By Chris Fox
This type of parenting is an additional arm of the traditional nuclear and extended family types that we have learned since childhood. Nuclear families consist of two parents, and children who are living in the same house.
Extended families however, consist of two parents, aunts, uncles, children or grandparents living under the same accommodation. Over the last two decades, the number of single parent families in the US has doubled in size.
The main 3 reasons for single parenting
* Death of a spouse
* Personal choice (teenage mothers, wanting to raise a family without a partner)
Either of these causes have a major effect on the family living and will require the whole family to make adjustments to the emotional aspect of the family. Many times the parent who is left to raise the kids often feels guilt, despair and even resentment.
There are ways to deal with these. Many single parents sometimes feel the pressure of the world on their shoulders. Never be afraid to ask for help, this in no way means you have failed as a parent. Having someone to talk to and get advice of can only be a positive thing/
The 5 stages of grief have been defined below
* Denial – This stage comprises of feeling guilty and denying what has occurred. The feeling of “he is just away, and will come back” are the usual reactions of this stage.
* Anger – This is generally felt towards the person who has left or has died.
* Bargaining – Often this is were the person tries to negotiate with God if their partner has died. Dealing with the partner who has left and trying to negotiate and promising to change what went wrong in the relationship
* Depression – This stage comprises of the near-realization that the situation will not change. This is where the acknowledgement of what happened starts.
* Acceptance – This stage is the acknowledgement and acceptance of the grief.
The effects of single parenting are widespread and not only felt by now single spouse but it vibrates through to the whole family, especially children. Recent studies have shown that many children have felt as though they have been taken advantage of, betrayed and even depressed and inadequate as result of their parents separating.
There are a number of way to help the single parent if they are feeling grief
* Taking care of yourself – If the parent does not take control of his/her life, he cannot take control of his/her child’s life. One should take care of himself/herself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Taking care of oneself ensures a positive environment of hope and love in the family.
* Accepting responsibilities – Being a single parent means maximizing all resources to take care of the family. This means looking for all possible, even creative solutions to solve a problem. One should not spend time blaming others for what happened, but instead, look for ways in addressing the problem.
* Family as the first choice – Successful single parent families have made their family as the top priority. These means determining non-negotiable and balancing commitments. Single parents usually forego career changing decisions for the family.
* Establish routine – The routines that the child was in before the divorce or death must always be kept as this is a way for the child to child to realize that things have not drastically changed. Stability to the child’s mental state must always be the prime focus. Routines can be as simple as a walk in the park or even a bed time story.
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Child Discipline: Teaching Your Children About Consequences
By Jill Brennan
Every decision has its consequences. Everyone learns this–some easier than others. Some people have to learn the hard way. Some learn early from the discipline of parents that there are consequences to actions. But as parents, how can we chose the right discipline for our child?
Parenting books have many different views on how this needs to be done. One of the easiest and most used methods (even if you don’t realize it) is to use if/then consequences. (Everyone has heard, and many parents have even used, this: IF you do not finish your peas, THEN you get no dessert). If you are having a difficult time teaching your child how to make good decisions, if/then statements have been proven to be a wonderful way to bring about quick changes, as long parents are consistent with follow-through.
Before beginning to use this method, there are a few things parents need to understand:
1. There is a world of difference between “punishing” your child and “disciplining” her. Punishment is meant to show power and strength, but little love. Discipline teaches a child what behavior they exhibited that was unacceptable, and helps them to understand why. Children also learn what you want them to do next time.
2. Never discipline your child when you are angry or upset. Reprimand the behavior at the time, but wait to discipline until you (and your child) have calmed down.
3. Rewards for good behavior should not be monetary, nor should they be expensive gifts. We parents do not get money, cars, expensive gifts, etc., for doing the right thing, and we do not want to teach our children that she will be rewarded for doing the right thing. Rewards should be based on the effort your child makes, not necessarily a perfect outcome.
4. Make sure both parents are on the same page, and are consistent. (Ever since there have been children and parents, children have been telling Dad “But Mom said” or vice versa.)
If/Then statements are simple. Think of the behavior you would like to change (failing grades, talking back, not picking up after himself, etc.). Make sure this is a behavior that your child knows is not acceptable.
Think of consequences if your child continues the action (no TV, no computer or video games, no phone privileges, removing things from her room, etc.). Make sure that the consequence will have some value to your child. There is no point of taking away TV time if your child has a video game system in his room, or spends all of her time on the cell phone.
As your child realizes that you are serious, and both parents are going to be consistent, most behavior problems begin to decrease. If the behavior does not, there may be additional causes for your child’s behavior, and you may want to look into professional help for your child. However, if there are no additional causes, the result of this will be better communication, fewer power struggles, and more quality time.
Parenting today is more demanding than ever before because we have higher expectations for our children and there are more demands on our time. To get Help for Parents and proven parenting tips and techniques for busy parents visit Parenting Skills: www.PracticalParentingTips.com