If you are anything like me, you probably detest the label "single parent" and the stereotypes it throw up. However, following an ugly divorce, co-parenting could be the last thing on your mind. If it had been impossible to be civil with your spouse while you were still married, as well as throughout the legal divorce process, it could be even worse now that you are finally divorced. But being a single parent is not that easy either, what with all the challenges you will face, including problems that your children might toss your way. As you may have already heard, statistics seems to suggest that children from broken families become rebellious, angry, unmanageable and unhappy, which can make single parenting a real hardship. I don't know about you, but as for me, I have refused point blank to be to be labelled or my children for that matter, by those statistics. For many of you, reflecting upon the sadness and sense of overwhlem you may sometimes feel as a single parent is not as bad as when you were trapped in a loveless and unhappy marriage.
So the question you may be asking is Zina, how do you raise happy children following a divorce? I am glad you asked.
With the emotional turmoil you have been through, thinking straight and calm could be a real challenge. So hire quality child care to lend you a hand. It does not make you less of a parent if you hire a nanny or babysitter to help you manage on a daily basis. If you cannot afford to do so, approach family and friends for support. Learn to lean on others to help you get through the day or lighten your load. You can set carpool schedules, for example.
Get your children involved
If they are old enough, assign chores, ask help for certain tasks, or teach them to do the laundry or cooking to lighten up your load. This is also the best time to set house rules, limits, and provide consistent discipline. Do not make the mistake of spoiling your child as a way to make up for the divorce or being a single parent. This might be the stage where your parenting and management style will be compared with that of your spouse, but you must be firm. Help your children know what you expect from your ex partner and what they should expect from you. In effect make sure that even as you shower your children with love and reassurance, that you have clear boundaries in place especially in terms of teaching your children about being accountable and that there are consequences for every action good or bad.
Get your life organised
Following a structured schedule can help maintain your sanity. Keeping your home organised and clutter free, will also put stress at bay....easier said than done, I know. So take advantage of anything that will help you organise your life, including an online scheduling program, a chart for chores or a budget spreadsheet. Use anything available that would eliminate the possibility of too many things building up until they explode. Clutter could be a reflection of what you are feeling and thinking and, at the early stages after a divorce, you might be sensitive and susceptible to anything that will remind you of what you are feeling.
Gain knowledge about parenting after divorce
Whatever it is you are going through you are not alone. You have friends and family to provide you support. But when it comes to your child's developmental stage, parenting and how to recover from divorce, you should get advice from a professional. Knowledge is power, after all, and you can use it to your advantage. Treat parenting as a job, where you need information and tools to do it right. There are numerous online parenting resources, books and workshops, you may want to invest in your parenting skills.
I can help you get past the heartbreak and disillusionment, and get back the happy and satisfied you. I have always believed that divorce can be the positive catalyst for amazing change and fresh beginnings. You can be better as a single parent after a divorce with the right guidance. Do not hesitate to call me for advice or consultation. As a divorcee myself, I understand and know what you are going through.
I can help you get past the heartache and regain that self-esteem that you have lost, and if you are at the cross roads in an abusive situation, confused as to your next step, I strongly urge you to get yourself and your children out fast, out of the violent environment for the safety of your dear life and that of your children.
If you would like an informal chat regarding the issues I have raised
Get in touch with me today on +44 208 9383672 (24 hours service) or firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session.
In the mean time, keep strong, keep smiling and keep believing