Single parenthood may come as a choice, but in most cases it is fate. It comes with a package of both fun and challenges. The challenges however, surpass the rewards. This makes single parenthood the most difficult situation any parent out there would find themselves in.
The whole situation differs from one person to another, depending on various factors facing them. The challenges become worse with the inclusion of children in the equation. The main causes of single parenthood are divorce, separation and death.
Parents are denied the joy of bringing children up together as a team. Children on the other hand are deprived of the happiness that comes with a closed family set up. In this article I will tackle five challenges facing single parents and their solutions.
- Financial burden.
While in a closed family, both parents have a role to play in meeting the financial obligations of the family. You both might have agreed on how to manage your finances in efforts to share obligations, but trust me running two homes using the same amount of money is an uphill job.
In the case where there are children, one parent might be forced to take up the whole burden due to negligence of the other part. What then can be done to deal with financial challenge? This can be dealt with by increasing your hours at work. You can also take up an additional part-time job. This will help increase your income.
You can also sit your children down and discuss with them on cutting down some luxuries, hence reducing expenditure. Make them understand that they need your time more at this moment, for emotional support.
- Difficulty in instilling discipline in children.
In a situation where kids are in the mix, the party with custody may have problems instilling discipline in them. Due to emotional stress, children may engage in truant activities so as to gain attention of both parents. Children can also give you a hard time, especially on realizing that there is no communication with the other party.
When children are left on their own without proper guidance and attention, they can develop defiant behavior. This renders ineffective any measures put in place by one party to instill discipline in them.
In efforts to curb such a challenge, both parents should agree before the divorce on cooperating in disciplining their kids. There should also be regular communication between the parents after separation to ensure full control.
In the case of death of a partner, one can engage the extended family member to act as a father or mother figure, whichever is missing. This helps to counter the absence of the one missing. Such an effort will only bear fruit in a case where a long and close relationship exists between the concerned family member and kid. One can also involve a relationship counselors and psychologists.
- Low self-esteem.
Separated spouses at times may face judgment by society. This is contrary to the expectation that at such trying times a sound society should come in to offer required support. Family and friends can also give a hard time to single parents. This makes it hard for such parents to cope with the situation at hand. Single parents facing such rejection can develop low self-esteem and confidence.
The solution to this problem is simple; surround yourself with people that understand you without judgment. Stay with friends that value and love you. Involve in activities that build your confidence and remove self-doubt.
- Sense of doubt.
After a painful divorce, it is common to go on a guilt trip. What if I became patient with my spouse? Why have I lost most of my friends after divorce? How will my children judge me when they grow up? Such questions rob your innocence.
To deal with doubt you need to put in mind that self-blame is not healthy. Accept the situation as it is and be confident that you made the right decision. Focus on the positive side of the situation and fore your way ahead.
As a single parent, you have to deal with the loss of your other part and the gap left. You have no one to lean on. The role played by the other part is one of emotional fulfilment. This gap even widens when your partner has to live with the kids. It drains you a great deal when you have to go back to an empty house after work. The reality of the memories of your good moments stets in slowly.
To help curb loneliness, you should replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This can be achieved by redirecting your energies to more productive activities. I f you have custody of the children, spend more time with them to satisfy their emotional needs too. If you do not have children, socialize in community activities, rather than spending time wallowing in self-pity.
The earlier you accept your situation the better for you. Adjust and move on. You can consider allowing another partner, life goes on.