Potential Pitfalls That Single Parents Must Avoid

As desperately as we may try to seek one, there is no manual for parenting. We have been conditioned by an education system that provides answers for us rather than seeking them out ourselves, and (of course) the ubiquity of Google, to believe that there’s always a single answer to every question we may have. Unfortunately, parenting just ain’t that simple. But to seek out an answer would also deprive you of the journey of self discovery and empowerment which is one of the most edifying and wonderful things about parenting. That said, the path of a parent is never easy. For a single parent, it can feel borderline impossible at times. Alongside the day to day financial and logistical rigours of raising a child alone, they also have to deal with the emotional trauma of a separation, the anxiety caused by shared custody and the inevitable impact on their self esteem that comes with being a single parent. 

The deck may be stacked against single parents, but there is plenty of help and support out there. The most important help, however, comes from you yourself. You can help yourself a great deal by staying mindful and avoiding these pitfalls which often befall single parents. 

Holding out hope of reconciliation

It’s perfectly natural to pine for our exes for a while after separation. When we’ve encountered a huge disruption in our lives it’s perfectly natural to want to return to normalcy. Holding out hopes for months or years, however, is not healthy for either you or your ex, and it certainly isn’t healthy for your child. Consulting a lawyer like www.attorney-fisher.com for advice on family law is a daunting but necessary step in gaining closure. Only when you’ve achieved this can you truly move on.

Badmouthing the ex

Another temptation is to lean too far the other way and become a bitter and twisted single parent who badmouths the ex openly and in front of their children. This may feel cathartic but it’s not a healthy outlet for your pain and certainly harmful to your child. It could end up psychologically and emotionally warping your child and prevent them from forming lasting or meaningful relationships of their own. 

Getting into another relationship too quickly

When we;re separated we’re vulnerable, lonely and in need of human comfort. As such, it’s perfectly natural to want to fill the vacuum that our former partner has left in our life. Unfortunately, this may not be the best idea for you or your child. You need to take some time to figure yourself out and really know what you want before running headlong into another relationship. As eager as you may be to fill a Mum or Dad shaped hole in your child’s life, they likely won’t benefit from a replacement father or mother figure in their life so soon after your separation. 

Being motivated by guilt

Another perfectly normal behaviour after a separation is to overcompensate and make decisions which are motivated by guilt. We can spend a fortune on toys, games, presents, treats, meals out and towers of ice cream to make up for the heartache of separation which your child has endured. Not only can this dig you into a financial hole from which you may never escape, it could also lead them to become spoilt which won’t do them any favours at all.

Stay clear of these common pitfalls and you’ll grow into a happy and secure single parent.

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