Here is a bit of help for the single mom
First – You can’t do everything for your children that you may want to do. I’ve distilled down some major concepts into 3 points to start out your parenting box of tricks.
1. Get the facts – NEVER Assume.
This is hard when raising children because we think we know our kids and what is going on in their heads. In The Four Agreements, a Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Don Miguel Ruiz teaches us never to make assumptions. We may think we know what others are thinking but we can’t really read minds. Before this leads to misunderstanding, gather information. Find out the truth. Find the courage to ask for what you really want. The next time you catch yourself assuming something about another person’s behavior, stop. Analyze the circumstances, what was actually done or said, and be realistic about what is happening. Do not jump to a conclusion or make assumptions.
- What is one way that you make assumptions?
- How might your assumptions affect your parenting?
2. Gain Support.
All moms need a support system, single moms more than others. Choose people you can trust. If there is any doubt avoid them, even if they are family. You must get out of the house and socialize if you are to meet supportive people. Talk to your child’s teachers, school counselors, and doctors. You don’t have to “air all your dirty laundry” to let people know you could use some support.
I recall, fondly, how the high school nurse gave my daughter extra TLC and it meant the world to me. My principal took my son to the Father-Son breakfast at church. A neighbor took my boys to the local university basketball games. Our family physician took a special interest in caring for my children.
Our church youth minister was a significant support. I could talk with him candidly and he with me. Church youth groups give teens ready made activities that you can rely on for wholesome recreation. Summer church camps created lifelong memories for my children.
- Who do you lean on or go to for advice with your children?
- What is one way you might gain more support as you raise your children?
3. Trust the Friend Within.
I hope you recognize the voice of the Friend within. Unfortunately we are not taught to trust it. We are taught to “be sweet.” We are also encouraged to be aware of what others think of us, which leads to making assumptions. It can also cause you to become codependent with your children, being more concerned about them liking you than parenting them.
- Can you share a time when you were encouraged to “be sweet” rather than stand firm in your convictions?
- Can you share ways you were taught to be aware of what others think? How do you handle this with your children?
- Can you share a time when you heard the voice within? Did you listen? What did you do about it?
Instead of being sweet, worrying about what others think, or making assumptions listen to your personal inner voice.
Is it telling you to check on your child who is spending the night with a friend? Is it telling you to give your child some extra alone time? Is it telling you something is bothering your teen?
I am not a professional counselor, just a tough old bird with a soft spot for single moms.