You might feel as if being a single father puts you in the minority. Dads often only have the opportunity to see their children every other weekend as a result of a divorce or breakup with their child’s mother. It is not as common for a dad to have custody of his child or children. You love your children dearly and yet you still wonder how you will survive as a single father.
There are some steps you can take to make it a little easier to be a full-time single father. One of the first things that you will want to do is to join a single parents group in your local area. It will be best if you can find a group geared towards single fathers. You can receive tips and advice from other fathers who understand what you are going through.
If you are a single father of a child who’s mother has some involvement in the child’s life, you must keep the peace with your son or daughter’s mother. Try to work with their mother to arrange the best options for her visitation with the children. Do not talk negatively about the children’s mother in front of the kids no matter how angry you are with her. If you need to have a serious talk with your ex, call or meet with her when the children are not home. (This might even mean you need to leave the kids with a trusted babysitter for a couple hours).
Make a conscious effort to be more attentive to your children and to share your feelings with them. This is not always easy for men to do. However, keeping the lines of communication open is a key ingredient to being a successful parent. This is even more important if you are the main parent who is in the child’s life. When they are feeling hurt and angry, happy or said, you need to be there to listen to your kids and to share your own thoughts and emotions with them.
Take a cooking class so that you can prepare healthy meals for your children. If you are not a good cook or do not know much about cooking, you really should take some classes. You want to be able to prepare good tasting and healthy meals for your children. It is not a good idea to rely on fast food and takeout all the time to feed the kids.
As a single father it is not likely that you will have a quiet morning before work anytime soon. In fact, you will probably need to get up earlier than ever in the morning. It takes awhile to get the kids up for bed, feed them breakfast and get them heading off to school in time.
There are some steps you can take to make the mornings go a little smoother. If your children are not old enough to get themselves ready for school or daycare each morning, you might want to lay out their clothes the night before. If you pack lunch for the kids, try to get together all non-perishable items for their lunch the night before.
Make certain the kids have their homework completed the night before. Help them to remember to put all their books and homework back in their backpacks before going to bed. You should sign any papers they need for school before going to bed as well so that you are not racing to get paperwork ready in the morning.
You need to be actively involved in your children’s lives whether you have sons or daughters. Attend their sports and other activities as often as possible. Ask your children about school each day even when you need to drag details about their day from them. You want to know about your children’s interests, their friends and how they are doing in school.
Do not feel bad if you need to ask a trusted women for some help if you have a daughter. There might be some topics that your daughter feels uncomfortable discussing with you or vice versa. It is fine to ask your daughter’s grandmother, aunt or another trusted adult female friend if they will be there when your daughter has questions or concerns that you feel you cannot adequately talk with her about. Just make sure your daughter has someone to talk to about those issues. Talk to your daughter on your own as much as possible.
Find someone you can trust in the event of the need for emergency childcare. There might be times when you need a babysitter unexpectedly. This might be due to your child or children getting out of school early or even a family emergency. Find someone you can trust who will be willing to help in a situation such as this. It might be a family member or a close friend who you have known for years.
Being a single parent is not always easy no matter how hard you try to be prepared. Financial and emotional challenges due arise. Be on the lookout for places that you can go for added support or helpful resources. This might be your church, your family doctor and even your children’s pediatricians. There are often services within a community to help single parents. As mentioned before, do not be afraid to ask for help as a single father.
Be an excellent role model for your child or children. Teach your son or sons to be a responsible man who respects women. Show your daughters that there are good men in this world that can be trusted. Work hard to provide a good life for your children and live by a good set of values so that they can look up to you. This will go a long way in helping you to be a successful parent.