Some days it’s just not easy coping as a single parent. When there is just one you have to learn very quickly to multi-task, manage your time and be great at everything all at once whilst standing on one leg. But just by trying a few of these things it may turn it around enough for you to catch your breath.
I have learned by trial and error that….
- Routines are good – everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and when. Bedtime and morning routines are especially useful for younger children. Keep the routines simple and achievable.
- TV works just as well off as on – yes the TV is a magical thing that can keep them entertained while you get things done but actually turning it off works wonders too. A child who can entertain itself seldom gets bored – whilst that sounds like it something your Gran would say it’s also very true. Also, nothing gets a child to tidy a room or pick up toys quicker than the reward of a longing to see a film.
- Home Rules rule – my two would groan each time I produced my newly tweaked and printed house rules. But that said they knew what was expected of them.
- If you want your child to be grounded give them some responsibility – Another great Granny saying but also very true. It’s all very easy for us to complain that our kids never help around the house. To be very blunt (and at risk of offending a few people) the answer is it’s because we let them get away with not doing anything. I am very guilty of this and now as they are getting older its harder to implement. Granted if you suddenly tell a teenager from now on they will be doing the washing up every night they might complain loudly but if you start off with small things when they are small they grow up with it being the norm.
- Listen to them – I don’t mean half listen as you do something else. I mean stop everything and give them your time and both ears. You will never get that time back.
- Lastly, there will be days you have an utterly snot sobbing ugly meltdown. And I do mean you and not the children. This is normal. Be kind to yourself on those days, don’t blame the kids and remember a day is only 24 hours and a whole new one starts in the morning.