Being a single dad can be a tough and incredibly challenging life. Besides the obvious challenges of raising a child or children on your own, there is also the often-strange perception that other people may have about why you are a single dad and your ability to successfully raise your kids.
Dealing with these challenges can often times make you feel overwhelmed and alone.
Despite the everyday challenges, being a single father is an incredibly rewarding and special experience.
When your children are grown, you will look back at the experiences you’ve had and the time you’ve spent with them, and realize that those times were the best of your life.
Here are some simple tips to make being a single dad easier, and will lead you toward being that cool, super successful, single dad.
Shower your kids with love and affection–Just because you are loaded with work and have handful of responsibilities, doesn’t mean that your kids should miss out on love and fun. Aside from the care that they need to be healthy and supported, make sure you take time to give them extra love and time. Keep in mind, if they are growing without a mother you will need to make extra efforts to fill that void as well. Your kids will beam with happiness if they are getting the love they need and know they can count on their dad anytime.
Spend quality time with your child–Spend quality time with your child doing fun activities that you can enjoy together like picnics, reading, playing, camping etc. Be there for them no matter what. Remember, you are their only support system and the one person they can count on. So love them and fill their life with laughter and fun. Create a secure, happy and safe environment for your children. You child should feel completely safe and comfortable with you.
Show respect for your child’s mom–Perhaps your ex-wife shows up occasionally or vists during the weekends. Whatever the situation may be, always show respect for her. Be very careful of your behavior in front of your children. Remember that your children watch and learn from your example and actions. Being negative or stressing out around their mom will create negative feelings for your child when all of you are together. Even if it is for a short time, let your feelings about your child’s mother go and make the care of your child the number one priority.
Be a role model–As a single dad, your child will follow your example and learn life’s important lessons from you. Work hard at managing your emotional issues and the underlying stress that comes from being a single father. Do your best to not show negative feelings in front of your children. Your child needs to know that you are capable and mature enough to handle the situation on your own and look after them. When things get tough, remember that your kids are your number one priority and focus on caring for them.
Be open to learning–Perhaps being a single dad is new to you and you have lots to learn, to adjust to the new way of life. While some single fathers take to their new life and responsibilities with ease, others have trouble adjusting to the new situation. The best way to make things easier is to start learning. There is loads of info on the web and in the library where you can read the experiences of other single fathers, their struggles and life as a single parent. Perhaps the best lessons are learned from your own mistakes. So keep your mind open to new suggestions and ideas on how you can excel at the new role of being a single dad.
Discipline but with love–As a single parent, you will need to create a routine for your child and set some boundaries for him. This is essential to creating a sense of stability and security in your home. Set a schedule for things like homework, meal time and bed time, and stick to the schedule. Children will try and push these boundaries, make sure that you are firm but loving when dealing with resistance to the schedule or the boundaries you have set. Being the example will make setting schedules and boundaries easier. Being scheduled and disciplined in your own life will show your children that they are not the only ones with boundaries.
Take time for yourself–Give yourself a break whenever possible. Go out with your friends or have outings with other families who are supportive of your situation. Being a good single dad doesn’t mean that you need to forget about yourself. Taking time to do things for you, teaches your child that it is as important to nurture yourself as it is to nurture your family. Doing something on your own or finding a fun adult activity can alleviate some of the stress of being a single parent. This will make your home happier, healthier and more fun for everyone.
It can be really exciting but challenging to be a single father. Just keep the above simple tips in mind and you will find that you are well on the way to being the most fantastic single dad, loved by his kids and admired by those around.