During the last decades, the concept of the “typical” family has changed significantly, and it is more common to see different family structures raising happy and healthy kids. One of the most common structures in our community, however, is that of single parents, as 65% of Black or African-American children live in single-parent households, according to Data Center. Although parenting is quite a challenge already, single parents might face different scenarios that require a lot of hard work and dedication. Therefore, we decided to gather some useful parenting tips for single parents to raise happy and healthy kids.
Create and follow schedules and routines
One of the most important aspects for kids growing up is being able to follow schedules and routines as they grow. This is particularly beneficial for children being raised by single-parent households, as it gives them lots of predictability and stability, letting them know what to expect from the get-go. This will lower everyone’s stress levels, especially when we add fun and games as part of our schedules.
Focus on love, praise, and attention
Many single parents might find themselves struggling financially, which brings an unnecessary burden of stress and guilt. However, we need to remember that kids cherish affection, quality time, and memory-making experiences more than anything else. Finding and creating opportunities for you to show your love, to praise your kids’ achievements, and give them the attention they deserve will help you develop a strong relationship with them.
Teach your kids gratitude
It is very common for people to compare themselves with others, and this is something that we are likely to experience raising children as single parents. As they grow older, our kids might start becoming aware of how their nuclear family may be different from other families. This can lead them to start feeling unhappy and confused, and we should always pay attention to such emotions. In order to avoid these emotions impact our kids in a negative way, we should teach them to act and react with gratitude. Even when it might sound off at first, teaching our children to always express gratitude will help them understand their reality and focus on the positive side of life.
Recognize your kids’ and your own efforts
Living in a single-parent household can be quite difficult at times, for both parents and children alike. That’s why it is important that we take the time to acknowledge and recognize the achievements and the efforts of each family member. We can do this by having weekly or monthly afternoon applause sessions with our kids, on which we can compliment each other’s achievements, no matter if big or small, and even share some kind of reward.
Make connections with similar families
Last but not least, we need to remember that, not because we are single parents we have to manage everything by ourselves. As adults, we need to spend time with other grown-ups so that we can enjoy some relaxation time. Children need to interact with other kids their age, too. The best way to find balance is by making connections with similar families. Whether we schedule dinner nights together, go to a park and have a picnic, or plan a trip to a museum or the zoo, this kind of connections will make our own household happier and stronger.