Common Single Parent Struggles

As a single parent, life is not nearly as simple as it should be. Single parents can struggle with time considerations, sensitive gender issues, and a host of other things. There are some specific things that you will have to deal with as a single father. Raising a child with help is hard enough, but it becomes that much more difficult when you are forced to do it alone. So what are some of these issues and what can you do to make them more manageable?

Time management
The first thing is something very practical. As a single parent, you have to do all of the child raising and preparation by yourself. Though you essentially have twice the work, the day doesn’t get any longer. With this in mind, it is important for you to manage your time effectively. Cut out those things that truly do not matter. If you find that your time is being wasted by doing things that don’t benefit your children, then you need to think about nixing those from your schedule. One good idea is to elicit some help from your children in doing the day to day things. When doing this, make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on the kids.

Single parent dating
Single dads still need to get out and meet people. It is natural for a human to want companionship and a relationship, but be sure to date in a smart way. Single parents can’t go out on the town and date the way they used to. Instead, they have to date more responsibly. Plan dates around what your kids having going on at school and with their sports. You should also look to date people who are comfortable with your status as a single parent. You don’t want any extra stress added to an already difficult situation. Many single dads have found it best to give their kids some input on their relationship, even if that is only token input.

Dealing with your children’s questions
No matter why you are a single parent, your kids are bound to have some issues and have some questions. Some cases will be more sensitive than others, but be prepared to answer questions. The best policy is honesty, so tell your kids the truth about what has happened. This will help to make your relationships with your children more meaningful, and the dialogue will be helpful for you as well.

Gender issues
As a single dad, you will have to deal with the female issues that your daughters bring about. Single mothers experience something similar with their sons, but not to the same extent. You must be sensitive to these issues, as your daughter is in a vulnerable position. Though you might not be an expert on female issues, you still need to be supportive. Providing ample support will mean a lot to your child, and it will help them get through a tough time in their life. A smart dad will help his daughter set up an appointment with a female doctor, as this gives them the freedom to discuss issues.

On the whole single parents experience a completely different child raising experience than traditional parents. That should not stop you from providing a loving and supportive home for your child, though. If you work hard to stretch yourself outside of your traditional bounds, your child will appreciate the efforts and you will get something out of the experience. Know that things are not going to be perfect and there will often be issues to work through, but patience goes a long way in those situations. The plus side of being a single parent is that you can often develop relationships with your children that are profound and healthy. This should be viewed as an opportunity, even in light of the obvious difficulties that go along with being a single mom or dad.