The Single Parent’s Guide to an Effective Parenting Planning

The Single Parent’s Guide to an Effective Parenting Planning

Raising a child alone is never easy. Whether you’re divorced, widowed, or never married, having the weight of a child’s life, health, and future happiness on your shoulders is enough to stress anyone. However, with an effective parenting plan you can relieve a great deal of that stress and build a nurturing, growth-oriented environment for your child or children.

Communication Comes First

One of the first mistakes of the single parent is making arbitrary decision that don’t involve your children. When you’re raising children alone, it can be easy to get so overwhelmed that you bark orders at your children and expect them to listen because there’s really no other choice if you want to make things work.

But children are extremely responsive to your emotions and will often reflect your negative emotions back at you. Rather than expecting wordless obedience from your children, communicate with them. Explain why things need to be a certain way to them, speaking at their level and with rationale they can understand. Reasoning with your children often works better to gain their cooperation when you don’t have another parent to back you up. Remember, you’re all in this together.

Maintain Authority

Although you want to offer warmth and support to your children, you can’t always be their friend. Maintain a line where the friendly parent becomes the person in control. Give your children freedom to act out and express their emotions, but don’t let them ride roughshod over you. Make it clear how far is too far.

Establish a Routine

Routine helps to prevent disaster with single parenting. If your children know they’re expected to be up and brushing their teeth by 7 AM, you can have their lunches ready to go by 7:15 AM without having to lose precious morning minutes chasing them down. Routine, too, makes it easier to cope with the emotional difficulty of a single-parent family, particularly when dealing with loss. Having a routine creates a support structure that holds your family together.

Have a Support Network

Just because you’re raising your children solo doesn’t mean you’re alone. If you have friends or family to help, rely on them to fill in the gaps so you don’t stretch yourself too thin. Know who you can rely on as an emergency contact, who’s available for babysitting, who can drop the kids off a certain day, and maintain a comprehensive list of phone numbers. Make sure your children also have crucial phone numbers for trusted adults in the event of an emergency where they can’t reach you.

For more help with family planning if you’re facing a divorce and single parenthood, reach out to us at Out-of-Court Solutions