Being a parent is never an easy task, no matter if there are two of you or you’re a single parent. However, things tend to be more complicated for single parents. Not only do they have to worry about bringing the cash into the family and doing an actual job in order to earn a living for the two (or more), but they have to think about all the things that are important for the wellbeing of their kid(s).
When you go online and try to find an article about single parents, most of them are focused on women, giving the impression that there are only single moms in the world. The truth is completely different, as there are plenty of single dads in the world as well, and some of them might need a helping hand or two. Take a look at some of the ways that will make you the best single dad anytime:
Be a friend and a parent
The first thing that you need to do in case you are a single dad is to establish the right relationship with your kid. Regardless of the sex the kid, the most essential thing to do is to be their friend. This is not an easy task and it can definitely backfire, so it is very important to play this in the right way.
Apart from being their parent and teaching them about the things they should and can do, and giving them an informal education, you should always be there in case they need something. Understand them and never judge them. Make them want to confide in you. This is what will help you have better control of them, understand them and make them fully loyal to you. Most importantly, this is how you will earn respect.
Invest in education
However, it is their education that is going to shape them into the people you want them to be in the future. Having only one parent is definitely difficult as they will not get the pressure from both parents, so you will have to do everything by yourself.
Bear in mind that both formal and informal education is very important, especially in these situations, as children will get to learn something that you might have forgotten to teach them. Even if you live abroad, in Asia for example or Australia, find a good English learning centre where your kids will learn their syllabus.
Apart from that, enroll them in different activities that they might find interesting. It is very important for a kid to have a hobby and multiple interests.
Decide on the routine
It might be quite difficult to put on paper all the tasks that a parent has to do. This means that it is even more difficult to do so if you are a single dad. How often should you shower your kid?
Are there any medical checkups that you have to take them to, and if yes, how often? What is your kid supposed to eat? All of these things matter a lot, and it would be a great idea to talk to a parent that you know, just in case you have all the information.
As far as eating is concerned, a good tip would be for you to start eating more vegetables. Kids never liked vegetables and yet it is one of the foods that they have to eat, so make sure you educate them in this department.
Put yourself in their shoes
Yes, we discussed how you should always encourage your kids to do what they want to do and respect their wishes and hobbies. But apart from that, it is very important to put yourself in their shoes and actually understand what it is like to be them.
For example, whatever happened to the other parent, you should never, ever talk ill about them. Firstly it is not OK, and secondly, you never know if this will backfire or not. As far as their friends are concerned, try to understand why they are friends with those particular people and never forbid any people in their lives without giving them the right reasons for doing so. Having a clean, black and white slate is very important, especially with teenagers.
Tell them you love them
Finally, do not hide your feelings. If you are angry, tell them calmly what is it that you’re angry for. But most importantly, always show your love and your support as they need this, even double than other kids.
Worry not, as being a single dad is difficult, but it is also a great opportunity to spend time and model the most important person (or people) in your life. And yes, this might be corny, but being a parent and doing all of these things for your kid really is rewarding.
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Peter is a men's grooming & fashion writer at High Street Gent magazine from UK. Beside writing he worked as a menswear fashion stylist for many fashion events around UK & AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.