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Family Types

Single Parenting

As a single parent, you can develop a unique bond with your child. Your role is extra important and will have a major influence on how your child develops.

To ease the stress of single parenting:

  1. If another safe and positive adult is willing to be a part of your child’s life, this can be very important to your child’s well-being. Find ways to help this relationship grow.
  2. Spend time as a family to show your children you care about them. Go to the library or take a walk in your area or neighborhood.
  3. Take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Enjoy some alone time. Pursue a favorite hobby or go out with friends.
  4. Stick to a daily routine as much as you can, since children feel more secure with some structure.
  5. As much as possible, make sure that you and your divorced or former partner are using positive discipline in the same way. This way, children receive consistent messages on their behavior.
  6. Talk to your children about the change if a divorce, break up, or separation has occurred. Sit with your children often to let them tell you how they are feeling.
  7. Let your children be children. Continue to give them praise and love, even if you are going through a hard time. Tell them how you are feeling, but don’t go to them for support. Let them know there are better times ahead.
  8. Don’t speak badly about the other parent. Don’t put kids in the middle of any disagreements you are having.
  9. Start looking for quality childcare as soon as possible (if you don’t already have it). Finding child care can help ease the burden on you.
  10. Be aware of other adults that your child may be spending time with when you are not around. If your child really doesn’t seem to like someone, that can be important information. Relationships can be complicated, and disliking someone may be a sign of other issues. It is useful to be on the lookout for signs of child abuse and neglect.
  11. If you are in need of support, ask for help. Family and friends who are willing to help are a great way to reduce the stress of single parenting. If you live in an area where family or friends are not around, look for a single parenting support group. Check your local newspaper and city website for support groups that are being offered. For example, if you live in Fargo, ND, see INFORUM’s website.
  12. Budget your money early on. Make a plan for when your paycheck or other financial support comes in and when to pay bills.
  13. Accept financial help if you need it.

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