Single Parent Advice
Being a single parent requires a lot of patience. The things you go through on a day to day basis can seem extremely difficult at times. Here are some tips to help your days go smoother.
#1 Patience: I know it's easier said than done. Believe me, I've been there. If you don't relax, take a few deep breaths and try to be patient, the situation can spiral out of control and seem much worse than it has to be.
#2 Structure: There must be some kind of order in your family. Don't be afraid to make the children help out around the house. Set a reasonable bedtime. Get dinner out the night before. Write your day down on paper if you need to. Make a list for the babysitter.
#3 Down Time: You deserve some down time. Have a date night with your friends every other week. Get a sitter for a couple hours and take a hot bath or read a book. Go to a movie. Find time once a week or every other week for something you like to do, and don't feel guilty about not letting the kids tag along. You deserve this time for yourself!
#4 Date Night With Kids: You're kids deserve your attention too. If you have more than one child, set up individual date nights with them. Go to the mall or local arcade. Grab some lunch and ice cream. Play a board game. Or just sit home, pop some pop corn and watch a movie. You'd be surprised at how much your child will open up to you once they got you alone. You can really learn a lot about him or her.
#5 Ask For Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help and get advice from others. You don't have to take the advice, but it doesn't hurt to listen. Get involved in a support group. Ask family members or friends to babysit so you can have your date nights or get stuff done. Maybe you can trade off babysitting. Being a single parent is tough and most people understand that.
#6 Be Picky About Your Childcare: Do your research. Ask around. Set standards and don't be afraid to interview your sitter. If your children are going to someone elses house, meet the sitter during her normal daycare hours. Go to her house and keep your eye out on the setting. Does it feel comfortable? How are the other children acting? You can usually get the feel of it in the first five minutes. Make sure to talk to your children to find out how their day went.
#7 Big Brothers Big Sisters: If you have an only child, or even if you don't, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great program to get your child involved in if you think they need a little more interaction and self confidence.
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