Are you single parenting your boy? Do you have worries about the consequences this will have on your son?
First, relax! You are not alone! About 50% of parents will go through divorce and be a single parent (at least for some time) as a consequence. And you have to add to that all the parents who are not in a relationship when their child is born. I'm sure knowing that you are not alone in this case is reassuring. Check these facts to put your mind at ease.
It seems like single moms are particularly worried when raising sons. They are worried about not having male role models in their son's life. This is made even worse when the boy's dad is not around.
If this is the case and your son questions why other children have their fathers around while he doesn't, you can explain that all families are different. There are families with two parents and families with one. Just like some families have two children and some only have one. It will probably make him feel better to know that he is not alone in this case.
Most specialists also consider that sons need male role models when growing up. So, if your son's dad is not around, try and make sure he has positive male figures around, such as grandfathers, uncles, or family friends. Make him realize that he is lucky to have loving men in his life and that he is special to all of them. Expose him to sport activities, scouting, or other youth organizations for boys. All these will be opportunities to provide him with positive male role models. Hopefully, with several positive male models around him, he will find one who can serve as a mentor for him.
If this is not really possible, relax! I said most specialists, but there are also some who think that the importance of male role models is highly overrated. Leonard Sax (M.D.) is one of them. He is the author of a very interesting book on gender differences that I highly recommend: "Why Gender Matters".
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I think the most important for you is to realize that everything will be alright. The world will not end because you are single, even if you feel like YOUR world has ended. Make sure you realize that you are just a normal person and keep in mind as I said earlier that you are not alone in this situation. Try and connect with someone who is or has been in your situation. It can work wonders to have someone who can relate to your particular struggles.
Single parents face all of the problems faced by two-parent families of course. But, single parenting also comes with its own challenges. When you are alone to care for the family, it feels like you never have any time for yourself! Finances, of course, can also be a problem with only one income. Facing up to the challenges takes a lot of strength and creativity. Single parents often talk about a "juggling act". This leaves little time for the parent to just be herself/himself.
It is important for you to remember that, yes, you are the one who needs to provide for your family but you are also a person! You must make sure to take care of yourself as well as your family.
Parenting is a difficult job. Parents often feel overwhelmed and lacking parenting skills. Keep in mind that good parenting is more about the quality of parenting rather than the number of parents in the house.
Try and set time aside for yourself on a regular basis. Use this time to be on your own and do something that you want to do. Don't feel guilty about not being with your children during that time. The time away will be good for them too. For you, it will be the opportunity to recharge the batteries, both emotionally and physically. For the children, it's a good opportunity to realize that they can survive without you. ;)
Remember that a happy and relaxed single parent will do a much better job than a stressed-out, miserable single parent.
As important as setting time aside for yourself is making time for your child. Try to set aside a specific time to be with your child on a daily basis.
In the rush of daily life, it can be hard to make time for important thing as we are too busy with daily chores. If you are finding hard to do this, use a timer and set it to say 20-30 minutes. During this time, tell your son that it is his time. Don't let yourself be disturbed until the buzzer goes off. It will show your son how important he is to you and will be an important daily time for both of you.
Another great way to find time to spend with your child is to pick an activity and do it together, like running.
Single parenting might not be a choice that many would intentionally make, but it can have its rewards. Single parents often realize that they are much more capable than they ever thought. They realize they have skills they didn't know they possessed.
Single parenting can be very challenging, but it can help you grow and realize that you are self-reliant and are not dependent of others for your existence.