| As you probably know, being a Single Mom or Dad
ain't easy... you're too busy trying to run your household, juggling
your work life with your family life, etc... to have much time to
devote to meeting that new special someone, whether it be another
Single Parent or an enlightened Single.
This resource is just
for you. We have assembled some excellent articles for you on the art
of being a Single Parent as well as some worthwhile dating advice. If
you are recently divorced or have become recently single for whatever
reason, and you dread the thought of dating again... then read the
You might also want to
try looking for love in person by attending a Singles Event in a city
near you... see our list below.
Four Ways To Bond With Your Child As A
Seven Parenting Mistakes to Avoid
With Your Teenager
To Do and Not to Do: A Dating Guide
for Single Parents
Online Dating And The Single Parent
Single Parents and
Romantic Relationships: The Recipe for Longevity
Dating as a Single Dad
Single Parents And The Rise of
Crime Rates Among Children
Single Parent Dating - Tips for
Introducing Your Kids to Your Date
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Four Ways To
Bond With Your Child As A Single Parent
The issue of
single parenting often evokes plenty of debate as to whether children
are more negatively impacted in a single parent home as opposed to
having two parents.
children who grow up with only one parent in the home are said to
become more independent and are better prepared to fend for themselves
in adult life. This view will definitely stir up plenty of debate.
One of the biggest
issues of single parenting is a parent who re-enters the dating scene.
The impact on their children can be very dramatic especially if a child
has already experienced a two parent household and was close to the
parent who is no longer a part of it.
reception for the new person in their life can be best described as
being hot. A parent who introduces a new member to the family may often
times have to deal with jealous feelings from their child. A child now
faces the prospect of competing for their sole parent's affection which
can lead to tense times.
Let's take a look
at some things you can do as a single parent to form a more harmonious
relationship with your child:
- Show them you
love them every day. This could be through simply telling them every
day or by some action. Maybe leaving a note on their pillow after they
leave for school or in their school bag.
- Encourage your
child daily. Let them know they are above average and they are doing a
great job. On the other hand, be careful not to "sugar coat" the
situation too much and if they break the rules then let them know also.
- Set rules the
child must abide by. Routine is important in a two parent household but
it's just as vital in a single parent home. Eating family dinners is
crucial to a home's routine. Make sure you sit down together at least
once a day to eat. Evening time is ideal but if your situation allows,
try and sit down for breakfast together as well.
- Don't be afraid
to let your child help out around the home. If they are old enough then
encourage them to help keep the home and yard clean. When a child is
given responsibility, in most cases they will thrive.
Parenting Mistakes to Avoid With Your Teenager
Being a single
parent inherently comes with challenges. As a counselor, often single
parents ask what mistakes they need to avoid when parenting their
teenager. Many single parents are concerned about any consequences of
their divorce that could negatively affect their teenager. Here are
some common mistakes to avoid:
1: Lying to them
is always best, especially when parenting teenagers. First, today's
teenagers are quite savvy and know when they are being conned. Also,
dishonesty only destroys trust, which is something that is needed most
during this transitional time.
2: Avoiding discipline
there is a lack of any discipline, there is manipulation.
Dictionary.com provides this definition of discipline, "Training
expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior,
especially training that produces moral or mental improvement." Notice
the emphasis on improved character rather than punishment.
3: Eliminate any structure or routine
is a transitional time for everyone involved. Each person's routine is
adversely affected. A structured home environment filled with routines
and chores provides a sense of order and ownership. This is beneficial
particularly if there is chaos resulting from the divorce.
4: Forget about them
single parent, you are forced to wear many hats and fill many different
roles - often simultaneously. In addition, you are in the midst of
trying to provide a stable home environment, work full time, and
recover from the emotional adjustment of a being a single parent. In
the midst of this, I encourage you to find some time to be intentional
on spending time with your teenager on a regular basis. Help them to
see that you are available to them, and concerned about any needs they
5: Continue fighting with your former spouse
marital relationship has been turbulent, then many teenagers anticipate
a divorce will bring about a much needed sense of peace. However, if
conflict continues after divorce has been finalized then your teenager
may experience some emotional difficulty adjusting to the divorce. As
much as you are able, try to keep any discussions with your former
spouse cordial and focused on your teenager.
6: Don't get them any outside help
can affect teenagers in many different ways. Some may open up
emotionally and sharing their feelings freely. However, others may
withdraw from family and friends and become reclusive. Others may enter
into some behavioral problems that may have not been there before. If
you have any concerns about how your teenager is recovering from the
divorce then I encourage you to seek out a qualified professional
7: Assuming nothing is wrong
common parenting mistake is to assume that your teenager has been
completely untouched by the divorce. There lives seem undisturbed as if
the divorce is a minor incident in the tapestry of their lives. And
this is true for many teenagers. However, there are others that will
give the appearance that all is well, when in fact the opposite is the
case. They may do this to save face for them, or they can react this
way to give their parents one less thing to worry about. Communicate
with your teenager on an ongoing basis about his/her feelings about
their new life and its challenges.
Author: Terre Grable is a licensed professional counselor.
She enjoys helping parents and teens become better friends when they
feel like enemies.
To Do and Not to Do: A Dating
Guide for Single Parents
A lot of single
parents shy away from dating because things can get too complicated
when a history of failed relationships and a number of growing children
come into play. The excess baggage makes dating even more difficult
than usual, making single parents devote all their free time on their
wrong with being a doting mom or dad, but you have to admit that as a
single parent, you sometimes crave for a bit of fun, excitement, and
companionship that only dating can bring. If you've been depriving
yourself of the pleasures of dating because of fear of getting hurt or
finding yourself in, it's you who'll end up losing out on the chance of
being truly happy.
Of course, as a
single parent, you are expected to date even more responsibly than
ever. This time around, you no longer have just yourself to think
about; you also need to take into your consideration your children, so
that if your date doesn't turn out to be The One, no one will get hurt
To help you date
responsibly, here are some do's and don'ts for single parents who are
about to reenter the jungle that is dating:
-- Expand your
social life. A healthy social network enriches your personality and
provides you a strong support system due to the new friendships you
form. And you might even find a special someone from one the friends
you make. After all, a lot of the best relationships start with solid
-- Be honest about
having children. You don't have to tell the whole history of your past
relationships and story of your current domestic life during the first
few dates (and perhaps, ever, because some things are better left
unsaid) but you are expected to be upfront about being a parent right
from the start. In this way, dating prospects who don't like to be
involved with someone with kids can make a run for it before either of
you get in too deep.
--Take your time.
When you meet a dating prospect, slowly build on a friendship so that
any romantic relationship that comes out of it has a solid foundation.
Passionate flings with sexy strangers may have an irresistible allure
to them, but when you have kids, you need to think about going out with
someone they can grow to like as well.
-- Make sure that
the person you are dating is of decent character. The last thing you
want is your children seeing you hurt by a jerk or a bitch because they
get hurt by your pain as well. Even if things don't work out, if you're
going out with someone who knows how to respect your feelings, then you
can end a relationship with your dignity intact.
-- Join clubs and
organizations just for the sake of finding dating prospects. Actively
looking for The One makes him or her more elusive than ever. It also
reeks of desperation, and you know you're better than that. You're
better off forming meaningful friendships. Even without romance in your
life, friends can always brighten up a dismal day.
-- Rush in without
thinking. Only fools rush in, as a saying goes. When you have kids, you
can no longer afford to be a fool. Make sure that you really are ready
to face the consequences of your actions, because if you get hurt in
the end, your kids will notice. Or even if they don't, your ability to
handle them on a daily basis will get affected. Don't let romantic
notions get the best of you, because you may end up being bitterly
disappointed when a dating prospect doesn't turn out as great as you
-- Ignore the
warning signs. It doesn't happen often, but the key point here is that
it does, and it can happen to you. If the person you are dating shows
signs of being abusive, then it's time to say goodbye. You may be able
to handle it, but your children can't. Don't put them in a situation
where they can be exposed to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. In
the end, it's your kids' welfare you should put in top priority.
Online Dating And The Single
by Ben Nielson
If you are a
single parent looking into the world of online dating, you want to be
cautious and completely honest in your profile. Even if the kids live
with you or not, you should include something about them in your
profile. Many people are not looking for someone with kids, especially
young ones. There are many people in their forties, who have older kids
out on their own and do not want to start over with kids involved. Sex
and age of the kids is important for single parents to discuss in a
profile. They will be a part of the picture especially if they are
You can make your
profile fun and exciting by listing things you like to do with and
without the kids. This does help a perspective caller see that you can
enjoy doing things along and still have time for the kids. Single
parents joining the online dating world have to take precautions as
well. Although you want to be honest about having kids, you never know
about some people you will meet. It is always best to have a long
period of time communicating before the actual meeting. Try not to
introduce the kids right away.
You need to make
sure this is someone you want around your kids as well as someone your
kids will like. Online dating should be a good experience for both you
and the children. If you meet someone that is great with you and
fulfills all your dreams, but as issues with your kids, it might not be
the best relationship to start. Unbelievably, sometimes kids are a
better judge of character than adults are in these situations. In some
cases, though, kids are just being stubborn while waiting for the
natural parent to come back.
online through a dating service might be easy, but getting everyone together might cause some issues. Single
parenting means you do need time for yourself. Dating is one of these
things that need to be explained to some children. Some children just
do not care, which makes it a little easier. If you are ready to
introduce your new friend, you should have gotten to know the person
very well. Even the sweetest and most talented person might not be
right for you and your children. Take your time when finding someone to
meet in person. This is crucial if you have kids to care for.
Single parents and
online dating can work together it just might take longer than it would
if you were gathering with friends and meeting someone. You want to be
sure and safe. Not everyone will find someone right away, it does take
time, but if you spend a little time every day browsing profiles, you
might find someone that will interest you and maybe they will even have
kids of their own. You can search for profiles of people who include
kids in their profiles which does make searching easier. Keep in mind
that some people might not have kids, but love kids.
Parents and Romantic Relationships: The Recipe for Longevity
by Judy Porter
The foundation of
long-term relationships is essentially the same for everyone, even for
single parents. Trust, communication, and love are three key factors
that must exist in any relationship if it has any hope to last beyond a
few months. As a single parent, though, you need to exert more effort
in making a relationship work. After all, it's not just yourself you
have to consider; you need to think of your children's welfare as well.
To make a
relationship last, you need to lay out the truth right from the very
start. Never pretend, even at the beginning, that you are totally
single and free of obligation. Being upfront even during the early
dating stages establishes that you're honest, and this encourages your
partner to be truthful to you as well.
Let your partner
know that your kids always come first. This removes any unreasonable
expectations between the two of you. However, this doesn't mean that
your partner falls far behind in your list of priorities. The key here
is striking a balance between your partner and your children. Even
though your kids will always take stop spot in your life, know when to
allow your partner to be your number one while your kids take a
Even though you
(and maybe even your partner) have kids, don't let all your activities
revolve around your domestic life. Although going out on fun outings
with the children is a fun activity, make sure that you still have
dates that involve only you and your partner. A romantic candlelit
dinner for two, a weekend getaway to a private beach resort, or maybe
even just a movie date--these are the activities that keep the romance
And of course,
don't forget the sex. In any mature relationship, sex plays an integral
part. You may be a single parent, but do not confine yourself to that
role alone. At home in front of your kids, you are known as a mom or
dad; but in the bedroom, you should be nothing else but a sexy
temptress or a dashing seducer. Keeping the sexual fire alive provides
constant passion and excitement in any long-term relationship.
communication and trust, of course, are two things that you should
never do without. Say what you mean and mean what you say to avoid
petty misunderstandings that often escalate to major fights. Don't let
niggling suspicions with no strong basis get the best of you. Learn to
identify your insecurities. Do you really have a reason to worry, or is
it all just in your head? Sometimes, even the best relationships end
not because of indiscretion, but because of insecurity.
You will never
know what your partner thinks and does 100% of the time. The earlier
you accept that fact, the more realistic your expectations of a
relationship will be. Provide enough space between you and your
partner. Even with a special someone in your life, you still need time
for yourself, as does your partner. The last thing either one of you
need is the feeling of being emotionally suffocated in a relationship
that hinders personal growth. Never lose your sense of yourself so that
if things don't work out, you can still fall back on your own strength
to pull you through.
During the course
of the relationship, after you've made sure that your partner is
trustworthy and decent, bring your children into the picture. This
means letting them get to know your partner well, so that if your
relationship progresses to something more serious (such as moving in
together and maybe even getting married), your children will not be in
for too much of a surprise.
Being a single
parent should never be a deterrent for long-lasting romantic
relationships. If you and your partner are mature enough to handle
commitments, the presence of children is even going to enhance your
relationship instead of hamper it. Once you learn how to strike a
balance between your romantic and domestic life, you can really have it
as a Single Dad
by Judy Porter
It is hard enough
to enter the dating scene as a single parent but for single dad's who
are raising their kids alone it is even trickier. Unfortunately most of
the advice and support out there is for single mothers since society is
so used to mom's getting custody. But times are changing and more and
more father's are getting at least joint if not soul custody of their
children. Just because the legal system has changed doesn't mean that
society, and dating, have caught up.
It's a sad fact
that many women expect the men that they are dating to place them at
the top of their priority lists, before work and family. That might be
possible for the single guys and weekend parents but when you are an
active single father your kids have to come first. Some guys try to
juggle between girlfriends with Princess syndrome and their kids but in
the end it just leads to hurt feelings.
The first rule of
being a single dad in the dating world is to be selective. It's better
to wait around for a woman who appreciates and understands the primacy
of your role as a father then to go through dozens of bad relationships
with girls who don't get it. There are women out there who not only
accept that being a Dad comes first to you, they also find it
attractive. So where are these women at? The truth is that you are
going to have to shift your hunting ground from bars and clubs, where
the women tend to be younger and less mature, to places like coffee
shops and book clubs.
Don't be afraid to
date single mothers, even though the fact you both have kids can make
it complicated to schedule rendezvous and coordinate babysitters. It is
worth it since you both have a dedication to family and share many of
the same experiences. And don't rule out online dating sites. Getting
to know somebody through emails and phone calls first can help you
focus your limited time with people who have shown that they understand
you and your situation.
Once a single
father does find someone to start dating online they are trapped by the
old rules of what men are expected to do in romantic relationships.
Let's start with money. There are many single dads who are getting
little, if any, child support from their exes and finances are tight.
But the old rules about men paying for dates are still in play, even
though the woman you are taking out might be making more then you. So
instead of taking your date to dinner and a movie, which can easily
reach a fifty to eighty bucks for both of you, look for things that are
less expensive but more romantic. An afternoon picnic at a park for
example. There are dozens of low cost exhibitions, fairs, and community
events going on in your town every weekend and these make great places
to take a date.
Then there is the
issue of sex. Guys are expected to make the first move to the bedroom
which is hard when you have kids at your home, not to mention that you
have to be home before midnight to pay the babysitter. You may feel
like you are a teenager again having to make out in the back of cars
and in parking lots because you can't go home. But you aren't sixteen
anymore and you are old enough to be able to talk about the logistics
of these issues with your girlfriend. If you aren't ready to talk about
it then you guys probably aren't ready to be doing it.
So now that you
have found the right woman through your online dating, you just need to
introduce her to the kids. It is important that you do this delicately
and without a of promises. Make it clear to the kids, and your lady,
that she isn't coming in to be their Mother. This is important because
they have already lost one full time mother, if the relationship fails
and they lose another one it will be devastating. You are the primary
caregiver and decision maker in these kids lives. If your girlfriend
takes on the role of Mommy she may end up usurping that authority. You
are a single father, emphasis on the word father. Anything getting in
the way of that job needs to be eliminated from your life.
Parents And The Rise of Crime Rates Among Children
by Dwayne Garrett
The hardest thing
to face as a single parent are the intense emotions associated with
being both a mother and a father to a child. This is further magnified
when the other parent is absent or is deliberately not doing anything
to fulfill his part in the caring for the children. More often than
not, the single parent's psychological well being bogs down.
might try to cope with this strain by either trying to compensate by
adopting both mom and dad roles, or by scouring the social scene for a
partner to help him or her in the rearing of the child. The pressure is
However, if truth
be told, none of the above will help. If anything, they might even
cause you to become more stressed. And when you end up being more
stressed than ever, chances are this will reflect and magnify on your
If you are a
single parent, ask yourself. How does your behavior and general outlook
toward life affect your kid? Upon closer scrutiny, you might just find
out that your child's constant tantrums and bouts of unexplained anger
might just be the result of your continuing negativity. It is for these
reasons that you should be careful.
show that children coming from single-parent households are more
susceptible to destructive or rebellious behavior, not just because
society imposes the need for a two-parent structure, but also, more
often than not, the custodial parent is either too guilty that he or
she smothers his child, or too busy to make ends meet to show how much
he or she cares.
According to one
study, about 90% of the change in crime rates between 1973 and 1995 had
been accounted for by children born into single-family setups and those
that had been born outside of marriage.
While this is not
entirely true for all cases of that cover single parent households, we
cannot discount the fact that majority of reports conducted in lieu of
single parenthood and crime rates show that they are, indeed, linked.
Children born into
two-parent, or 'intact' homes, are also susceptible to committing
crime, so it would be impulsive to generalize that all kids under
one-parent households are likely to become criminals.
settings place some sort of balance to a child's psychological
well-being. However, it should also not be discounted that kids who
grew up under an unhappy but intact home are also prone to some form of
If you are a
single parent, the best thing you can do to prevent this from happening
is to be there for your child. You don't really need to be available
24-7 and spend so much just to show him or her that you care. The mere
fact that you make it clear, in the occasions that you can, that your
child's well-being is your utmost priority is enough.
Never forget to
tell your child that you love him or her. Do away with discussing the
negative, especially if it's against the other parent, no matter how
distressed you are with him or her.
If you are having
trouble reaching out to your kid, particularly if you're realizing this
need just now and your child is already a teen, seek counseling. Or
have a one on one talk with your child so that both of you will
understand each others feelings openly. Honesty is key in a single
parent setting. If both parent and child are honest about what they
think and feel, the less likely a rebellion would occur.
While you do feel
somehow guilty for being a single parent (you may sometimes even think
it's your fault that your kid is exhibiting rebellious behavior), you
should immediately try to take it out of your system. Guilt will only
magnify the ill effects on your child and might even push him or her
further into ill behavior.
Simply put, a
positive attitude will do wonders. A happy household, whether in a
two-parent or single parent setting, is still a happy household. And
this is all that is going to matter.
Author: Dwayne Garrett is the author of several eBooks and
popular software applications.
Dating - Tips for Introducing Your Kids to Your Dates
by Judy Porter
If you are a
single parent, dating may be a source of simultaneous joy and anxiety.
How do you explain to young children that you are dating? Should you
introduce the kids to everyone you date, or is it better to wait until
the relationship has reached a certain level of commitment? What if you
fall in love with someone your kids end up not liking? Although these
are common questions most single parents entering the dating scene
have, there are truly no simple answers. Combining the following tips
with your instincts and better judgment can help.
When you have
young children, third grade or younger, explaining that you are dating
is probably not necessary, at least not until you have met someone you
are serious about. Introducing a young child to every man or woman you
bring home is probably more damaging than helpful, and will likely only
confuse your child. Remember that young children grow attached to
people quickly, and thus, it is unfair to your children to bring
someone into their lives whom you yourself are still unsure about. Once
a relationship has reached the stage where you both envision a future
together, the risk of heartbreak for both you and your kids becomes
Once you are
dating someone you truly believe could be the one, you are faced with
how to introduce your kids to the new man or woman in your life. It is
wise to sit down with your children individually and have a
conversation before bringing home someone who, to your children, is a
stranger. If your children are old enough to understand the concept of
dating, they might not necessarily be happy to hear the news.
Kids ages nine and
up, especially ones old enough to remember your divorce or separation,
or who have lived through the death of a parent, tend to see their
single parent's dating as a threat. Explain to your children that you
are not trying to replace their father or mother, and that this new
person will never take their mother's or father's place. Make sure to
listen to how your children feel about what you tell them, and
encourage them to ask any questions they have.
If your kids react
positively or neutrally, you might schedule an age-appropriate activity
all of you can do together. If your children seem extremely adverse to
the idea of you dating, you might consider holding off on the
introduction for a few weeks to give your kids time to let the news
sink in. Once you and your kids are ready, plan an activity where
everyone can have a good time. Choose mini-golf or an afternoon at the
arcade over a sit-down lunch, because a hands-on activity will allow
your kids the option of doing their own thing while warming up to your
new love slowly, whereas a restaurant lunch will involve forced small
talk and awkward silence.
Keep in mind, all
children adjust differently. If your kids lived through and remember
the times you and their father argued, or your kids' mother has only
been dead a few years, the concept of a new man or woman entering their
lives may be more than your children are emotionally ready to handle.
Once a child has lost a parent, they may fear being abandoned. Although
it may seem irrational to your adult mind, to a child, it may seem like
you are abandoning them for a new man, or a new woman. They may also
feel like you are trying to replace their father or mother, or they may
be holding on to fantasies that you and your ex will get back together.
If your children feel any of these things, they will most likely react
negatively to anyone new you bring home, regardless of what a good
person he or she might be or how much you love him or her. By
reassuring your children that you love them, that they are your
priority, and that your loyalties are to them, you will be allowing
your children to accept your new relationship in their own time.