Parenting on Your Own
Being a single parent can be hard work. You may be struggling with increased financial pressures or with trying to juggle your time and energy between your many demands. You may be going to school or working while carrying the full load of parenting. You may find yourself having to work long hours, leaving little time for yourself and your toddler. Families of any description build strong connections by:
- Creating a stable, nurturing home. Your toddler will thrive in a loving environment with routines that are predictable.
- Developing support. Build support for your toddler and yourself through family, friends, and community. Try to find people who can provide emotional support, companionship, emergency help, child care, and other help and support.
- Giving positive discipline. Set firm, clear limits for your toddler. These should match his or her development stage.
- Giving your toddler quality time. It’s not just the amount of time that you spend with her or him that counts; it’s what you do when you are together. Try to support, encourage, and listen to her or him.
- Finding time. If you are looking for more time with your toddler, be creative. Maybe your employer will be flexible with your hours. Arrange to trade babysitting with other single parents. Join activities with other parents and their kids.
- Taking care of yourself. Don’t forget about yourself and your own health. Eat a healthy diet, get exercise, and try to get enough sleep. Find ways to take care of yourself—whether it is taking a nap, playing a sport, reading a book, or learning relaxation techniques. Avoid treating your toddler as an adult. Use your adult relationships to talk over issues and troubling events. Your toddler cannot take on adult roles. For more information about caring for yourself, click here.
- Ask for help. When you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or exhausted, get help. Look to friends, family members, and professionals.