Going It Alone: Being A Teen's Single Parent
Being a single parent is always a challenge, but single parenting a teen is particularly stressful. Hopefully these tips will help you do a better job and keep your sanity, too.
- Realize that your teen needs adult role models from both genders. Hopefully this other role model will come in the form of your child's other parent. However, if that is not the case you still need to encourage healthy relationships between your child and someone of the opposite gender. It is very important during the teen years that your child has both male and female thoughts on life, love and other mysteries.
- Realize that you need support, too. Cultivate at least one non-romantic friend who shares your interest in your teen's welfare. Use this person as a sounding board about decisions you are considering and issues you are facing as a parent.
- Take some time for yourself so that you can better serve your children. Try to get enough rest and eat well. Also, set aside at least a few minutes each day to just be alone and think. If necessary, get up early or stay up late so you won't be interrupted but make time to catch your breath and put away the stress for a while.
- Create a support network with other parents. Chances are that you will need help in the form of carpooling, getting details on coming events, etc. Network with other parents at your teen's school to help each other get your kids from place to place and to monitor what they are doing when they are there.
- Encourage your teen to have a good relationship with his other parent if that is possible. This person is still a critical part of your child's history and destiny. Knowing him better will give your teen a better chance to become a healthy, well rounded adult.