How to be a Successful Single Dad
Can you cut it as a single dad?
Being a single dad can be a very trying experience, no matter what the age and sex of the children all. If single fatherhood is approached with dedication and honesty, though, it can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments that may be achieved. In many instances being a single father may be vastly different then when both parents were present, while in other situations the only difference that may be found is the decreased presence of a second adult. There are a few important tips that need to be understood, and followed, in order to be a successful single parent, such as setting and following rules, taking an active role in the children and their lives, and actually listening to them.
Setting and following rules is an important aspect of any type of parenting, and being a single dad is not any different. Rules have to be established and upheld in order for children to learn life skills. Not only do rules allow them to learn how to follow people that are considered to be authority figures, but it also teaches them how to prepare and live on their own when the reach adulthood. Of course the rules that are set should be for basic areas, such as bedtimes and chores, but they should also be set in such a way that they are flexible when circumstances demand them to be. Basic rules and routines are simply set as a guideline that should be followed when possible, but they should not be a strict rope that can never be strayed from.
Taking an active role in the lives of the children is an important aspect of being a single dad. This applies to both school and social activities. If a child is having problems in school, whether it is with a specific subject or one of the various social circles found in upper grades, the single father needs to step forward and aid in any way possible. Of course, as with all other areas of parenting, there are also times when the dad will need to back away and let the child learn on their own. Usually a person that simply is willing to discuss the issue with the child will help them decide on the correct course of action to take. Sometimes advice can be given, and if the child is in danger of mental or physical harm then rules and boundaries can be set into place. Being an active participant within the lives of the children involved not only shows them that the single parent cares, but that they are willing to take time out of their own schedule in order to spend time in activities that are important to the child.
It is important that the single dad not only to listen to what the children have to say, but to actually listen to what is being spoken. This may seem like common sense to most people, but the truth is that many parents have various other worries or ideas running through their heads, so they do not actively get involved in the discussion. Children have a great inner mechanism that allows them to accurately judge whether the person that they are talking to is actually listening to them. Most children want to be heard, and understood, by their single dad. Even though their ideas and actions may be different than what the dad thinks is correct, it should be discussed calmly and with an open mind. It is important to remember that children have their own thoughts and ideas, and they need to know that their parent will support them in most of their actions and thoughts.
The difference of being a single dad, and a partner within a dedicated relationship, is the number of adults present. All the other aspects of parenting remain the same. It may be more challenging to be a single dad, and it may be much harder to have a social life outside of the children, but it is a rewarding task that in the end will make the hard work and dedication well worth the effort that is required while the children grow to maturity, and beyond.
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