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The Newly Single Parent

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the-newly-single-parent-headerGame Change for the New Single Parent!

As a new single parent, you are about to embark on a whole new way of life. Everything is changing now that you have the primary responsibility for your child. If you have more than one child, you are going to need a good game plan and a lot of help. Here are a few new single parent tips that may be advantageous.

What Changes Now You're Single?

Your first year as a new single parent may be the most difficult. It is a time for making a lot of adjustments not only in your lifestyle, but also in your approach to parenting. For all intents and purposes, as a custodial parent you are now both mother and father to your child. Because of this, one of the most important new single parent tips is to build a support system for yourself. Have you heard the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child?"  It is truly imperative that you build a support system. Make a list of those individuals in your life that you know you can count on for support both in lending a helping hand or for giving solid advice. Support groups for single parents can be a real comfort, especially in that difficult first year of adjustment.

Time Alone

Something that somehow seems to disappear is your alone time.  Play dates are wonderful things. They not only help your child learn to interact with others, but they give you an hour or two of blissful alone time with no guilt. You will need time for getting things into perspective and to allow the healing process to take place. You need to find a little time where you can just relax and ponder your life without being interrupted with questions and chores. It will make you a better parent. If play dates are not an option, then rising a half an hour before the rest of the family will do wonders for your physical and mental health. An exercise regime is also an excellent way to relieve stress.

Quality Time with your Child

One of the things that happens with new single parents is the daily pressures tend to cause the parent to become overwhelmed and preoccupied with just making it through all the challenges of each day. It is important to stay emotionally present when spending time with your child. One way to accomplish this is by taking a walk together or playing a game. This will help you both relax and strengthen the bond between you. A lot has changed in your child's world as well and this is a confusing time for him, so the more he feels your acceptance and love the more confidence he will experience.

Handling the Absence of your Ex-spouse

You have physical custody of your child, and this means you have all the responsibilities of seeing that your child's needs are met, your finances are in order, and legal obligations such as reporting any changes in your and your child's life to the child support office. Visitation privileges are a part of most divorce situations and unless there are some extreme circumstances, you want your child to have time with his other parent.

Filtering Your Thoughts and Words

One thing you must never do is to speak badly of your ex-spouse in front of your child. If your ex-spouse does not want involvement with your child, you should not force the issue. Having two involved parents is optimal, but it is not always possible. You can give your child enough love and assurance for two parents if necessary. If you try to force a connection between your ex-spouse and your child when your ex is not willing, your child will feel rejection, disappointment and develop abandonment issues. If you keep the door open and never speak disapprovingly about your ex in front of your child, a relationship between the two could develop at some point in the future.

These are a few basic new single parent tips that you may find helpful. Just show your child and yourself consistent unconditional love and give yourself the opportunity to heal, and things will work out.

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