to make peace with the past. Blaming yourself for the situation will only make it worse.
Let go of the guilt and remind yourself of the reasons behind your choices. Every time the thought in your mind starts with, I feel bad about ……….., stop right there and restart the thought with, I made that decision because ………
This simple exercise will help you move forward. Studies have reported that single mothers are at a threefold risk of depression as compared to married mothers. This, because the constant feeling of guilt could force you into being a loner. Surround yourself with people you trust, with whom you can share your experiences with and feel better.
Create a schedule
We can’t control what happens to us, so it is better to focus on the things we can control as a parent. Set a clear picture in your mind, a proper plan to achieve the goals for you and your children, in order to build a better future together.
You can start small by creating a daily routine. And eventually to draft long term goals like managing your money more effectively and improving your co-parenting relationship with your former partner, if required. Patrice Karst, the well known author of The Single Mother’s Survival Guide (Crossing Press, 2000), writes in her book that, “Having goals, no matter how modest, can keep your spirits up and keep you moving forward.”
Your schedule must include two things for sure:
– Some time to spend with your children.
– Some “Me Time” to exercise regularly, catch up with friends or even seek professional counselling from a parenting expert.
Teach your kids to value things
Every single parent tries very hard to prove to be enough for their children and in the process, they fulfil every want of their child, even if they are unnecessary at that point. Yes, your child is very precious to you and yes, you want to give them everything. But overindulgence could spoil them.
It is very important to teach your children about the importance of money. Children should understand that money has to be earned, with a lot of hard work and that they should always respect it. Hard-earned money cannot be wasted on frivolous things.
Talk to them, explain the process of earning money and the important things for which it needs to be spent, like their school fees, their clothing, food, books, tuitions, etc. And as your child grows up, make sure you talk to them about investing their money, and how to grow them too.
Positively influence your kids to improve their outlook towards life.
Accept failures & work on them
Always remember, that the situation may be tough, but you are tougher.
If your plans do not work out as you thought they would, always accept failures and work on them rather than getting disheartened. Just look back at your journey, and give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished by enduring everything that came your way. Acknowledging your journey will show you how strong you have become since the day you started it.
Document your personal growth
Start writing about your day, your experiences and how you have been dealing with it. The next time you question yourself, just read your notes.
Your patience and hardwork will inspire your children as you are their role model. Single parenting is indeed twice the work and twice the stress, but also twice the hugs and love from your children.
Don’t criticise your ex-partner
The unfulfilled expectations and the pain from the last relationship may have left you bitter if you are a separated single parent. But, try to keep all those bitter feelings towards your ex partner aside while parenting your children. Because this bitterness can spill out in words and responses in front of your children.
Don’t let your anger or hatred for your ex partner hamper your peaceful life and have a detrimental effect on your child’s mental health. The solution to overcome this bitterness is forgiveness. Forgiveness equals your freedom from the past.
It can eat away their joy as it not only chains you but also your children to the past.
While we’re sure that these tips will help you in your parenting journey. Feel free to talk to our parenting experts at We Positive Parenting in Ahmedabad and seek guidance.
Because a happy parent makes happy children!