There is no way around it—divorce means change. And if you are getting a divorce, that change is probably for the best, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. You will have to learn and relearn to do things with a level of independence you probably have not had for some time. This is especially true for parents.
The degree of independence you will have in raising your children after a divorce varies from couple to couple. The other parent might remain in the picture in a significant capacity to the point that you would not consider yourself a single parent. On the other hand, you may have your children a majority of the time and be fully responsible for how your kids are raised.
No matter the details of your parenting plan, however, it is likely that you will fill the role of a single parent at some point or another, even if it is just while your kids stay with you in an equal time sharing situation. Below we’ve detailed five tips for newly single parents to help you with this seemingly daunting challenge.
Tip #1 – Single doesn’t mean you have to do it alone
You may be a single parent, but there are resources out there you can depend upon so that you don’t have to do everything on your own. These resources could include other members of your family, a church group or other organization, or friends and neighbors. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help.
If you put yourself out there and work to build a community or support system of people around you, you’ll never be alone in raising your children.
Tip #2 – Find role models for your kids
You also don’t have to be the sole role model in your children’s lives. It is helpful to seek out other role models, particularly of the opposite gender of yourself, and to make sure your children spend time with that person so that they can learn from more than one figure in their life. Particularly if your child’s other parent has a negative influence on their life or is not around at all, make an effort to praise role models of that parent’s gender in front of your child to demonstrate that there are many positive male and female influences in the world beyond their other parent.
Please check out our next blog for Part II of our tips for newly single parents where we will detail three more useful tips and strategies to help you and your children adjust and thrive in the face of a divorce or the unexpected absence of the other parent.