As a single parent, do you ever feel like your life is one long juggling act? If your answer is “yes,” then this post is for you. In it, you’ll find insightful parenting tips to help you on those especially busy days. Make the most of your time
Time is one of our most precious resources, particularly if you’re a parent. Here are some tips for busy single parents:
- Having an organized home can reduce stress, but it may be a challenge to maintain order with a small child in the house. But, use a solid plan to routinely keep your home tidy to access important items quickly in each room.
- Delegate what you can. Feeling like you have to do everything yourself is not only unrealistic, it can actually work counter to your goals.
- Start each day with a to-do list and mark off tasks as you complete them. This will keep you from settling into bed at the end of a long day only to say to yourself, “How could I have forgotten to do that?”
- Say “no” if you need to. All of us have more demands on our time than we can handle. You have to prioritize if you’re to take care of the essentials.
- Save some time for yourself. Everyone needs a little relaxation and pampering now and then. Working yourself to the bone will only sap your energy and hurt your performance.
Settle into a rhythm
Daily routines get less credit than they deserve. They’re actually an important tool for living a productive, fulfilling life. Here’s how to get yourself on schedule and stay there:
- Start your day 15 minutes to a half hour before you wake up your kids. That way you have time for yourself before tending to your children.
- Do as much meal preparation as possible before leaving for work. Good Housekeeping points out that this can save you from the mad rush to cook dinner in the afternoon.
- Use your commute time. Those frustrating minutes spent in traffic can become the perfect opportunity for giving yourself important reminders or listening to that audio book you been dying to start. Just remember to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
- Give yourself a mental pat on the back at the end of the day for sticking with your schedule. This will give you added incentive to do so again tomorrow.
It’s important for your child to have a schedule. Here are some tips for your little one.
How many of us as children heard our parents tell us, “You’ve got to eat your supper before you have dessert?” It may be hard to admit, but they had a valid point. Teach your kids to put study before relaxation and obligations before social time. Helping your children set priorities now will make it easier for them to do so in the future.
Part of providing your child with structure is telling him or her ahead of time not only your expectations but also the consequences for either meeting or missing them. Nothing can create fear or resentment faster than coming across as arbitrary. Remember that, while discipline is sometimes necessary, nurturing positive behavior is every bit as important. For example, you might tell your child that failing to study means no video games, but that earning good marks on a math quiz can lead to a favorite dessert or a trip to the movies.
A parent occupies a special place in a child’s mind and life. Trying to be her best buddy will only confuse her and interfere with the job of parenting. As she matures into adulthood, you may find yourself developing a friendship with your child. Until then, however, keep your role clearly defined.
Single parenting is always challenging and sometimes stressful. But it’s also immensely rewarding. Use the tips to help you avoid the pitfalls and make the most of the adventure.
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