“ I am very glad when my two daughters cuddled me unexpectedly and say, ‘Mummy we love you”.- GRACE, A SINGLE MOTHER.
Today, single-families are on the rise around the world. You will find them around you. Single-parent can be a father or mother. Either of them can be a victim.
Nowadays, we experience drastic changes taking place in families. You may wonder why?
Why are single-parent families on the rise?
1. Separations: Many couple no longer live together. Either the children stays with the father or the mother.
Separations could occur as a result of regular fights at home, failure for the man to provide for the family, etc.
2. Divorce: This is the situation when both husband and wife legally decides that the marriage should be dissolved. No coming back again.
Note that, divorce and separation are not the same. Divorce can only occur if either the husband or the wife commits adultery. And the innocent mate decides not to forgive the accused.
On the other hand, when a couple separate, they can still come back together. Their marriage isn’t dissolved.
3. Illegitimate birth: This occurs due to unwanted pregnancy.
4. Much Time and attention are spent on internet.
Parents no longer have the time for each other. Always on the phone, laptop-chatting, and browsing the internet.
5. Many families are television lovers.
6. The economic pressure takes a great toll on families. To meet up the family’s needs, the husband and wife are working. In most cases, the man lives and work far away from his family.
7. Death. When one of the mate dies, it can lead to Single-parent family. However, the loss of a mate can be challenging.
Problems of Single-parent families.
1. Children are emotionally stressed. It affects their performance at school. It affects their moods.
2. Causes depression. Many women never liked the idea of raising their children without a father. They often cry, even in the presence of the children.
3. The single parent battles with such feelings as anger and guilt. They wished they can turn back the hands of time.
4. Loneliness. They struggle with deep emotions, especially when a loved one, (husband or wife) dies.
5. It causes instability and insecurity. Men who are recently divorced or widowed are faced with multitude of household tasks.
6. Meeting up the financial needs is difficult.
It is normal and natural for Single-parent families to be worried about what tomorrow will brings.
There is good news. If you are a single parent, know that your family life can be a success.
How can single-parent families succeed?
1. Be peaceable with your ex-spouse
Bad-mouthing your ex to your children is not healthy for them. Do not undermine the respect you have for your former mate.
Do not say negative things on your ex, in their presence.
Never use your kid as a spy to find out what is really happening in your ex’s life. That is isn’t healthy for the children. It will have a negative effect on them.
Why not try to improve the relationship with your ex on the matter of discipline or any related issue that has to do with the welfare of your child.
If you are at peace with everyone, including your ex, it will be a nice step for reunion. It can happen.
Don’t over react when you and your ex disagree.
2. Always take good care of yourself: Life is hard. We live in critical times, so hard to deal with. It can too easy to be emotionally and physically down. To ease the pressure, what can be done?
Go for recreation. You can give it a thought. It’s not a bad idea. Remember, there is a time to laugh, a time to skip about.
Recreation keeps you going. It relieves one of stress. It improves the mood.
You can take your children out with you. Recreation is like refueling a car. Note that, a car without fuel will not get anywhere. The point? Recreation gives you the added strength to fulfill your role as a single parent.
3. Plan how you spend your money:
Financial stress can be eased when you budget your expenses. This is where single mothers are having it hard to deal with.
To prevent financial woes, it’s important to plan in advance. Forethought, is important in this matter.
At the end of each day, you can write down how you spend your money.
4. Avoid negativity: If you label yourself as hopeless, or doomed, it won’t ease the situation. You are only adding to your problems.
You have to be cheerful. Make the best out of your circumstances. Be positive that things will be better. If you are discouraged, you will not be able to carry on. Your strength will diminish.
5. Pray to your God: Hope in him. Cry to him. Open your heart. If you do, he will care for you and help you manage your responsibilities. Just have faith in him. He is a God that truly cares for you!
6. Show a good example: Cultivate good habits and good values. You are like a pregnant woman. No matter how many wrapper you tie on your waist, it can’t hide the pregnancy. The point?
Your children watches your behavior. They notice how you react to issues. They can learn you. Never allow your circumstances to eat you up. Keep enduring. Endurance pays.
Don’t get stuck or be resentful over how your ex has treated you. Prove to your children, you can endure.
As your children grows up, they will face challenges on life. How you train them now, depends on how they will cope with life’s pressures in the future.
7. Read the holy book together with your children. Pray together.
8. Be firm while disciplining your children. Be consistent, reasonable and firm. Draw closer to them. Talk to them at every opportunity.
9. Do not isolate yourself. Accept help and advice from well-meaning friends and families.
Talk to other single-parents. Learn on how they are coping and how they survived. Ask questions.
Write down on paper what you would like to improve on. Don’t isolate yourself!