Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.

One Tough Gig = Single Parenting

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My son and I

My son and I

Parenting is the toughest gig out there, let alone being a single parent. Weather your child is a baby or a teenager, parenting will suck the life out of you (sometimes) and be the most rewarding job EVER.

It is a blessing and a privilege to be a parent. I count it as an honor to be a parent. Parenting is a life changer. In my opinion for the better.

I love my kid so much that I will do almost anything to make him happy and to protect him. As a parent all I want to do is, be more, give more and do more for my son.

Even with the greatest intentions my plans didn’t work out.

We didn’t take any vacations. Usually because I never had enough money to go anywhere. On a rare occasion, I was able to save up some money and we would take a ‘day’ vacation and do something very close to home.

I will admit, those “day” vacations were some of the best days we had together. It was because we knew it was special to do/go someplace different. To this day, one of my son’s favorite places is an ice cream parlor we would go to once every summer to have a treat. I had to save up for the ice cream trip too.

Money wasn’t always the issue. Discipline was tough too. We have to discipline our kids. When you are a single parent it’s hard, because we don’t want to be the bad guy. I didn’t want my kid to hate me.

What I did realize, is kids are looking for structure. Discipline is one form of that structure. It’s our jobs to teach them right and wrong. The hard part is how tough am I supposed to be. Not having someone to support me or talk me off the ledge, was hard. It’s easier when there is another person who is helping. You can talk out what punishment is deserving of the crime. I always second guess myself when it came to discipline. For me, I went with being a little strict because I saw the potential in my son and I wanted him to have respect for rules.

I have found that structure and consistency are key requirements to being a good parent. Developing these skills are difficult when you are the only one setting the ground rules. There is a fine line from being the bad guy all the time and having your kids like you.

I promise it can be done. Set the ground rules and punishments (that suit the infraction). Inform your kids what the rules are and what the consequences will be. It is up to you to follow through, no matter what.

For instance: in our home, there is no slamming of doors. If he slammed a door, I grounded him for a week from a video game or his favorite toy. I know it sounds harsh. To me, slamming a door shows a few things: disrespect to me and the home we live in. It also told me that my son was mad about something. I would rather he tell me why he’s mad then slam a door. Simple really. Don’t slam a door, show some respect and talk to your mom when you are mad.

To this day, he does not slam a door or act out when he is upset. Don’t forget my kid is 24. He respects me and the house we live in and we are closer because he knows he can talk to me. I got so much out of this simple rule.

Just the other day my son told me, that it was good that he had rules to follow when he was growing up. My son also told me that he loved having structure in the house because he didn’t have it any other place. He told me I did a good job. That was all the “Thanks” I needed. It was great hearing that I did something right. Granted it took 24 years for me to find out. But better late than never.

Remember, we are raising the next generation. We need to be the examples for our kids.

Being a single parent or parent is not for the faint of heart. You have to be loving, kind, understanding, tough, and thick skinned to get through it.

I know you are great parents. Keep up the great work. I promise it pays off in the end.

Here are my tips to help you single parents:

You don’t have to be their best friend, it will come later. You can be a friend to them but don’t forget you are the parent first.

Do what is ‘right’ by your kids…..not what makes them happy. (They will be mad at first, but will still love and respect you). If you do the right thing, no matter how hard. It will pay off in the end with respect and love.

Kids need discipline, they almost beg for it. Our kids do bad things for 2 reasons. One, is to learn thier boundaries. Second, because they are wanting your attention.

Provide structure in the home. Set rules, guidelines and chores. Kids crave structure and they are looking to you to set the rules and they will follow by example.

Follow through with what you will do. If you say the punishment is (fill in the blank), then make sure you follow through with that punishment. If you promise to go somewhere special…keep your word.

When things get too bad or out of hand, ask for help. Have someone give you a break. Get out of the house for an hour. If that’s not possible, give yourself a break. Take a long shower/bath and start again tomorrow. I promise, the house will not cave in if you take a break.

Love on your kids. Hug them, even when they are teenagers. Ask questions about their day. Get involved, but don’t be a hovering parent. Kiss them good night, even when they don’t want you to. Tell them you love them as often as you can.

Being a parent is tough, but the rewards outweigh the bad stuff. I promise.

I hope these tips and story have helped you in your journey of parenting.

Tell me your tips for being a parent. I would love your input.

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